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Open Access Research article

Under-reporting of birth registrations in New South Wales, Australia

Fenglian Xu1*, Elizabeth A Sullivan1, Deborah A Black2, Lisa R Jackson Pulver3 and Richard C Madden2

Author Affiliations

1 PRERU, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, 2031, Australia

2 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, 1825, Australia

3 Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, 2052, Australia

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2012, 12:147  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-147

Published: 12 December 2012

Abstract

Background

To determine the rates of birth registration over a five-year period in New South Wales (NSW) and explore the factors associated with the rate of registration.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study using linked population databases. The study population included all births of NSW residents in NSW between 2001 and 2005.

Results

Birth registration rates in NSW were 82.66% in the year of birth, 93.19% in the first year, 94.02% in the second, 94.56% in the third and 95.08% in the fourth year after birth. The non-registration of births was mainly associated with such factors as neonatal and postneonatal death (adjusted OR = 3.84, 95% CI: 3.23-4.57); being Indigenous (adjusted OR = 3.26, 95% CI: 3.10-3.43); maternal age <25 or >39 years (adjusted OR = 2.81, 95% CI: 2.72-2.90); low birthweight (<2,500 grams) (adjusted OR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.69-1.90); living in remote areas (adjusted OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.52-1.63); being born after the first quarter of year (adjusted OR = 1.08-1.56, 95% CI between 1.03-1.12 and 1.49-1.64); mother having more pregnancies (adjusted OR = 1.85-7.29, 95% CI between1.78-1.93 and 6.87-7.73). Mothers who were born overseas were more likely to register their births than those born in Australia (adjusted OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.69-0.75). Multiple births were more likely to be registered than singleton births (adjusted OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.76-0.92). About one-third of the non-registrations of births in NSW were explained by the risk factors. The reasons for the remaining non-registrations need to be investigated.

Conclusion

Of birth in NSW, 4.92% were not registered by the fourth year after birth.

Keywords:
Birth; Registration; Factor; Australia