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3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/11/2010   
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INTRODUCTION

There were 2,400 deaths registered in Australia in 2009 where the deceased person was identified as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both origins (Indigenous), representing 1.7% of all deaths registered.

A variety of measures of mortality (age-specific death rates, median age at death, infant mortality rates and life expectancy at birth) indicate that the mortality level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is substantially higher than that of the total Australian population.

The exact scale of difference between the mortality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the total population is difficult to establish conclusively, due to quality issues with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths data and the uncertainties inherent with estimating and projecting the size and structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian population over time.

Caution should be exercised when undertaking analysis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths and mortality and, in particular, trends in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian mortality.

Some of the issues affecting the reporting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian mortality include under identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths, unexplained changes in the number of people identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian in different data collections and over time, the use of a standard Indigenous status question, changes in administrative processes, and not stated Indigenous status. As a result, changes in numbers of registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths over time may not accurately reflect changes in the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths.





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