Stillborn rates in Australia to be included in census for the first time under new changes to the survey
- The 2016 census has removed the phrase ‘live births’ to include stillbirths
- Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally has welcomed the change
- She gave birth to a stillborn daughter in 1999 and felt ‘excluded’
- The ‘no religion’ option in the census will also move to the top of a list
- The 2016 national population survey will be offered online for the first time
Changes to the Australian census will allow families to record stillborn babies for the first time and former NSW premier Kristina Keneally has welcomed the decision.
The five-yearly national population survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has removed the phrase ‘live births’ allowing the government to recognise children lost during pregnancy.
Ms Keneally gave birth to a stillborn daughter in 1999 and the inability to include her in the census left the former premier with a sense of exclusion, reported The Australian.
Stillbirth Foundation Australia noted that six babies per day are still born and the number has not changed in decades.
‘This is not an official recognition, it’s not a certificate from the state saying you went into a hospital and gave birth, but at least it’s some way that the experience of motherhood is acknowledged,’ Ms Keneally said.
Other changes include the recognition of people without a religion affiliation by moving the category of ‘no religion’ to the top option.
The 2016 census will also be the first to be offered online allowing respondents to fill the form before or after August 9.
The ABS believe only a third of the population will request hard copies of the survey.