In 2004 when then-federal treasurer Peter Costello introduced a baby bonus to encourage Australians to have more children—results were mixed.


This article by Anthony Segaert in the Sydney Morning Herald makes the following points:
  • Babies born in the year the baby bonus was introduced are turning 18.
  • These children represented a short-term uptick in the number of births in Australia.
  • Mr Costello—now chairman of Nine—said he did not believe the 'baby bonus' payments influenced families to have children if they did not already intend to.
  • In 2004 the fertility rate was about 1.6 births per woman. 
  • Australia needs a rate of 2.1 for the population to remain steady.
  • Most recent data shows the Australian birth rate has dropped to 1.58.

Worth noting, however, that Australia's population continues to grow because of births and migration. See: National, state and territory population, December 2021


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Source: Sydney Morning Herald