All births comprises all live births plus all fetal deaths (gestation at least 20 weeks or birth weight at least 400 grams) for a specific year. This is the denominator used in calculating perinatal and fetal death rates in this publication. See Appendix 1 for further information.
Deaths may be certified by either a medical practitioner, using the Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death, or a coroner. Natural causes are predominantly certified by doctors, whereas External and Unknown causes are usually certified by a coroner. However, some deaths due to natural causes are referred to coroners for investigation, for example unaccompanied deaths.
Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect confidentiality. As a result some totals will not equal the sum of their components. It is important to note that cells with 0 values have not been affected by confidentialisation.
Coroner certified deaths
Deaths which were certified by a coroner. Approximately 5% of perinatal deaths each year are certified by a coroner. Coroner cases remain 'open' while cause of death investigations are undertaken, and are closed when coronial investigations are complete. Following completion, causes of death information is passed to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, as well as to the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are subject to a revisions process. For more information see Technical Note 2 - Revisions Process.
A series of spreadsheets which present causes of death data. Perinatal deaths data cubes can be found on the web page under the downloads tab. See iNote for data cubes for more information on perinatal deaths data cubes.
Death is the permanent disappearance of all evidence of life after birth has taken place. The definition excludes all deaths prior to live birth. For the purposes of the deaths and causes of death collections of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a death refers to any death which occurs in, or en route to, Australia and is registered with a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. See fetal death, neonatal death and perinatal death definitions below for more specific information on these types of death.
Doctor certified deaths
Deaths which were certified by a doctor or medical practitioner, which were not required to be referred on to a coroner. Approximately 95% of perinatal deaths each year are certified by a doctor. Doctor certified deaths are not subject to the revisions process.
Early neonatal death
Death of a live born baby within seven days of birth.
Excess deaths are the observed number of Indigenous deaths (recorded deaths) less expected number of Indigenous deaths if the age specific rates of the non-Indigenous population were applied to the Indigenous population.
Expected deaths is calculated by applying the cause specific rate for the non-Indigenous standard (2001) population to the Indigenous population of the reference period.
A fetal death is death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother as a product of conception of at least 20 completed weeks of gestation or with a birth weight of at least 400 grams. The death is indicated by the fact that after such separation the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles. See Explanatory Notes 9-14 for further information.
Fetal death rate
The number of fetal deaths in a calendar year per 1,000 all births (live births plus fetal deaths of at least 20 weeks gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight) in the same calendar year. See 'All births' above.
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The purpose of the ICD is to permit the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas and at different times. The ICD, which is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is primarily designed for the classification of diseases and injuries with a formal diagnosis. The ICD-10 is the current classification system. See Explanatory Note 18 for more information. Further information also is available from the WHO website www.who.int.
Persons who identify themselves as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
The death of a person who is identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) origin on the Death Registration Form (DRF). From 2007, Indigenous origin for deaths registered in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory is also derived from the Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death.
An infant death is the death of a live born child who dies before reaching his/her first birthday.
Infant death rate
The number of deaths of children under one year of age in a calendar year per 1,000 live births in the same calendar year.
Late neonatal death
Death of a live born baby after seven completed days and within 28 completed days of birth.
Live birth is the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother as a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached; each product of such a birth is considered live born. This is the denominator used in calculating neonatal death rates in this publication. See Explanatory Note 41.
The condition of being mortal or subject to death.
National Coroners Information System (NCIS)
The NCIS is a national data storage system which contains information about all deaths referred to a coroner since July 2000 (January 2001 for Queensland).
Natural cause of death
Deaths due to diseases (for example diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc), which are not external or unknown.
A neonatal death is death of a live born baby within 28 completed days of birth.
Neonatal death rate
The number of deaths in a calendar year of live born babies within 28 completed days of birth per 1,000 live births in the same calendar year.
The neonatal period commences at birth and ends 28 completed days after birth.
Total recorded deaths.
Following the 1992 amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act to include the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands as part of geographic Australia, another category at the state and territory level has been created, known as Other Territories. Other Territories include Jervis Bay Territory, previously included with the Australian Capital Territory, as well as Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
A death that is either a fetal death (i.e. a death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother as a product of conception of at least 20 completed weeks of gestation or with a birth weight of at least 400 grams), or a neonatal death (i.e. death of a live born baby within 28 completed days of birth). See Explanatory Notes 9-14.
Perinatal death rate
For comparison and measuring purposes, perinatal deaths in this publication have also been expressed as rates. Perinatal death rates are the number of perinatal deaths in a calendar year (i.e. fetal and neonatal deaths) per 1,000 all births in the same calendar year. See 'All births'.
The perinatal period commences at 20 weeks of gestation and ends within 28 completed days of birth.
Period of gestation
Period of gestation is measured from the first day of the last normal menstrual period to the date of birth and is expressed in completed weeks.
Post neonatal death
Death of a live born baby after 28 days and within one year of birth.
Rate difference is the age standardised Indigenous rate minus the non-Indigenous rate.
Rate ratio is the age standardised Indigenous rate divided by the non-Indigenous rate.
The year that presented data refers to. For example, this publication presents data for the 2008 reference year, as well as some historical data for the 1999 to 2007 reference years. From 2007, data for a particular reference year includes all deaths registered in Australia for the reference year that are received by the ABS by the end of the March quarter of the subsequent year. For example, data for the 2008 reference year includes all deaths registered in Australia for 2008 that were received by the ABS by the end of March 2009. See Explanatory Notes 8-17 for more information about scope and coverage.
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Each state and territory has a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It is a legal requirement that all deaths are recorded by the relevant Registry for the state/territory in which the death occurred.
When additional information about an 'open' coroner certified death is received by the ABS, a more specific ICD-10 code may be applied, thereby 'revising' the cause of death. See Technical Note 2 - Revisions Process for further information on the revisions process.
Perinatal deaths where sex is indeterminate are included in male totals where applicable.
The number of males per 100 females. The sex ratio is defined for total population, at birth, at death and among age groups by appropriately selecting the numerator and denominator of the ratio.
State or territory of registration
State or territory of registration refers to the state or territory in which the death was registered. It is the state/territory in which the death occurred, but is not necessarily the deceased's state or territory of usual residence. In the case of perinatal deaths, state of usual residence is that of the mother.
State or territory of usual residence
State or territory of usual residence refers to the state or territory in which the person has lived or intended to live for a total of six months or more in a given reference year.
See fetal death.
Underlying cause of death
The disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death. Accidental and violent deaths are classified according to the external cause, that is, to the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury rather than to the nature of the injury.
Unknown cause of death
Deaths where it is unable to be determined whether the cause was natural or external.
See state or territory of usual residence.
Year of registration
Data presented on year of registration basis relate to the date the death was registered with the relevant state or territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. In most cases the year of registration and year of occurrence for a particular death will be the same, but in some cases there may be a delay between occurrence and registration of death.
This page last updated 16 May 2011