3302.0.55.003 - Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2010-2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/11/2013   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander death

The death of a person who is recorded as being an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both on the Death Registration Form (DRF). From 2007, Indigenous status for deaths registered in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory is also derived from the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD).

Age-specific death rates

The number of deaths (occurred or registered) during the calendar year, at a specified age, per 1,000 of the estimated resident population of the same age at the mid-point of the year (30 June). Pro rata adjustment is made in respect of deaths for which the age of the deceased is not given.


The complete enumeration of a population or groups at a point in time with respect to well-defined characteristics (eg Population, Manufacturing, etc.). In this release the word "Census" refers to the ABS Census of Population and Housing.


The permanent disappearance of all evidence of life after birth has taken place. The definition excludes deaths prior to live birth. For the purposes of the ABS Death Registration collection, a death refers to any death which occurs in, or en route to Australia and is registered with a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

The official measure of the population of Australia is based on the concept of usual residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality, citizenship or legal status, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months over a 16 month period. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months over a 16 month period.

Estimates of the Australian resident population are generated on a quarterly basis by adding natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and net overseas migration (NOM) occurring during the period to the population at the beginning of each period.

Identification rate

The ratio of observed to expected deaths.


A statistical process for predicting values where no response was provided to a question and a response could not be derived.

Life expectancy

The average number of additional years a person of a given age and sex might expect to live if the age-specific death rates of each period continued throughout his/her lifetime.

Life table

A tabular, numeric representation of mortality and survivorship of a cohort of births at each age of life. The conventional life table is based on the assumption that as the cohort passes through life it experiences mortality at each age in accordance with a predetermined pattern of mortality rates which do not change from year to year. The life table this is a hypothetical model of mortality, and even though it is usually based upon death rates from a real population during a particular period of time, it does not describe the real mortality which characterises a cohort as it ages.

Life tables may be complete or abridged, depending on the age interval used in their compilation. Complete life tables such as those for the Australian population contain data by single years of age, while abridged life tables, such as those for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, contain data for five-year age groups. Due to differences in mortality patterns between males and females at different ages, life tables are generally constructed separately for each sex.

Natural increase

Excess of births over deaths.

Net undercount

The difference between the actual Census count (including imputations) and an estimate of the number of people who should have been counted in the Census. This estimate is based on the Post Enumeration Survey (PES) conducted after each Census. For a category of person (e.g. based on age, sex and state of usual residence), net undercount is the resultant of Census undercount, overcount, misclassification and imputation error.

Non-sampling error

Error which arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise non-sampling error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all people selected in the collection.

Other Territories

Following the 1992 amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act to include the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands as part of geographic Australia, another category of the state and territory level has been created, known as Other Territories. Other Territories include Jervis Bay Territory, previously included with the Australian Capital Territory, as well as Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Post Enumeration Survey (PES)

A household survey conducted three to four weeks after the Census. The PES allows the ABS to estimate the number of people who should have been counted in the Census compared to the number who were. Results from the PES contribute to a more accurate calculation of the estimated resident population (ERP) for Australia and the states and territories which is then backdated to 30 June of the Census year.

Sampling error

Error which occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error.

Standard error

A measure of the spread of the difference between the Census value and an estimate. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained from a Census, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Unexplained growth

The intercensal growth in the Indigenous population counts that cannot be fully explained by births, deaths and migration.

Year of occurrence

The year the death occurred.

Year of registration

The year the death was registered.