Overview of stillbirths and neonatal deaths

Australia is one of the safest places in the world for a baby to be born, yet death occurring within the perinatal period is not uncommon. Every day, 6 babies are stillborn and 2 die within 28 days of birth (neonatal death).

In 2015 and 2016, there were:

  • 623,701 babies born in Australia to 614,515 women
  • 5,702 perinatal deaths (4,263 stillbirths and 1,439 neonatal deaths)
  • 9.1 perinatal deaths per 1,000 births (6.8 stillbirths per 1,000 births and 2.3 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births).

Although perinatal mortality rates have remained relatively unchanged since 1997, they have decreased among:

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Perinatal death data reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are not directly comparable with the National Perinatal Mortality Data Collection (NPMDC) and National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) data.

ABS data are sourced from state and territory registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages. NPMDC and NPDC data are sourced from midwives and other staff, who collect information from mothers and perinatal administrative and clinical record systems. For more information on the NPMDC and NPDC and definitions used for reporting perinatal deaths please refer to the Technical Notes—Definitions used in reporting.