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4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2011  Final
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Contents >> Mortality >> Infant and child mortality


MORTALITY: INFANT AND CHILD MORTALITY
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


KEY MESSAGES
  • In the five year period from 2006 to 2010, there were 439 deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and 91 deaths of children between the ages of one and four.
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality rate in the selected states and territories has decreased from ten deaths in 2001 to seven deaths in 2010 per 1,000 live births.

In the five year period from 2006 to 2010, there were 530 deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were less than five years old, who lived in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Of these, 83% (439) occurred in the first year of life. A further 17% (91) were deaths of children aged between one and four years (Endnote 1).

INFANT MORTALITY

Infant mortality is defined as the death of a child under one year of age (Endnote 2). For New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory in 2006–2010, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality rate was eight infant deaths per 1,000 live births. This compares with a non-Indigenous infant mortality rate of four infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

Over the last ten years, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality rate in the selected states and territories has decreased from ten deaths in 2001 to seven deaths in 2010 per 1,000 live births.


5.1 INFANT MORTALITY RATES (a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people(b)—2001–2010
Graph: Infant Mortality Rates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2001–2010
(a) Includes deaths of people usually resident in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
(b) Excludes deaths for which Indigenous status was not stated.
Source: ABS Deaths collection. These estimates and associated variability bands are also available for download in the Mortality datacube.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality rate in South Australia and the Northern Territory has decreased from 23 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1991 to 10 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010. The infant mortality rate for other Australians has decreased from five deaths per 1,000 live births in 1991 to four deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010.


5.2 INFANT MORTALITY RATES (a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians(b)—1991–2010
Graph:Infant Mortality Rates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians—1991–2010
(a) Includes deaths of people usually resident in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
(b) 'Other Australians' include deaths of non-Indigenous people and those for whom Indigenous status was not stated.
Source: ABS Deaths collection. These estimates and associated variability bands are also available for download in the Mortality datacube.

CHILD MORTALITY (1–4 YEARS)

Child mortality is defined as the death of a child aged between one and four years (Endnote 3). In the five year period from 2006 to 2010 there were 91 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child deaths registered in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, of which 49% (45) were male deaths and 51% (46) were female deaths.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child mortality rate was more than twice the non-Indigenous child mortality rate (with 45 compared with 20 deaths per 100,000 children aged 1–4 years).

SURVIVORSHIP BASED ON LIFE TABLES

Life tables indicate how many of an initial cohort of 100,000 births would have survived to each age group, if current mortality rates remained the same. Using life tables for 2005–2007, of 100,000 male and 100,000 female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, on average, 98,829 males and 99,172 females would survive until their first birthday. Of these cohorts, 98,574 and 98,984 would survive until their fifth birthday.


ENDNOTES

1. Given the age distribution of deaths in the under five age group, the ABS prefers to separately publish the deaths of children aged less than one year and the deaths of children aged one to four years. A single category detailing the deaths of children aged under the age of five may obscure the different mortality rates within this age group. It should also be noted that infant and child mortality rates are calculated differently (see Endnotes 2 and 3 below).

2. Infant mortality rates are calculated as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

3. Child mortality rates are calculated as the number of child deaths per 100,000 people aged 1–4 years.


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