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DATA ITEMS COLLECTED
The UN 'Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System Revision 2' (referred to hereafter as the 'UN Recommendations'), provide a common group of basic topics, based on a broad study of the country experiences, which are recommended to be collected on death registration forms. Death registration forms in Australia contain many additional items which are not collected by the ABS as they are not required for statistical purposes
The recommended list comprises two "collection priorities", in recognition of the fact that not all countries will be able to conform to the standard at the same time, or to operate a uniform pace in achieving complete coverage of all recommended topics. "First priority" topics are designed to meet immediate goals, while "second priority" topics denote less immediate goals. Additional topics are expected to be added to the list of UN recommended items, by individual countries to meet individual needs and interests not addressed by the common basic topics. Before topics are selected for inclusion in a vital statistics system they should be evaluated for their likelihood of producing usable and reliable data. Regardless of the importance of the topic, if meaningful data of acceptable quality cannot be obtained, the topic is not appropriate for collection through a vital statistics system. The ABS collects all UN first priority data items for deaths with the exception of one item (Place of Usual Residence of Mother for Deaths under 1 year) and the majority of first priority data items for foetal deaths. Additional items collected by the ABS include: Indigenous status, number of children of deceased and period of residence in Australia.
In addition to ABS collection of data on foetal deaths, a number of UN first priority data items are collected through the National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) which is run by the National Perinatal Statistics Unit (NPSU) which is a collaborating unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The NPDC is a national population-based cross sectional data collection of pregnancy and childbirth. The data are based on births reported to the perinatal data collection in each state and territory in Australia. Information is included in the NPDC on both live births and stillbirths of at least 400 grams birthweight or at least 20 weeks gestation. For further information see National Perinatal Statistics Unit - National Perinatal Data Collection
The following tables outline the data items collected from Registrars and published by the ABS Causes of Death statistics collection. The tables indicate for each data item included in the Australian collection, whether that topic is considered to be a 1st or 2nd priority under the UN recommendations.
ABS Causes of death collection of UN specified data items - Deaths
ABS Causes of death collection of UN specified data items - Foetal Deaths
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