3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEATHS


DEATHS OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AUSTRALIANS

There were 3,088 deaths registered in Australia in 2015 where the deceased person was recorded as being an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both (see table 1.4). For detailed data, see ABS.Stat Datasets - Deaths, Year of registration, Indigenous status, Summary data, Sex, States, Territories and Australia and ABS.Stat Datasets - Deaths, Year of registration, Indigenous status, Age at death, Sex, Five State/Territory, from the Downloads tab.

1.4 DEATHS, Indigenous status - 2015

State or territory
of usual residence
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Non-Indigenous
Not stated
Total
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%
no.

NSW
822
1.5
52 640
98.2
138
0.3
53 600
Vic.
141
0.4
39 678
99.4
85
0.2
39 904
Qld(a)
842
2.8
28 904
97.1
36
0.1
29 782
SA
167
1.2
13 471
98.7
9
0.1
13 647
WA
511
3.5
13 815
95.6
122
0.8
14 448
Tas.
50
1.1
4 583
98.9
-
-
4 633
NT
537
45.9
632
54.0
4
0.3
1 171
ACT
17
0.9
1 834
98.7
8
0.4
1 859
Aust.(b)
3 088
1.9
155 563
97.8
401
0.3
159 052

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 28.
(b) Includes Other Territories.

Deaths by Year of registration and Year of occurrence

The following table presents deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by year of registration and year of occurrence separately for those deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2015. While the interval between the occurrence and registration of deaths is often longer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians than among the non-Indigenous population, there is normally little difference between the number of deaths registered in a given year and the number of deaths that occurred in the same year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This is because for each year, the number of deaths that are not registered in the year that they occurred are balanced by deaths that occurred in the previous years but were subsequently registered. The table below illustrates that if data are routinely reported on a year of occurrence basis, deaths data for the latest year will be underestimated.

1.5 ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEATHS(a), States and territories(b)(c) - 1999 to 2015

NSW
Vic.
Qld(d)(e)
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.(f)

YEAR OF REGISTRATION

1999
435
130
529
116
350
11
399
6
1 976
2000
473
108
535
144
407
8
450
2
2 127
2001
481
93
565
125
345
32
429
3
2 072
2002
516
64
590
107
371
20
462
4
2 136
2003
485
82
569
137
338
23
435
9
2 079
2004
490
54
579
131
400
20
449
10
2 136
2005
507
71
519
142
406
28
454
11
2 141
2006
530
111
584
124
443
20
452
14
2 279
2007
601
95
594
138
449
24
461
6
2 368
2008
559
97
562
141
486
24
467
16
2 353
2009
591
106
632
160
416
30
431
10
2 377
2010
622
117
948
147
436
37
447
13
2 767
2011
726
128
629
141
454
30
437
12
2 558
2012
635
100
678
151
466
45
539
6
2 620
2013
753
123
765
177
457
27
489
18
2 811
2014
794
139
688
169
517
31
562
13
2 914
2015
822
141
842
167
511
50
537
17
3 088

YEAR OF OCCURRENCE(g)

1999
433
108
540
117
347
12
438
7
1 999
2000
480
115
619
140
384
9
429
1
2 178
2001
487
81
581
122
368
29
430
4
2 100
2002
508
64
614
108
384
22
471
5
2 178
2003
494
83
595
144
324
22
418
12
2 094
2004
481
55
633
134
391
19
437
7
2 159
2005
507
81
542
140
416
32
494
12
2 227
2006
529
117
591
123
461
16
454
12
2 304
2007
599
94
588
140
462
25
464
8
2 380
2008
559
97
554
144
474
23
491
14
2 357
2009
596
109
628
147
409
33
440
12
2 375
2010
640
132
631
149
424
35
428
12
2 452
2011
711
104
649
148
444
32
483
11
2 582
2012
665
113
677
158
449
43
505
7
2 617
2013
755
116
743
166
460
29
503
17
2 791
2014
795
132
707
176
496
30
540
16
2 893
2015
754
125
745
145
457
48
409
14
2 698

