1 Registration of deaths is the responsibility of state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages and is based on information supplied by a relative or other person acquainted with the deceased, or an official of the institution where the death occurred and on information supplied by a medical practitioner or a coroner as to the cause of death. This information is supplied to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) by individual Registrars for compilation into the aggregate statistics in the linked publication.
2 In the main, statistics in this publication refer to deaths registered by the state and territory Registrars during the calendar year shown. There is usually an interval between the occurrence and registration of a death and as a result some deaths occurring in one year are not registered until the following year or later.
Proportion of Deaths Registered that Occurred in Reference Year - 2002-2006
State or territory of 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.
STATES AND TERRITORIES
4 Statistics for states and territories have been compiled and presented in respect of the state or territory of usual residence of the deceased, regardless of where in Australia the death occurred and was registered, except where otherwise stated.
5 Table 4.6 shows the number of deaths by state or territory of usual residence cross-classified by state or territory of registration.
6 In 2006 there were 319 deaths registered in Australia of persons usually resident overseas. These deaths have been included in this publication and classified according to the state or territory in which the death was registered.
Deaths of persons usually resident overseas
|State or territory of registration |
|New South Wales |
|South Australia |
|Western Australia |
|Northern Territory |
|Australian Capital Territory |
|- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells) |
7 Following the 1992 amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act to include the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands as part of the geography of Australia, population estimates commencing with September quarter 1993 include estimates for these two territories. To reflect this change, 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, previously excluded from population estimates for Australia. Before 1997, cause of death data do not include deaths of persons usually resident in Other Territories. From 1997, cause of death data for residents of Other Territories are included in the total for Australia.
8 Figures in this publication do not include fetal deaths (stillbirths). Statistics on fetal deaths are given in Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0).
9 Deaths of Australian residents which took place outside Australia are not included in the statistics.
THE EFFECT OF THE OCTOBER 2002 BALI BOMBING ON AUSTRALIAN DEATH STATISTICS
10 The ABS death statistics collection includes all deaths that occurred and were registered in Australia, including deaths of persons whose usual residence is overseas. Deaths of Australian residents which occurred outside Australia may be registered but are not included in the ABS statistics.
11 As deaths of Australian residents which occurred outside of Australia are not within the scope of this collection, most of the Australian victims of the Bali bombing of 12 October 2002 have been excluded from these statistics. Eight victims of the bombing died after arrival in, or en route to Australia, and these deaths have been included in the 2002 statistics. This number includes two overseas residents.
12 Under the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) these deaths have been coded to X96 (Assault by explosive material).
13 Although it is considered likely that most Indigenous deaths are registered, a proportion of these deaths are not registered as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. This publication includes the number of registered Indigenous deaths. However, because of the data quality issues outlined below, more detailed breakdowns of Indigenous deaths are provided only for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Coverage of Indigenous deaths
14 There are several data collection forms on which people are asked to state whether they are of Indigenous origin. Due to a number of factors, the results are not always consistent. The likelihood that a person will identify, or be identified, as Indigenous on a specific form is known as their propensity to identify as Indigenous. Propensity to identify as Indigenous can be thought of as the proportion of the total, unknown, number of Indigenous people who identify as such on a specific form.
15 Propensity to identify as Indigenous is determined by a range of factors, including how the information is collected; who completes the form; the perception of how the information will be used; education programs about identifying as Indigenous; and cultural issues associated with identifying as Indigenous.
16 There are two estimates of the number of Indigenous deaths each year. Each is based on a different collection, with a different propensity to identify as Indigenous:
The estimated coverage of Indigenous deaths is a comparison of the number of deaths registered as Indigenous with the census-based estimates and projections of Indigenous deaths.
18 Given this volatility, and the experimental nature of the base populations, any estimates of coverage are only indicative. The assessment of the completeness of coverage of Indigenous deaths should be interpreted with caution. Over-precise analysis based on Indigenous death registrations, Indigenous deaths coverage or projected Indigenous deaths should be avoided.
CAUSES OF DEATH
19 Causes of death information is published separately from this publication, in Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0). The 2006 issue is scheduled for release in March 2008.
20 A life table is a statistical model used to represent mortality of a population. In its simplest form, a life table is generated from age-specific death rates and the resulting values are used to measure mortality, survivorship and life expectancy.
21 The life tables in this publication are current or period life tables, based on death rates for a short period of time during which mortality has remained much the same. Mortality rates for the Australian and state and territory life tables are based on 2004-2006 data. The life tables do not take into account future assumed improvements in mortality.
22 Life tables based on assumed improvements in mortality are produced by the ABS using assumptions on future life expectancy at birth, based on recent trends in life expectancy. Mortality rates derived from these life tables are used as inputs to ABS population projections. For further information see Population Projections, Australia, 2004 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0) or contact Matthew Montgomery on Canberra (02) 6252 6487.
