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3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/11/2010   
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Contents >> Summary of Findings >> Mortality rates



Despite the ageing of the population over the last 20 years, death rates have declined overall. In 1989 the crude death rate was 7.4 deaths per 1,000 population, decreasing to 6.4 in 2009. Given the ageing of Australia's population, the overall decline in the crude death rate indicates a considerable decline in age-specific death rates over the period.

The standardised death rate (SDR), which takes into account the effect of changes in the age structure of Australia's population over time, has also decreased over the past 20 years. In 1989, the SDR was 9.1 deaths per 1,000 standard population, decreasing to 5.7 in 2009 (an overall decrease of 37%). Standardised death rates are calculated using the 2001 total population of Australia as the standard population (see Glossary for more information).

2.3 Standardised death rates(a), Australia
Graph: 2.3 Standardised death rates(a), Australia

While male mortality rates remain higher than female mortality rates, the difference has narrowed in the past 20 years. In 1989, the SDR for males was 4.5 deaths higher than the female SDR, while in 2009 the male SDR was 2.2 deaths higher than the female rate.

States and territories

Over the past 20 years, all states and territories have experienced overall declines in SDRs, with the Northern Territory experiencing the largest numerical decline (from 12.4 deaths per 1,000 standard population in 1989 to 7.9 in 2009) and the Australian Capital Territory experiencing the smallest numerical decline (from 7.7 to 5.4 over the same period).

Similar to the SDR for Australia overall, the declining trend in the state and territory SDRs appears to have slowed in recent years.

In 2009, the Northern Territory's SDR of 7.9 deaths per 1,000 standard population remained much higher than the other states and territories, while Tasmania recorded the second highest SDR (6.7). The lowest SDR was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory, with 5.4 deaths per 1,000 standard population.

2.4 Standardised Death Rates(a), States and territories
Graph: 2.4 Standardised Death Rates(a), States and territories

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