(a) The death of a person who is recorded as being an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both on the Death Registration Form and/or the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. For further information see paragraph 28 of the Explanatory Notes.
(b) State or territory of usual residence.
(c) Due to differing levels of recording Indigenous status by the states and territories and over time, care should be taken in interpreting change in numbers of deaths. As a result, data for Australia should not be analysed as a time series.
(d) Care should be taken when interpreting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths data for Queensland for 2010. See Technical Note: Queensland Retrospective Deaths Project, and paragraph 36 of the Explanatory Notes of Deaths, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3302.0).
(e) From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 28.
(f) Includes Other Territories.
(g) Includes deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2015. The number of deaths presented on a year of occurrence basis is subject to change, as deaths that occurred prior to 31 December 2015 but have not yet been registered are registered in subsequent years. See paragraphs 25 and 26 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER FIVE STATE/TERRITORY DATA

Median ages, age-specific death rates (ASDRs), standardised death rates (SDRs) and infant mortality rates (IMRs) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are included in this commentary for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory only. These four states and the Northern Territory have been included due to there being evidence of sufficient levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification and sufficient numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths to support mortality analysis. Total five state/territory combines data for these five jurisdictions.

These statistics are based on three year averages. They are calculated for each calendar year and then averaged.

Median ages

The median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory rose to 57.9 years in 2013-2015, up from 53.8 years in 2003-2005. Over the past 10 years, the median age at death for males rose to 54.9 years in 2013-2015 from 50.9 years in 2003-2005. Over the same period, the median age at death for females rose to 61.5 years from 58.4 years.

In comparison, the non-Indigenous median age at death was 81.9 years in 2013-2015, up by 2.2 years from the 2003-2005 figure of 79.7 years.

In 2013-2015, the median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians varied across the five jurisdictions. For males, New South Wales had the highest median age at death (58.0 years) and Western Australia had the lowest (51.5 years). For females, New South Wales again had the highest median age at death (65.2 years) and the Northern Territory had the lowest (58.1 years). While the median age at death for non-Indigenous males and females varied across the five jurisdictions, they were significantly higher than medians for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Age-specific death rates (calculated per 100,000 estimated resident population)

In 2013-2015, ASDRs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory were higher in all age groups than those for non-Indigenous Australians. When 2003-2005 and 2013-2015 are compared, ASDRs for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population have declined in most age groups. For the non-Indigenous population, ASDRs have declined in all age groups.

The ASDRs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were more than twice the rates for non-Indigenous Australians in the 25-64 years age group for New South Wales and the 5-14 years and 25-74 years age groups for Queensland. Of these two states, New South Wales had the largest difference in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous ASDRs for both males and females aged 35-44 years. In this age group Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian ASDRs in New South Wales were over three times the non-Indigenous male and female rates.

For South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, ASDRs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in some age groups were over four times the rates for non-Indigenous Australians. For these two states and the Northern Territory, the largest differences in ASDRs mainly occurred among those aged 35-44 years.

Standardised death rates (calculated per 1,000 standard population)

In 2013-2015, the SDR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory was 9.8 deaths per 1,000 standard population, down from 10.0 in 2003-2005. The SDR for males fell to 10.8 in 2013-2015 from 11.5 in 2003-2005. Over the same period, the SDR for females rose to 8.9 from 8.6.

In 2013-2015, the SDR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians varied across the selected states and territory. The Northern Territory had the highest SDR at 15.2 deaths per 1,000 standard population while New South Wales had the lowest at 8.0.

Infant mortality rates (calculated per 1,000 live births)

In 2013-2015, the total five state/territory IMR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was around twice the rate for non-Indigenous Australians (6.5 and 3.3 per 1,000 live births respectively).

In the Northern Territory, IMRs for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population fell, while fluctuating, to 13.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013-2015 from 15.6 in 2003-2005. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander IMRs in the Northern Territory were the highest of the five jurisdictions across the 2003-2005 to 2013-2015 period. All five state/territory IMRs fluctuated due to the small and variable number of registered infant deaths in these jurisdictions.