Australian Bureau of Statistics
3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/2009
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TECHNICAL NOTE CONFIDENCE INTERVALS FOR INDIGENOUS CHILD MORTALITY RATES
7 Confidence intervals associated with non-Indigenous IMRs are relatively small, apart from in the Northern Territory.
8 For Indigenous IMRs the range is larger, especially for the Northern Territory and South Australia, for which confidence intervals for males and females combined range from 10.3-16.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births and 3.3-9.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births respectively. Rates for males and females separately show wider ranges (see table below).
AGE-SPECIFIC DEATH RATES, CHILDREN AGED 1-4 YEARS
9 Age-specific death rates for children aged 1-4 years by Indigenous status for NSW/Qld combined and SA/WA/NT combined for 2006-2008 are presented in the following graph (for males and females combined).
10 Similar to non-Indigenous IMRs, confidence intervals associated with death rates for non-Indigenous children aged 1-4 years are relatively small.
11 However, confidence intervals for Indigenous children aged 1-4 years (males and females combined) show very large ranges for both NSW/Qld combined and SA/WA/NT combined, such that the lower limits are lower than the age-specific death rates for non-Indigenous children. Such wide ranges severely question the usefulness of these rates. Confidence intervals for males and females separately are wider still (table below).
12 The death rates presented above for Indigenous Australians have large associated confidence intervals and should be interpreted with a high degree of caution. Making comparisons over time (for example, year to year comparisons), between jurisdictions or between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is therefore problematic due to the high level of uncertainty. In particular, confidence intervals for death rates of Indigenous children aged 1-4 years are very large as a result of the very small numbers of deaths in these ages.
13 While methods such as aggregating data over jurisdictions and/or longer time periods may help to reduce the width of the confidence intervals, this may limit the usefulness of the data for comparisons over time. In the case of Indigenous children aged 1-4 years, aggregation has not improved the confidence intervals to a level at which the rates could be interpreted with confidence.
14 The confidence intervals presented in this Technical Note relate to random variations in numbers of deaths only. No other sources of errors or deficiencies in either deaths or population data have been considered in these calculations. For example, variations in Indigenous death rates may arise from uncertainty in the recording of Indigenous status on the death registration form (in particular, under-identification of Indigenous deaths) and in the Census, from which population estimates are derived (for more information see Chapter 3: Deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians). Confidence intervals would differ to those presented here if all these sources of variations were considered.
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This page last updated 9 November 2011