How many people in Australia have Down syndrome?
There is no national data describing the prevalence and demographics 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.
Recent 2021 NDIS participant data supports this estimate, keeping in mind that not all people with Down syndrome will be NDIS participants (see our NDIS Statistics page).
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 approximately 290 new babies with Down syndrome are born each year.
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. However, younger women have babies more frequently, so the majority of babies born with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021). Australia’s mothers and babies, Web report.
Last updated: June 2022