23 A life table may be complete or abridged, depending on the age interval used in the 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.
24 Life tables are presented separately for males and females. The life table depicts the mortality experience of a hypothetical group of newborn babies throughout their entire lifetime. It is based on the assumption that this group is subject to the age-specific mortality rates of the reference period. Typically this hypothetical group is 100,000 in size.
25 To construct a life table, data on population, deaths and births are needed. Mortality rates are smoothed to avoid fluctuations in the data. Apart from mortality rates themselves (qx) all other functions of the life table are derived from qx. The life tables presented in this publication contain four columns of interrelated information. These functions are:
- lx - the number of persons surviving to exact age x;
- qx - the proportion of persons dying between exact age x and exact age x+1. It is the mortality rate, from which other functions of the life table are derived;
- Lx - the number of person years lived within the age interval x to x+1; and
- ex - life expectancy at exact age x.
Australian life tables
The 2004-2006 life tables were produced by the ABS and differ from those published prior to the 1995 edition of this publication in a number of important respects. Firstly, they are based on three years of deaths and population data. This is designed to reduce the impact of year-to-year statistical variations, particularly at younger ages where there are small numbers of deaths and at very old ages where the population at risk is small. Secondly, the deaths and population data are based on Australian residents who are physically present in Australia over the three-year period; i.e. Australian residents temporarily overseas are excluded. Thirdly, they have been actuarially graduated on the same principles which were used for the quinquennial Australian life tables prepared by the Australian Government Actuary.
State and territory life tables
27 Life tables for the states and territories are produced on the same principles as the Australian life tables. For the years 1994-1996 to 1999-2001 these are available in the Demography (cat. nos. 3311.1-8) set of publications. State and territory life tables for 2000-2002 are available on request. For state and territory life tables for 2001-2003 onwards, please refer to the electronic products Life Tables, State/Territory/Australia (cat. nos. 3302.0-8.55.001).
Statistical Division life tables
28 Life expectancy at birth for Statistical Divisions (table 4.5) have been calculated with reference to state and territory life tables, using Brass' Logit System. Small area life tables are based on age-specific death rates for each area, some of which may be zero as no deaths were recorded at those ages. Brass' Logit technique enables the calculation of smooth abridged life tables for regions which have defective age-specific death rates, by adjusting them with reference to a standard life table. The technique does not alter the overall level of mortality, but the age-specific functions of the life table are smoothed.
29 The Brass' Logit technique essentially compares mortality between the regional and standard life tables across ages, then a line of best fit is calculated to describe that relationship by age. The line of best fit is then used in conjunction with the standard life table to determine death rates for the small area life table. For a more detailed description of Brass' Logit System refer to Brass (1975) Methods for Estimating Fertility and Mortality from Limited and Defective data.
UNKNOWN INFANT AGE AT DEATH
30 For some infant deaths, only limited information on age at death is known. These deaths are included in the following categories:
- Not stated minutes and not stated hours (i.e. age at death was under one day) are included in 'Under one day'
- Not stated days (i.e. age at death was at least one day but under one month) are included in 'One week to under four weeks'
- Not stated months (i.e. age at death was at least one month but under one year) are included in 'Four weeks to under one year'.
Time series data from 1901 to 1995 is available in the 1995 issue of Deaths, Australia
(cat. no. 3302.0), in Australian Demographic Trends, 1997
(cat. no. 3102.0)
and in Australian Historical Population Statistics
(cat. no. 3105.0.65.001).
State and territory mortality statistics
32 Time series of deaths and mortality statistics for the states and territories, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas (on geographical boundaries based on Australian Standard Geographic Classification 2006, (cat. no. 1216.0) are available in Microsoft Excel format on the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>, by selecting Statistics, searching by catalogue number 3302.0 for Deaths, Australia, 2006, and selecting the 'Details' tab.
33 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
34 Other ABS publications which may be of interest to users include:
From 1994 detailed state and territory data for deaths and causes of death are available in Causes of Death, Australia
(cat. no. 3303.0). The 2006 issue of this publication is scheduled for release in March 2008.
36 ABS products and publications are available free of charge from the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>. Click on Statistics to gain access to the full range of ABS statistical and reference information. For details on products scheduled for release in the coming week, click on the Future Releases link on the ABS Home Page.
37 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, additional information is available from the ABS website at <http://www.abs.gov.au> by accessing Themes, Demography.
ADDITIONAL STATISTICS AVAILABLE
38 The ABS can also make available information which is not published. See Appendix 1 for the characteristics processed by the ABS related to registered deaths. A charge is applied for providing this information.
39 For additional articles on deaths (including causes of death) and mortality published by the ABS, please see Appendix 2.