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4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2011  Final
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Contents >> Mortality >> Overview of 2006-2010 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths


MORTALITY: OVERVIEW OF 2006-2010 ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEATHS
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


KEY MESSAGES
In the five year period from 2006 to 2010:
  • 8,902 deaths were registered in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian and the Northern Territory where the deceased person was recorded as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • the largest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths were registered in Queensland (3,031) followed by New South Wales (2,903).

In the five year period from 2006 to 2010 there were 8,902 deaths registered in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian and the Northern Territory where the deceased person was recorded as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Of the total Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 85% live in these states and territories (as at 30 June 2010).

Of these deaths, 55% (4,874) were male and 45% (4,028) were female. The largest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths were registered in Queensland (3,031) followed by New South Wales (2,903).

At the national level, the life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males born in 2005–2007 was 67.2 years, 11.5 years lower than for non-Indigenous males. The life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females born in this time period was 72.9 years, or 9.7 years lower than for non-Indigenous females (Endnote 1).

CRUDE DEATH RATES

In the five year period from 2006 to 2010, the crude death rate for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory (combined) was 437 deaths per 100,000 people (Endnote 2).

3.1 CRUDE DEATH RATES (a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2006–2010
Graph: Crude Death rates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2006–2010
(a) Crude death rates are calculated by dividing the number of deaths in a particular reference
period by the relevant estimated resident population (ERP). This rate is an aggregate of deaths
registered from 2006 to 2010, divided by aggregated Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander ERP for 2006-2010. Excludes deaths for which Indigenous status was not stated.
(b) Total includes NSW, Qld, SA and NT.
Source: ABS Deaths collection. These estimates are also available for download in the Mortality datacube.

Note that the crude death rate should not be used to compare mortality rates between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations. This is because the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a much younger age structure than the non-Indigenous population (Endnote 3).


ENDNOTES

1. Experimental Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 2005–2007 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.003).

2. Crude death rates are calculated by dividing the number of deaths in a particular reference period by the relevant estimated resident population (ERP). This rate is an aggregate of deaths registered in the five year period from 2006–2010, divided by aggregated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ERP for 2006–2010.

3. In 2006, the median age of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 21 years, compared with 37 years of the non-Indigenous population (for more information see Experimental Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2006 (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001)). This different age structure can result in misleading comparisons of mortality rates between the two populations. This is because, in general, deaths are more likely to occur at older ages than younger ages. A population with a higher proportion of people in older age groups is likely to report higher numbers of death relative to the size of the population than a population with a younger age structure.

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