Statistics

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Find out more about Down syndrome statistics below.
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Down syndrome population statistics

People with Down syndrome are living longer and healthier lives than they have in the past.

There is no national data collection on the number of people with Down syndrome in Australia. 

The best estimate available is that there are between 13,000-15,000 individuals with Down syndrome in Australia as of 2019. This estimate is based on Western Australia data and applying these numbers to the Australian population.  

These population figures mean that for every 10,000 people there are 5.14 people with Down syndrome. This is similar to other countries like the UK.

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. It is estimated that approximately 1 in every 1100 babies born in Australia will have Down syndrome. This means that each year there are approximately 290 new babies born each year who have Down syndrome.

The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. The chance of a woman conceiving a child with Down syndrome varies from 1 in 1400 for a woman 20 years of age to 1 in 30 at age 45 years. Younger women have babies more frequently, so the majority of babies born with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

People with Down syndrome are living longer and healthier lives than they have in the past. Life expectancy of people with Down syndrome has dramatically increased over the past 50 years, with the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome in Australia being 60 years of age.

Other Statistics

NDIS Statistics

As of September 2019, there were 10,249 participants in NDIS with Down syndrome listed as their primary disability. It is expected that this number will increase as the NDIS reaches full roll-out.

The breakdown of the number of participants with Down syndrome by state is as follows:

State Number of Participants
NSW3633
VIC2511
QLD2133
WA625
SA761
TAS262
ACT220
NT103

Down syndrome statistics

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Statistics is when people collect information about numbers of things, then use this to work out other information.

For example this might be the number of times something happens, or how many people agree on something.

Down syndrome population statistics

A map of Australia

This is information about people with Down syndrome in Australia.

Nobody collects information about the number of people with Down syndrome in the whole of Australia.

But there is information in WA, so Down Syndrome Australia uses that to do a best guess for the whole of Australia. The number of people is probably between 13,000 and 15,000.

Map of Australia and a map of the uk

This means that in a group of 10,000 people in Australia, there are just over 5 people with Down syndrome.

This is about the same as in other countries such as the UK.

Baby boy playing with his dad

For every 1100 babies born in Australia, 1 will have Down syndrome.

This means there are about 290 babies with Down syndrome born in Australia each year.

A woman holds a young child

As mothers get older, they have a bigger chance of having a baby with Down syndrome.

When a mother is 20 years old, she only has a 1 in 1400 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome.

When a mother is 45 years old, she has a 1 in 30 chance.

But younger mothers have babies more often than older mothers. So most babies with Down syndrome have mothers aged under 35.

A man with Down syndrome

People with Down syndrome live longer, lives than ever. This has gone up a lot in the past 50 years.

The average Australian with Down syndrome can now expect to live to 60 or more years old.

NDIS logo

The NDIS helps people with disabilities to get the support they need.

In 2019, there were over 10,000 people with Down syndrome in the NDIS.

A map of Australia

This number will get bigger as the NDIS reaches all parts of Australia.

The NDIS also keeps track of how many people are in the NDIS in each state.