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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2006 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/03/2008   
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Information contained in the preceding chapters of this publication refer to deaths registered during the 2006 calendar year. In this chapter, death statistics are based on a year of occurrence, that is the year in which the death actually occurred, rather than the year it was registered.

Although some deaths can be registered many years after their date of occurrence, the international standard for publishing on a year of occurrence basis is to include deaths registered within the relevant occurrence year and the year immediately following.

Accordingly, this practice has been adopted for the presentation of year of occurrence data in this publication to facilitate international comparisons. Analysis of deaths in Australia has shown that the number of deaths registered after the second year are not significant.

Year of occurrence data allow for seasonal analysis, and data are not distorted by the effects of late registrations or changes in time lags in processing registrations. In those countries where registration systems are complete and timely, there is not a significant difference between the number of deaths derived on a registration basis and those on a year of occurrence basis.

For Australia, approximately 95% of deaths registered in a particular year occurred in that year. However, variations can occur in certain subsets of the population and for particular causes of death. For instance, while 96% of the total 130,714 deaths registered in 2005 occurred in the same year, only 89% of the 2,141 Indigenous deaths and 93% of deaths due to External causes registered in 2005 occurred in that year. More detailed data for specific causes or population groups are available from the ABS on request.

Comparison of Year of Occurrence and Year of Registration data for 2005

The following table shows the number of deaths occurring in 2005 registered in 2005 and 2006. As seen in this table, 13% of deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people occurring in 2005 (and registered in either 2005 or 2006) were registered late, in 2006. This compared with 4.5% for the total population.

7.1 Selected Causes, 2005 Year of Occurrence

Registration years
Total as at 2006(c)
Late registrations
Cause of death and ICD code


All Causes
1 901
2 174


All Causes
125 351
5 972
131 323
Malignant cancers (C00-C97)
36 955
1 683
38 638
Ischaemic heart diseases - angina, heart attacks, blocked arteries of the heart (I20-I25)
22 590
1 028
23 618
Strokes (I60-I69)
11 069
11 555
Chronic lower respiratory diseases - asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema (J40-J47)
5 206
5 422
Accidents (V01-X59)
4 914
5 250
Diabetes (E10-E14)
3 383
3 553
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
2 923
3 016
Diseases of arteries, arterioles and capillaries (I70-I79)
2 297
2 398
Heart failure (I50)
2 154
2 248
Intentional self-harm (suicide) (X60-X84)(d)
1 938
2 058
External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01-Y98)
7 443
7 933

(a) Deaths occurring in 2005, registered in 2005.
(b) Deaths occurring in 2005, registered in 2006.
(c) Deaths occurring in 2005 and registered in 2005 and 2006.
(d) Care should be taken in interpreting numbers of suicide deaths due to limitations in the data. For further information, see Explanatory Notes 57-58 and 74-75.

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