Monday, October 27, 2014

Victoria's birth rate falls to lowest in Australia

Victoria has the lowest birth rate in Australia and is well below the level needed to sustain the state's population without migration.

It is part of a national trend where the fertility rate has declined in Australia since the global financial crisis, with Victoria last year replacing the Australian Capital Territory as the state or territory with the lowest rate, according to Bureau of Statistics data.

In Victoria, the fertility rate is 1.76 babies per woman - well below the replacement rate of 2.1 babies per woman, the level where the population sustains itself. But despite the birth rate falling to its lowest level since 2005, Victoria's overall population is growing strongly due to migration.

Professor Graeme Hugo, a demography expert from the University of Adelaide, said Australia-wide the fertility rate had fallen since the economic crisis in 2008 when the national birth rate peaked at just above two babies a woman. He said fertility rates grew strongly from the early 2000s.

"Some people like to suggest it was due [to the Howard government's baby bonus]; the reality was the upturn in fertility started before the baby bonus was introduced," he said.

One factor, he said, was the booming economy at the time, which gave young people confidence to start a family rather than wait.

Ellen Kwek with baby Zoe at home in Carlton North. Ellen Kwek with baby Zoe at home in Carlton North. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Professor Hugo said historically Victoria has had a lower birth rate due to relatively higher incomes and the high proportion of the state's population living in the capital city. People with higher incomes tend to have fewer children, while people from rural areas tend to have more children.

That trend is evidenced in Victoria where towns such as Robinvale and Yarrawonga have some of the highest birth rates. Within Melbourne, suburbs such as Pakenham and Truganina have fertility rates well above replacement levels. But in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, the fertility rate is on average just 1.3 babies per woman - lower even than Japan, with its shrinking population. It is particularly low in Parkville, St Kilda, East Brunswick, Docklands and East Melbourne.

Mothers also tend to be older in the inner suburbs, with a median age of 33.6 years old compared with 31.6 for the state as a whole.

Ellen Kwek, 34, an architect from North Carlton, has just had her second child, a daughter named Zoe, with a gap of four years from her son.

"Because I had my first child when I was about 30, I didn't feel in any particular hurry to have the second one so soon after ... this is about when it seemed right for us," she said.

Ms Kwek said along with her partner Mick she had always thought of having a maximum of two children. Her career was a consideration as she wanted to avoid taking "another chunk" out of it. If they were to consider a third child, housing costs and size would be an issue.

"I don't think we could imagine having another child in the same size house we have," she said.

Professor Hugo said despite Australia's fertility rate declining to 1.88 births per woman, it is still at a level envied by countries such as Singapore, Japan or much of Europe. Fertility rates of 1.3 or 1.4 babies per woman create economic problems from declining populations and how to fund large numbers of retirees.

"What it means is that ageing, although we talk about it as a significant factor, it is not nearly as dramatic [an] impact as it has been in places like Japan, or in a place like China, where they'll suffer some really significant problems," he said. 27 Oct 2014

Somewhere along the line there is a deliberate policy of false information being given out to the masses.

The authorities are saying that in Victoria there is a skilled workers shortage and a housing shortage due to a huge population growth, where today The Age publication reveals that the population growth rate is at 1.76 hardly a figure that is economy changing.

The 'authorities' are importing approximately 1000 migrants (many illegal workers) per week into Victoria in an effort to bring down the hourly rate of workers, a move that is supported by businesses and corporations alike.

This economic destruction of the workforce with cheap unskilled overseas labour also has damaging effects on the family unit of hard working Australians, sending many Aussies to the 'dole' queue, where the results in many cases are the loss of the family home, due to being unable to pay the bills.

The government, which is a corporation conglomerate supports the destruction of the family unit not by the word of a 'conspiracy theory' but rather by its actions.

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