COUNTRY OF BIRTH
Australia's overseas-born population accounted for 30% of deaths registered in 2009 (42,300 deaths), despite making up only 26% of the resident population in 2009. This reflects the older age structure of the overseas-born population (with a median age of 44.8 years in 2009) compared with the Australian-born population (with a median age of 33.3 years). However, when the older age structure of the overseas-born population is taken into account, migrants generally have lower death rates than the Australian-born population. This is true for nearly all migrant groups.
Indirect standardised death rates (ISDRs) allow comparisons of mortality between populations with different age structures where the population of interest may be relatively small. In 2009, men born overseas had an ISDR of 6.3 deaths per 1,000 standard population, 11% lower than the rate for men born in Australia (7.2). Women born overseas had an ISDR of 4.4 deaths per 1,000 standard population, 14% lower than the rate for women born in Australia (5.1).
For individual birthplaces, ISDRs based on deaths registered in Australia differ markedly. Rates for people born in New Zealand (5.6), the United States of America (6.8) and Western European countries such as Germany (5.4) and the Netherlands (5.6) were similar to that of Australian-born persons (6.0) in 2009, while rates for Southern European birthplaces (Italy and Greece) were lower (5.1 and 4.5 respectively). People born in South-East and North-East Asian countries recorded the lowest ISDRs in 2009: people born in China recorded 3.4 deaths per 1,000 standard population, while people born in Malaysia recorded 3.3 deaths per 1,000 standard population. People born in Japan recorded the lowest ISDR of the selected birthplaces in 2009, with 2.8 deaths per 1,000 standard population (54% lower than the rate for the Australian-born population).
2.8 Indirect standardised death rates
(a), Country of birth - 2009
Of the 42,300 deaths registered in Australia of people born overseas (for whom duration of residence in Australia was known), 67% had resided in Australia for 40 years or more. A further 13% had resided in Australia for 30 to 39 years, and 10% for 20 to 29 years. The remaining 10% of deaths of the overseas-born population were of persons who had resided in Australia for less than 20 years. In 2009, the median duration of residence for deaths registered in Australia of overseas-born persons was 47.2 years.