High cost of having kids could be behind low fertility rates

FOR Lucy Holister, being a mum was something she'd dreamed of since she was a little girl.

But new data from the Australian Bureau of statistics shows that dream isn't as common as it once was.

Less Sunshine Coast women are deciding to have children, with the region's average fertility rate one of the lowest in Queensland.

The latest figures show the region's total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.77 babies for each woman in 2017 has dropped from 2.06 in 2011.

Queensland's TFR is 1.82.

"Personally I do think less people are choosing to have kids," Mrs Holister said.

"This probably relates to the rise in the cost of living. If it were just my husband and I, we wouldn't need to rent such a large house and have to be spending so much on rent.

"People equate children with spending money, which is true in some instances."

While the number of babies being born has dropped, the Sunshine Coast is still above the Australian average TFR of 1.74.

More babies are being born at Bli Bli than any other Coast suburb, with a TFR of 2.37.

Lucy Holister with her family Charlie, 4, Noah 18 months and 'Ruby'
Lucy Holister with her family Charlie, 4, Noah 18 months and 'Ruby' John McCutcheon

Mrs Holister's suburb of Caloundra West has a TFR of 1.91.

While she's always had a strong maternal instinct, Mrs Holister said being a mum was better than she ever could have imagined.

"I never knew I could love other people so much and be so selfless, and put so much time and energy into them," she said.

"It's changed my career path and even our choices for where we wanted to live and where we wanted to travel."

Mum to Charlie, Noah and another on the way, the small business owner said she was surrounded by unconditional love every day.

"The best part of having kids is the unconditional love," she said.

"They really do love you for who you are."

Navigating the ups and downs of motherhood has been made easier by connecting with other mums.

"As a mum, you sometimes lose your marbles spending all day talking to tiny humans," Mrs Holister said.

"Sometimes just knowing that you aren't the only person who's drowning in washing and dishes can make you feel a bit better."

The Sunshine Coast suburbs making the most babies

1. Bli Bli - 2.37

2. Nambour - 2.10

3. Eumundi/Yandina - 2.04

4. Wurtulla/Birtinya - 2.02

5. Maroochy Hinterland - 1.99

6. Peregian Springs - 1.98

7. Aroona/Currimundi/ Landsborough - 1.95

8. Palmwoods/Peregian Beach/Caloundra West - 1.91

9. Sunshine Coast Hinterland - 1.90

10. Glass House Mountains - 1.86