ABOUT THIS ISSUE
This publication brings together statistics on deaths and mortality in Australia. Data refer to deaths registered during the calendar year shown, unless otherwise stated. State or territory relates to state or territory of usual residence, unless otherwise stated.
Populations used in the calculation of rates prior to 2006 are the final estimated resident population by age and sex based on results of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing (2006 Census) and earlier censuses. Mortality rates for 2007 use preliminary 30 June 2007 estimated resident population figures.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
The content of this publication has been reviewed, with the aim of reducing duplication of data. Tables previously presented in the printed publication (in Adobe PDF format) have been removed and are now available in data cubes (in Microsoft Excel format) from the ABS website. See paragraph 57 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
Mortality rates from 2002 to 2006 have been revised using final estimated resident population data based on results of the 2006 Census.
As there is undercoverage of deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians in most states and territories, Indigenous age-specific death rates presented in this publication are likely to be underestimates of the true rates. Fluctuations in the level of Indigenous mortality over time partly reflect changing levels of coverage of Indigenous deaths. Given the volatility in measures of Indigenous mortality, caution should be exercised in assessing trends in Indigenous mortality over time.
EXPERIMENTAL INDIGENOUS LIFE TABLES
The method used in constructing experimental Indigenous life tables is currently under review. An assessment of various methods for adjusting incomplete Indigenous death registration data for use in compiling Indigenous life tables and life expectancy estimates is presented in Discussion Paper: Assessment of Methods for Developing Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.002), released on 17 November 2008.
CAUSES OF DEATH
Causes of death information is published under the 3303.0 product family. See Causes of Death, Australia: Doctor Certified Deaths, Summary Tables, 2007 (cat. no. 3303.0.55.001) released on 25 November 2008, and Causes of Death, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 3303.0) scheduled for release in March 2009, for more information.
ROUNDING AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Calculations as shown in the commentary sections of this publication are based on unrounded figures. Calculations using rounded figures may differ from those published. It is recommended that when using information presented in this publication, the relevant statistics be rounded. All data are affected by errors in reporting and processing. Death registration data are also affected by delays in registration.
Where necessary, tables have had small values suppressed or randomised to protect confidentiality. As a result, sums of components may not add to totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Tracey Coomber on Canberra (02) 6252 5406.
MORTALITY CONTINUES TO DECLINE
LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH CONTINUES TO INCREASE
- There were 137,900 deaths registered in Australia in 2007, approximately 4,100 (3.1%) more than the number registered in 2006 (133,700).
- The standardised death rate (SDR) in 2007 (6.0 deaths per 1,000 standard population) was the same as in 2005 and 2006, which is the lowest on record.
- Over the past 20 years, SDRs have decreased for all states and territories, although some states and territories experienced slightly higher SDRs in 2007 than in 2006.
- The highest standardised death rate in 2007 was in the Northern Territory (8.9 deaths per 1,000 standard population), while the lowest was in the Australian Capital Territory (5.6).
- In the last 20 years death rates have declined for both males and females for all ages. The largest proportional decreases in male age-specific death rates over this period occurred in the 5-9 years and 10-14 years age groups (both down 58%). For females, the 5-9 years age group experienced the largest proportional decrease (down 52%), followed by females aged 1-4 years (down 51%).
- Over the past 20 years life expectancy at birth has improved by 6.0 years for males and 4.1 years for females. Based on current mortality rates, a boy born in 2005-2007 can expect to live 79.0 years while a girl can expect to live 83.7 years.
- The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest life expectancy at birth for males (80.3 years), while the highest life expectancy at birth for females (84.0 years) was recorded in both Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. The Northern Territory recorded the lowest life expectancy at birth for both males (72.4 years) and females (78.4 years).
- In 2005-2007 life expectancy at birth varied between the Statistical Divisions (SD) of Australia by approximately 12 years for males and 10 years for females. Male life expectancy at birth was highest in Canberra SD, Melbourne SD and the Sunshine Coast SD in Queensland (each 80.3 years). Female life expectancy at birth was highest in Sunshine Coast SD in Queensland (85.2 years), Outer Adelaide SD (84.8 years) and Perth SD (84.6 years).
- Male life expectancy at birth was lowest in Northern Territory Balance SD (68.5 years), followed by Darwin SD and South Eastern SD in Western Australia (both 75.7 years). Female life expectancy at birth was lowest in Northern Territory Balance SD (74.8 years), Far West SD in New South Wales (80.5 years) and South Eastern SD in Western Australia (80.9 years).
- According to United Nations estimates for 2005-10, Australia's life expectancy at birth is ranked among the highest in the world. Australia's male life expectancy at birth ranks fifth, below Iceland, Hong Kong, Japan and Switzerland. Australia's female life expectancy at birth is ranked sixth, below Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Spain and France.
DEATHS OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AUSTRALIANS
- In 2007 there were 1,200 infant deaths (deaths of children less than one year of age) registered in Australia. This was a decrease of 60 infant deaths (or 4.7%) over the number registered in 2006.
- The infant mortality rate in 2007 was 4.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, 11% lower than the 2006 rate (4.7).
- There were 2,400 deaths registered in Australia in 2007 where the deceased person was identified as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both origins (Indigenous).