3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2016 Quality Declaration 
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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEATHS


DEATHS OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AUSTRALIANS

There were 3,168 deaths registered in Australia in 2016 where the deceased person was recorded as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both (see table 1.4). For detailed data, see ABS.Stat Datasets - Deaths, Year of registration, Indigenous status, Summary data, Sex, States, Territories and Australia and ABS.Stat Datasets - Deaths, Year of registration, Indigenous status, Age at death, Sex, Five State/Territory, from the Downloads tab.

1.4 DEATHS, Indigenous status - 2016

State or territory
of usual residence
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Non-Indigenous
Not stated
Total
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%
no.

NSW
857
1.6
52 479
97.7
358
0.7
53 694
Vic.
175
0.4
39 155
99.3
120
0.3
39 450
Qld(a)
884
3.0
28 571
96.2
235
0.8
29 690
SA
170
1.3
13 152
98.6
15
0.1
13 337
WA
565
3.8
14 123
95.2
151
1.0
14 839
Tas.
54
1.2
4 540
98.8
3
0.1
4 595
NT
443
42.4
600
57.5
4
0.4
1 044
ACT
19
1.0
1 800
97.9
20
1.1
1 839
Aust.(b)(c)
3 168
2.0
154 435
97.4
901
0.6
158 504

(a) From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 28.
(b) Deaths occurred on Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 are included in this publication for the first time. See Explanatory Note 5 for more information.
(c) Includes Other Territories.

Deaths by Year of registration and Year of occurrence

The following table presents deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by year of registration and year of occurrence separately for those deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2016. While the interval between the occurrence and registration of deaths is often longer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians than among the non-Indigenous population, there is normally little difference between the number of deaths registered in a given year and the number of deaths that occurred in the same year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This is because for each year, the number of deaths that are not registered in the year that they occurred are balanced by deaths that occurred in the previous years but were subsequently registered. The table below illustrates that if data are routinely reported on a year of occurrence basis, deaths data for the latest year will be underestimated.

1.5 ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEATHS(a), States and territories(b)(c) - 1999 to 2016

NSW
Vic.
Qld(d)(e)
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.(f)

YEAR OF REGISTRATION

1999
435
130
529
116
350
11
399
6
1 976
2000
473
108
535
144
407
8
450
2
2 127
2001
481
93
565
125
345
32
429
3
2 072
2002
516
64
590
107
371
20
462
4
2 136
2003
485
82
569
137
338
23
435
9
2 079
2004
490
54
579
131
400
20
449
10
2 136
2005
507
71
519
142
406
28
454
11
2 141
2006
530
111
584
124
443
20
452
14
2 279
2007
601
95
594
138
449
24
461
6
2 368
2008
559
97
562
141
486
24
467
16
2 353
2009
591
106
632
160
416
30
431
10
2 377
2010
622
117
948
147
436
37
447
13
2 767
2011
726
128
629
141
454
30
437
12
2 558
2012
635
100
678
151
466
45
539
6
2 620
2013
753
123
765
177
457
27
489
18
2 811
2014
794
139
688
169
517
31
562
13
2 914
2015
822
141
842
167
511
50
537
17
3 088
2016(g)
857
175
884
170
565
54
443
19
3 168

YEAR OF OCCURRENCE(h)

1999
433
106
540
119
347
12
438
7
1 999
2000
480
115
619
140
384
8
429
2
2 178
2001
487
81
581
122
368
29
430
1
2 100
2002
508
64
614
108
384
22
471
5
2 178
2003
494
83
595
144
324
22
419
12
2 095
2004
481
55
634
134
391
19
437
7
2 160
2005
507
81
542
140
416
32
495
12
2 228
2006
529
117
591
123
462
16
454
12
2 305
2007
599
94
589
140
462
25
464
8
2 381
2008
559
97
554
144
475
23
491
14
2 358
2009
596
109
628
147
409
33
440
12
2 375
2010
640
132
632
149
425
35
429
12
2 455
2011
711
104
649
148
444
32
483
11
2 582
2012
666
113
680
158
449
43
505
7
2 621
2013
755
116
749
166
462
29
508
17
2 804
2014
796
132
714
177
497
30
543
16
2 906
2015
798
144
837
157
529
50
497
16
3 029
2016(g)
811
156
773
157
487
52
344
17
2 798

