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Total fertility rate is defined as the sum of age-specific fertility rates. It represents the number of children a woman would bear during her lifetime if at each year of her reproductive life she experienced the age-specific fertility rates of the current year. For additional reference, refer to the Glossary of Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0.
Over the last decade the total fertility rate for the ACT was consistently lower than the national average (see graph below).
Consistent with national trends, the age-specific fertility rates for 2008 in the ACT were highest for women aged 30-34 years (130.6 births per 1,000 women in this age group). While the ACT's total fertility rate for women has gradually increased from a low in 2001 of 1.52 to 1.76 in 2008 it is still much lower than the replacement level of 2.1 and it has the lowest teenage fertility rate in Australia.
The crude birth rate is the number of births registered during the calendar year per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June of that year. The crude birth rate for the ACT has risen from a low in 2005 of 12.7 to 13.9 births per 1,000 population recorded in both 2007 and 2008.
For the most part, statistics presented in Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0) refer to deaths registered during the calendar year. As with births, deaths are presented on the basis of state of usual residence of the deceased (unless otherwise stated), which may not necessarily be the state of occurrence or the state of registration of the death.
The total number of deaths of residents of the ACT increased in the past decade from 1,300 in 1998 to 1,700 deaths in 2008.
In 2008, a total of 1,900 deaths were registered in the ACT, of these 1,600 or 84% were usual residents of the ACT and the remainder were deaths of residents of other states.
Taking into account the effect of changes in the age structure of the ACT over time, the standardised death rate for the ACT decreased from 6.6 deaths to 5.8 deaths per 1,000 standard population between 1998 and 2008, resulting in the ACT consistently having one of the lowest standardised death rates of the states and territories. In comparison, the standardised death rate for Australia decreased from 7.2 deaths to 6.0 deaths per 1,000 standard population over the same period.
Life expectancy refers to the average number of additional years a person of a given age and sex might expect to live if the age-specific death rates of the given period continued throughout his/her lifetime. For additional reference, refer to the Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0).
Life expectancy at birth for boys born in the ACT in 2006-2008 was 80.1 years, while life expectancy for girls was 84.0 years. This was higher than the national average for both sexes. Nationally, life expectancy at birth increased between 1998 and 2008 by 3.3 years to 79.2 years for males and by 2.2 years to 83.7 for females.
Causes of death
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the international standard classification for epidemiological purposes and is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of causes of death statistics. The classification is used to classify diseases and causes of disease or injury as recorded on many types of medical records as well as death records. The ICD has been revised periodically to incorporate changes in the medical field. Currently ICD 10th revision is used for Australian causes of death statistics. Refer to Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) for additional details.
According to Causes of Death, Australia, the four main causes of death for ACT residents in 2008 were Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99), Neoplasms (C00-D48), External causes or morbidity and mortality (V01-Y98) and Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99).
Of all deaths of people with a state of usual residence of the ACT, 31.5% or 534 were caused by Diseases of the circulatory system. Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) accounted for 44.4% (237) of all Diseases of the circulatory system, followed by Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69) with 27.9% (149).
Neoplasms (cancer) accounted for 29.2% or 495 of all deaths in the ACT. This was followed by External causes of morbidity and mortality (e.g. accidents, poisoning and violence) which accounted for 7.1% or 121 deaths and Diseases of the nervous system with 101 or 6.0%.
In 2008, there were 1,674 marriages registered in the ACT, an increase of 64 from 1,610 marriages registered for 2007.
The crude marriage rate reflects the number of marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population (ERP). The crude marriage rate of the ACT has been lower than that of Australia in recent years. The ACT crude marriage is 4.8 marriages per 1,000 ERP for 2008. Nationally, the crude marriage rate is 5.5 marriages per 1,000 ERP for 2008.
Marriages in which neither party had been previously married accounted for 69% of registered marriages in the ACT in 2008, similar to the proportion recorded the previous year. There were 304 marriages (18%) in which one party had been married previously and 219 marriages (13%) in which both parties were re-marrying.
The median marriage age continued to increase in the ACT in 2008. Over the past 10 years, the median age for males increased from 29.8 years in 1998 to 31.8 years in 2008. Similarly, the median age of females marrying has increased from 27.6 years in 1998 to 29.1 years in 2008.
In the ACT during 2008, the median age at marriage for grooms who had never been married was 29.4 years, while for brides it was 27.7 years. Divorcees who remarried in the ACT in 2008 had median ages of 45.9 years for grooms and 42.2 years for brides. These were comparable with the ages nationally.
The percentage of couples that were living together before marriage has increased over recent years. Of the 1,674 couples who registered a marriage in the ACT in 2008, 81.4% indicated that they had cohabited prior to registering their marriage. This figure was 71.5% a decade ago.
In 2008, 1024 (61.2%) marriages in the ACT were performed by Civil celebrants, while 650 (38.8%) were performed by Ministers of religion. Marriages performed by a Minister of Religion have been decreasing in popularity in favour of a Civil celebrant. In 1989, Civil celebrants performed for 44.2% of all ACT marriages, while in 1998, Civil celebrants overtook Ministers of religion as the preferred officiate. Of the 650 marriages performed by Ministers of religion in 2008, the most common rites used were Catholic (36.3%), followed by Anglican (21.7%).
March was the most popular month for marriages in 2008 in the ACT, with 15.8% of marriages being performed, followed by November with 14.6%. June was the least popular month for marriages, with only 3.0% of marriages taking place in that month. In 2008, the most significant increase occurred during August with a 74.5% increase in the number of marriages due to a large number being performed on the 8/8/08. This was due to the fact that the date has been given special significance in the Chinese community. There were 22 marriages on this date which was the highest number of marriages occurring on a Friday in the ACT throughout the year. The next most popular Friday for marriages to be performed was 29 February 2008 when 11 marriages took place. Saturday 1 March was the most popular day of 2008 to get married in the ACT, with 48 marriage ceremonies being performed on that day.
There were 1,351 divorces registered in the ACT in 2008, an increase 1.4% from the 1,333 registered in 2007.
The state of registration is not considered a reliable proxy for usual residence because some Family Courts have responsibility for hearing divorce cases relating to residents of other states or territories. For example, courts in the Australian Capital Territory hear cases from much of south-eastern New South Wales and parts of Victoria due to the proximity of the court for residents of this area. Due to the large number of divorces granted in the Australian Capital Territory to usual residents of other states and territories, the crude divorce rate and age specific divorce rates of the Australian Capital Territory are not reliable and so are not produced in this publication.
The median age at divorce has continued to increase in the ACT, as it has Australia-wide. In 2008, the median age at divorce increased to 44.9 years for men and 42.4 years for women and an overall increase of 4.0 years for males and 4.5 years for females since 1998. Nationally, the median age at divorce was 44.1 years for men and 41.4 years for women in 2008. This is an increase of 3.6 years for both males and females since 1998.
For couples divorcing in the ACT in 2008, the median duration from marriage to divorce was 13.3 years, higher than the national median duration of 12.3 years. The median duration from marriage to separation was also higher in the ACT at 9.8 years compared with 8.8 years nationally.
In 2008, 40.8% of all divorces applied for in the ACT were initiated jointly, compared with 35.2% nationally. 32.1% of applicants were initiated by females and 27.1% of applicants were initiated by males.
1. United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Statistical Commission Thirtieth Session, E/CN.3/1999/10, p.13, United Nations, 1-5 March 1999.