3302.0.55.003 - Experimental Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2005–2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/05/2009   
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Age-specific death rates

Age-specific death rates are 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 paper the word 'Census' refers to the ABS Census of Population and Housing.


Death is 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 Deaths and Causes of Death collections conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 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 or citizenship, 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. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months.

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. For state and territory population estimates, an additional term is added to the equation representing net interstate migration.

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.

Indigenous death

The death of a person who is identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin on the death registration form.

Indigenous people

People who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Life table

A life table is a statistical model used to show the levels of mortality and life expectancy at different ages. It depicts the mortality experience of a hypothetical group of newborn babies throughout their lifetimes. 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 Indigenous population, contain data for five-year age groups. Life tables are presented separately for males and females.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy refers to 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 the given period continued throughout his/her lifetime.

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 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

Non-sampling error 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 survey.

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

The Census Post Enumeration Survey (PES) is a household survey conducted three to four weeks after the Census. The PES allows the ABS to estimate the number of people missed in the Census and the number counted more than once. Usually more people are missed than counted more than once in Australia, leading to a net undercount. 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

Sampling error 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 true 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 if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.


The number of people who should have been counted in the Census but were not.

Unexplained growth

The intercensal growth in the Indigenous population counts cannot be fully explained by births, deaths and migration. One way to measure this unexplained growth is for an earlier census date population estimate to be survived to the next census date and the difference between the next census date population estimate and the survived estimate remains unexplained.

Year of occurrence

Data presented on year of occurrence basis relate to the date the death occurred.

Year of registration

Data presented on year of registration basis relate to the date the death was registered.