(a) The death of a person who is recorded as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both on the Death Registration Form and/or the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. For further information see Explanatory Note 28.
(b) State or territory of usual residence.
(c) Due to differing levels of recording Indigenous status by the states and territories registrars, and over time, care should be taken in interpreting change in numbers of deaths.
(d) Care should be taken when interpreting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths data for Queensland for 2010. See Technical Note: Queensland Retrospective Deaths Project, and Explanatory Note 36 in Deaths, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3302.0).
(e) From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 28.
(f) Includes Other Territories.
(g) Deaths occurred on Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 are included in this publication for the first time. See Explanatory Note 5 for more information.
(h) Includes deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2016. The number of deaths presented on a year of occurrence basis is subject to change, as deaths that occurred prior to 31 December 2016 but have not yet been registered are registered in subsequent years. See paragraphs 25 and 26 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER FIVE STATE/TERRITORY DATA

Median ages, age-specific death rates (ASDRs), standardised death rates (SDRs) and infant mortality rates (IMRs) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are included in this commentary for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory only. These four states and the Northern Territory have been included due to there being evidence of sufficient levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification and sufficient numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths to support mortality analysis. Total five state/territory combines data for these five jurisdictions.

These statistics are based on three year averages. They are calculated for each calendar year and then averaged.

Median ages

The median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory rose to 58.8 years in 2014-2016, up from 54.4 years in 2004-2006. Over the past 10 years, the median age at death for males rose to 55.9 years in 2014-2016 from 51.3 years in 2004-2006. Over the same period, the median age at death for females rose to 61.9 years from 59.0 years.

In comparison, the non-Indigenous median age at death was 82.0 years in 2014-2016, up by 2.0 years from the 2004-2006 figure of 80.0 years.

In 2014-2016, the median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians varied across the five jurisdictions. For males, New South Wales had the highest median age at death (58.4 years) and Western Australia had the lowest (51.3 years). For females, New South Wales again had the highest median age at death (65.0 years) and the Northern Territory had the lowest (58.7 years). While the median age at death for non-Indigenous males and females varied across the five jurisdictions, they were significantly higher than medians for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Age-specific death rates (calculated per 100,000 estimated resident population)

In 2014-2016, ASDRs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory were higher in all age groups than those for non-Indigenous Australians. During the ten year period to 2014-2016, ASDRs for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population have declined in most age groups with the exception of 5-14, 45-54 and 75 years and over age groups. For the non-Indigenous population, ASDRs have declined in all age groups during this period.

In 2014-2016, the 35-44 years age group has the highest ratio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ASDRs to the non-Indigenous ASDRs for all five states/territory except for South Australia. For this age group, the Northern Territory has the highest rate ratio of 6.6 meaning that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ASDRs were 6.6 times the non-Indigenous ASDRs. The second highest rate ratio was in Western Australia (5.8), followed by New South Wales (3.2) and Queensland (2.9). South Australia has the highest rate ratio of 4.5 in the 5-14 years age group.

Standardised death rates (calculated per 1,000 standard population)

In 2014-2016, the SDR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory was 9.6 deaths per 1,000 standard population, down from 10.0 in 2004-2006. The SDR for males fell to 10.6 in 2014-2016 from 11.5 in 2004-2006. Over the same period, the SDR for females remained steady at 8.7 deaths per 1,000 standard population.

In 2014-2016, the SDR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians varied across the selected states and territory. The Northern Territory had the highest SDR at 14.7 deaths per 1,000 standard population while New South Wales had the lowest at 7.5.

Infant mortality rates (calculated per 1,000 live births)

In 2014-2016, the total five state/territory IMR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was almost twice the rate for non-Indigenous Australians (6.2 and 3.2 per 1,000 live births respectively).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander IMRs in the Northern Territory were the highest of the five jurisdictions across the 2004-2006 to 2014-2016 period. In the Northern Territory, IMRs for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population fell, while fluctuating to 13.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014-2016 from 16.7 in 2004-2006. All five state/territory IMRs fluctuated due to the small and variable number of registered infant deaths in these jurisdictions.