Medical and socio-medical characteristics of live birth

In 2018, the number of live births in Austria was 84 804. The average birth weight was 3 318g, the average birth length 50.6cm. The mode of delivery was spontaneous in 63.6% of all live births. In 2018, the caesarean rate was 29.4%. The rate of induced labour was 19.1%. 94.5% of all live births had a 5-minute Apgar score of 9 or 10.

Preterm birth

Preterm birth is defined as birth of an infant between 22 and 36 weeks of completed gestation. Since preterm birth is the most frequent case of infant mortality as well as of health risk, the development of the preterm birth rate is a matter of particular interest. In 2018 the number of live births was 84 764, whereof 6 210 babies were born preterm. This results in a preterm birth rate of 7.3% in 2018. 73.5% of all preterm births were due to infants born late preterm. Twins and higher order multiples have elevated preterm rates compared to singletons. The risk of infant mortality declined dramatically with increasing gestational age. Only 76.2% of infants born before 28 weeks of gestation survived the first year, whereas survival rates increased up to 99% for infants born at 32 and more weeks of gestation.

An error in measuring gestational age required a revision of the figures from 1995 to 2010. For detailed information see article “Preterm birth in Austria, time trends and risk factors on the basis of revised figures”, in “Statistische Nachrichten” (PDF 236KB), 09/2012.

Results (overview): Live births by medical characteristics
Preterm births since 1984

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