VARIATIONS IN MORTALITY
In 2002, 133,700 deaths were registered in Australia, 5,160 (4%) more than in 2001 (128,500). Registered male deaths (68,900) outnumbered female deaths (64,800) in 2002, giving a sex ratio of 106 male deaths for every 100 female deaths, a decrease from 123 in 1982. In 2002, the Northern Territory had the highest sex ratio at death (161), while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest (93). Since 1982, male deaths have increased by 9%, while female deaths have increased by 26%. This was due primarily to greater improvement in male mortality, relative to female mortality, at the older ages. Two-thirds of all male deaths and over three-quarters of all female deaths were aged 70 years and over.
Australians can enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world, but there is much variability in mortality statistics between different groups in Australia. Australia's 2000-02 life expectancy at birth of 77.4 years for males and 82.6 years for females was among the highest in the world. However life expectancy at birth varied across the regions of Australia by up to 11 years. In 2000-02, Australia's remote population had a lower life expectancy at birth and higher age-specific death rates than those who lived in major cities. More people living in very remote areas died from diabetes mellitus, accidental drownings and submersion, transport accidents and intentional self-harm than those in major cities.
The Deaths, Australia 2002 (cat. no. 3302.0) publication was released on 2 December 2003.
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The Causes of Death, Australia 2002 (cat. no. 3303.0) publication was also released on 2 December 2003.
For 2002, Malignant neoplasms and ischaemic heart diseases were the leading underlying causes of death for both males and females in 2002, responsible for 48% of deaths in Australia. The standardised death rate from malignant neoplasms for males was 241 per 100,000 in 2002, a 14% decrease from 1982. Over the same period, the standardised death rate for females from malignant neoplasms has decreased by 7% to 150 per 100,000.
In 2002, the standardised death rate from external causes for males was 57 deaths per 100,000, compared to a rate of 23 for females. These external causes included suicide, where the 2002 standardised death rate for males was almost four times that of females (19 per 100,000 compared to 5 respectively). Suicide accounted for 2,320 deaths in 2002, a 5% decrease in the number reported in 2001 (2,450).
In 2002, there were an estimated 645,500 years of potential life lost for males and 357,300 years for females. This is a measure based on the number of deceased aged between 1 and 78 years inclusive.
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