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While male mortality rates remain higher than female mortality rates, the difference has narrowed in the past 20 years. In 1989, the SDR for males was 4.5 deaths higher than the female SDR, while in 2009 the male SDR was 2.2 deaths higher than the female rate.
States and territories
Over the past 20 years, all states and territories have experienced overall declines in SDRs, with the Northern Territory experiencing the largest numerical decline (from 12.4 deaths per 1,000 standard population in 1989 to 7.9 in 2009) and the Australian Capital Territory experiencing the smallest numerical decline (from 7.7 to 5.4 over the same period).
Similar to the SDR for Australia overall, the declining trend in the state and territory SDRs appears to have slowed in recent years.
In 2009, the Northern Territory's SDR of 7.9 deaths per 1,000 standard population remained much higher than the other states and territories, while Tasmania recorded the second highest SDR (6.7). The lowest SDR was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory, with 5.4 deaths per 1,000 standard population.