ABOUT THIS ISSUE
This publication brings together statistics and indicators for deaths in Australia. A small number of changes may occur to deaths data used in this publication following the finalisation of cause of death data for 2004.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
The chapter on underlying cause of death by selected years (previously tables 5.1 and 5.2 in the 2003 issue) has been removed from this issue. Indirect standardised death rates for underlying cause of death by selected countries of birth for 2004 are not yet available. Therefore they are provided for 2003 in this issue. See Causes of Death, Australia: Preliminary Summary Tables 2004 (cat. no. 3303.0.55.001) for more information.
No cause of death data will be published in future issues of this publication. Causes of death information including standardised death rates will be released in Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0).
An international comparison of Australian mortality is provided in Chapter 2 - Summary of findings. Further international mortality and other demographic data can be found in the United Nations, Demographic Yearbook 2001 and in United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision.
Information about Indigenous deaths is contained in chapter 8 of this publication. The content of this chapter has been modified based on the latest estimates of implied coverage of Indigenous deaths for 2000-2004. Implied coverage rates are provided in table 8.1.
Abridged experimental Indigenous life tables for selected states and territories and Australia for 1996-2001 are provided in chapter 8.
There are no special articles in this issue.
In commentary based on the statistics in this publication, it is recommended that the relevant statistics be rounded. All data are affected by errors in reporting and processing. Death registration data are also affected by delays in registration. Small values have been suppressed or randomised to protect confidentiality. No reliance should be placed on statistics with small values.
DATA IN THIS PUBLICATION
As there is undercoverage of Indigenous deaths to some extent in most states and territories, measures of Indigenous mortality presented in this publication are likely to be conservative estimates. Fluctuations in the level of Indigenous mortality over time partly reflect changing levels of coverage of Indigenous deaths. Given the volatility in measures of Indigenous mortality, caution should be exercised in assessing trends in Indigenous mortality over time.
Calculations as shown in the Main Features and Summary of Findings of this publication are based on unrounded data. Calculations made using rounded data may differ from those published.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Shahidullah on Canberra (02) 6252 5129.
MORTALITY CONTINUES TO DECLINE
- There were 132,500 deaths registered in Australia in 2004, approximately 200 (0.2%) more than the number registered in 2003 (132,300). However, the standardised death rate in 2004 (6.3 deaths per 1,000 population) was the lowest on record, slightly lower than that in 2003 (6.4) and down 32.6% from 1984 (9.3).
- Over the past 20 years there has been a decline in death rates for all states and territories. The highest standardised death rate in 2004 was in the Northern Territory (8.2), while the lowest was in the Australian Capital Territory (5.6).
LIFE EXPECTANCY CONTINUES TO INCREASE
- Over the past 20 years life expectancy has improved by 5.6 years for males and 4.0 years for females. A boy born in 2002-2004 can expect to live 78.1 years while a girl can expect to live 83.0 years.
- The Australian Capital Territory had the highest life expectancy for both males (79.7 years) and females (83.9 years) in 2002-2004. The Northern Territory had the lowest life expectancy at 72.3 years for males and 78.0 years for females.
- In 2002-2004 life expectancy at birth varied between Statistical Divisions of Australia by up to 11 years. Male life expectancy at birth was highest in Canberra (79.7 years), followed by Perth (79.2 years) and Melbourne (79.1 years). Female life expectancy at birth was highest in both Outer Adelaide and South-West Western Australia (each 84.3 years), followed by Canberra and the Midlands in Western Australia (each 83.9 years).
- Male life expectancy was lowest in the Balance of the Northern Territory (68.4 years) followed by the Kimberley (70.3 years) and North-West Queensland(71.3 years). Female life expectancy was lowest in the Balance of the Northern Territory (73.4 years), the Kimberley (73.7 years) and North-West Queensland (76.9 years).
- Among the countries of the world Australia's male life expectancy ranks below Iceland and Hong Kong (each 79 years). Japan, Macao, Sweden, Switzerland and Israel all share with Australia a male life expectancy at birth of 78 years. Australia's female life expectancy ranks below Japan and Hong Kong (both at 85 years). Females of Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Virgin Islands (USA) and Iceland share with Australia a life expectancy at birth of 83 years.
- The combined Australian male and female life expectancy of new-born babies in 2002-2004 was 80.5 years. This was higher than in Canada(80 years), New Zealand and the United Kingdom (both 79 years), and the United States of America (77 years).
VARIATIONS IN MORTALITY
- The Infant Mortality Rate of 4.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 was only slightly lower than the 2003 rate (4.8) and 48.9% lower than the 1984 rate (9.2).
- Males and females aged 15 years and over in 2001 who had never married had standardised death rates (11.9 and 7.3 respectively) much higher than their married counterparts (7.0 and 4.1 respectively).
- Of male deaths registered in 2004, 55.4% were in a registered marriage at the time of death, 19.0% were widowed and 14.6% were never married. In contrast, female deaths showed 26.4% were in a registered marriage, 56.8% were widowed and 8.9% never married. This difference is a consequence of the greater longevity of women.
- The median age at death in 2004 was 76.6 years for males and 82.6 years for females, an increase of 6.0 years and 5.3 years on the median age at death for males and females respectively since 1984. This reflects the ageing of the population, as well as improving life expectancy over the period.
- In the past 20 years the risk of dying has declined for people of all ages. The largest declines in male age-specific death rates occurred in the 10-14 years age group (down 53.8%), followed by those aged 55-59 years (down 53.0%), and 1-4 years (down 50.3%). Female age-specific death rates declined most in the 5-9 years age group (down 56.2%), followed by infants (down 46.3%) and those aged 10-14 years (down 44.8%).
- There is undercoverage of Indigenous deaths to some extent in most states and territories. Therefore, measures of Indigenous mortality presented in this publication are likely to be conservative estimates. Fluctuations in the level of Indigenous mortality over time partly reflect changing levels of coverage of Indigenous deaths. Given the volatility in measures of Indigenous mortality, caution should be exercised in assessing trends in Indigenous mortality over time.
- There were 2,100 deaths registered in Australia in 2004 where the deceased person was identified as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both origins (Indigenous).
- Experimental Indigenous life expectancy at birth for 1996-2001 is estimated to be 59.4 years for males and 64.8 years for females.