3303.0.55.001 - Causes of Death, Australia: Preliminary Summary Tables, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/12/2005   
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1 This publication contains preliminary summary statistics on specific causes of death which accounts for 93% of all deaths. Chapters XVIII Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified and Chapter XX External causes of morbidity and mortality have been excluded from this preliminary issue, due to quality issues affecting processing of the data. Total counts for other specific causes detailed in Tables 1 and 2 are also subject to change. The extent of these amendments to the data is expected to be minimal.

2 The registration of deaths is the responsibility of the individual state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages. As part of the registration process, information about the cause of death is supplied by the medical practitioner certifying the death or by a coroner. Other information about the deceased is supplied by a relative or other person acquainted with the deceased, or by an official of the institution where the death occurred. This information is provided to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) by individual Registrars for coding and compilation into aggregate statistics shown in this publication. In addition the ABS supplements this data using information from the National Coroners Information System (NCIS).


3 The statistics in tables 1 and 2 relate to the number of deaths registered in the years shown, not those which actually occurred. Usually between 5% to 6% of deaths occurring in one year are not registered until the following year or later.

Tourism Related Deaths

4 The ABS deaths collection includes all deaths that occurred and were registered in Australia including deaths of persons whose usual residence is overseas. Deaths of Australian residents that occurred outside Australia may be registered by individual Registrars, but are not included in the ABS statistics.


5 The tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems (ICD-10) was adopted for Australian use for deaths registered from 1 January 1999. In this publication, all underlying cause and multiple cause data have been coded to the tenth revision. (see Glossary for definition of underlying and multiple cause).

6 The extensive nature of the ICD enables classification of causes of death at various levels of detail. For the purpose of this publication, one summary classification is used. It is the ICD at the chapter level (with further disaggregation for major causes of death).

7 Table 1 presents statistics at the ICD chapter level with further disaggregation for major causes of death. Detailed information about this summary classification is given in International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Volume 1 Tabular List as released by the World Health Organization.

8 To enable the reader to see the relationship between the various summary classifications used in this publication, all tables show in brackets the ICD codes which constitute the causes of death covered.

9 All data in this publication refer to AIDS-related deaths rather than only those deaths where AIDS is the underlying cause. Hence in table 1, AIDS-related deaths differ from the data provided for all other causes in that table since for all other causes, only data for underlying cause are given.


10 In compiling these statistics, the ABS employs a variety of quality control measures to ensure that the statistics are as reliable as possible. These measures include: seeking further information where necessary to enable accurate classification of the underlying cause of death; check-coding of cause of death; detailed computer editing of data; and checks on the statistical output, at the individual record and aggregate levels.

11 To assist certifiers in providing accurate and comprehensive information for mortality coding, the ABS provides certification booklets for guidance in the completion of medical certificates of cause of death.


12 The 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.


13 Other available ABS products which may be of interest include:

    AusStats - electronic data (see Explanatory Note 25)
    Australian Social Trends, cat. no. 4102.0 - issued annually
    Births, Australia, cat. no. 3301.0 - issued annually
    Causes of Death, Australia, cat. no. 3303.0 - issued annually - 2004 issue to be released 24 February 2006
    Causes of Infant and Child Deaths, Australia, 1982-96, cat. no. 4398.0 - issued irregularly - discontinued
    Deaths, Australia, cat. no. 3302.0 - issued annually
    Deaths due to Diseases and Cancers of the Respiratory System, Australia, 1979-1994, cat. no. 3314.0 - issued irregularly
    Drug Induced Deaths, cat. no. 3321.0.55.001 - single issue
    Information Paper: Drug-induced Deaths - A Guide to ABS Causes of Death Data, cat. no. 4809.0 - single issue
    Information Paper: Multiple Cause of Death Analysis, cat. no. 3319.0.55.001 - issued irregularly
    Mortality Atlas Australia 1997-2000, cat. no. 3318.0 - single issue
    Suicides, Australia, 1921-1998, cat. no. 3309.0 - issued irregularly
    Suicides: Recent Trends Australia 1993 - 2003, cat. no. 3309.0.55.001 - issued irregularly

14 AusStats is a web based information service which provides the ABS full standard product range on line. It also includes companion data in multidimensional datasets in SuperTable format, and time series spreadsheets.

15 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The catalogue is available from any ABS office and on this site. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

16 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, additional information is available from this web site by accessing Themes/Health.


17 More detailed cause of death information is available upon request from the ABS. This information can comprise standard tables or customised tabulations (by hardcopy or electronic media). Unit record files are available to approved users upon application. Generally, a charge is made for providing information upon request.

18 For more information about cause of death statistics or data concepts contact National Information Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


19 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and sums of the component items.