3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/09/2019   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths

  • There were 3,518 deaths registered in Australia where the deceased person was recorded as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both (see table 1.4).
  • This was an increase of 268 deaths from the number registered in the previous year.

More detail on mortality rates can be found in the ABS.Stat Datasets available to download from the 'Downloads’ tab of this product:
  • Deaths, Year of registration, Indigenous status, Summary data, Sex, States, Territories and Australia
  • Deaths, Year of registration, Indigenous status, Age at death, Sex, Five State/Territory.

1.4 Deaths, Indigenous status - 2018

State or territory
of usual residence
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Non-Indigenous
Not stated
Total
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%
no.

NSW
960
1.8
51 952
96.9
721
1.3
53 633
Vic.
211
0.6
37 844
99.0
176
0.5
38 231
Qld
963
3.1
29 847
96.7
50
0.2
30 860
SA
223
1.6
13 338
98.3
10
0.1
13 571
WA
563
3.8
14 016
95.7
73
0.5
14 652
Tas.
66
1.5
4 210
98.2
11
0.3
4 287
NT
509
45.9
600
54.1
4
0.4
1 110
ACT
22
1.0
2 101
98.8
4
0.2
2 127
Aust.(a)(b)
3 518
2.2
153 913
97.1
1 062
0.7
158 493

(a) Deaths occurred on Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 are included in this publication. See Explanatory Note 5 for more information.
(b) Includes Other Territories.

Deaths by Year of registration and Year of occurrence

The following table presents deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by year of registration and year of occurrence separately for those deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2018. While the interval between the occurrence and registration of deaths is often longer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians than for the non-Indigenous population, there is normally little difference between the number of deaths registered in a given year and the number of deaths that occurred in the same year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This is because for each year, the number of deaths that are not registered in the year that they occurred are balanced by deaths that occurred in the previous years but were subsequently registered. The table below illustrates that if data are routinely reported on a year of occurrence basis, deaths data for the latest year will be underestimated.


1.5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deaths(a), States and territories(b)(c) - 1999 to 2018

NSW
Vic.
Qld(d)(e)
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.(f)

Year of registration

1999
435
130
529
116
350
11
399
6
1 976
2000
473
108
535
144
407
8
450
2
2 127
2001
481
93
565
125
345
32
429
3
2 072
2002
516
64
590
107
371
20
462
4
2 136
2003
485
82
569
137
338
23
435
9
2 079
2004
490
54
579
131
400
20
449
10
2 136
2005
507
71
519
142
406
28
454
11
2 141
2006
530
111
584
124
443
20
452
14
2 279
2007
601
95
594
138
449
24
461
6
2 368
2008
559
97
562
141
486
24
467
16
2 353
2009
591
106
632
160
416
30
431
10
2 377
2010
622
117
948
147
436
37
447
13
2 767
2011
726
128
629
141
454
30
437
12
2 558
2012
635
100
678
151
466
45
539
6
2 620
2013
753
123
765
177
457
27
489
18
2 811
2014
794
139
688
169
517
31
562
13
2 914
2015
822
141
842
167
511
50
537
17
3 088
2016(g)
857
175
884
170
565
54
443
19
3 168
2017
857
186
897
222
508
52
504
22
3 250
2018
960
211
963
223
563
66
509
22
3 518

Year of occurrence(h)

1999
433
105
540
117
348
12
438
7
2 000
2000
480
115
619
140
384
10
429
1
2 178
2001
487
81
581
122
368
29
430
1
2 100
2002
508
64
614
108
384
22
471
5
2 178
2003
494
83
595
144
324
22
419
12
2 095
2004
481
55
635
134
391
19
437
7
2 161
2005
508
81
542
140
416
32
496
12
2 230
2006
531
117
591
123
462
16
454
12
2 307
2007
599
94
592
140
462
25
464
8
2 384
2008
559
97
554
144
475
23
491
14
2 358
2009
596
109
628
147
409
33
440
12
2 375
2010
640
133
633
149
425
35
429
12
2 457
2011
711
105
649
148
444
32
484
11
2 584
2012
666
113
681
158
452
43
508
7
2 628
2013
757
116
749
166
462
29
508
17
2 806
2014
796
134
719
177
497
30
545
16
2 915
2015
798
148
840
157
533
50
501
16
3 044
2016(g)
862
195
845
178
539
53
459
19
3 151
2017
896
178
915
226
525
56
511
23
3 332
2018
864
172
858
198
484
61
376
19
3 033

(a) The death of a person who is recorded as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both on the Death Registration Form and/or the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. For further information see Explanatory Note 28.
(b) State or territory of usual residence.
(c) Due to differing levels of recording Indigenous status by the states and territories registrars, and over time, care should be taken in interpreting change in numbers of deaths.
(d) Care should be taken when interpreting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths data for Queensland for 2010. See Technical Note: Queensland Retrospective Deaths Project, and Explanatory Note 36 in Deaths, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3302.0).
(e) From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 28.
(f) Includes Other Territories.
(g) Deaths occurred on Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 are included in this publication. See Explanatory Note 5 for more information.
(h) Includes deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2018. The number of deaths presented on a year of occurrence basis is subject to change, as deaths that occurred prior to 31 December 2018 but have not yet been registered are registered in subsequent years. See paragraphs 25 and 26 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
Age profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous deaths

  • Deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are more widely spread across younger age groups, whereas deaths of non-Indigenous persons are concentrated in the older age groups.
  • This reflects a younger age profile for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (see graph 1.6).


1.6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths and non-Indigenous deaths, age(a) and sex, Australia, 2018 - Proportion

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian deaths and Non-Indigenous deaths, age and sex, Australia, 2018 - Proportion. Deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are more widely spread across younger age groups.
(a) Excludes deaths for which age was not stated.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander five state/territory data

Median ages, age-specific death rates (ASDRs), standardised death rates (SDRs) and infant mortality rates (IMRs) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are included in this commentary for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory only. These four states and the Northern Territory have been included due to there being evidence of sufficient levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification and sufficient numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths to support mortality analysis. Total five state/territory combines data for these five jurisdictions.

These statistics are based on three-year averages. They are calculated for each calendar year and then averaged.


Median ages
  • The median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory was 60.2 years, up from 55.8 years ten years ago.
  • Median age at death for males increased to 57.7 years from 52.7 years ten years ago, compared with median age at death for females, 63.0 years, 59.2 years, respectively.
  • In comparison, the non-Indigenous median age at death was 82.0 years, compared with 80.7 years ten years ago.
  • The median age at death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians varied across the five jurisdictions. For both males and females, New South Wales had the highest median age at death.
  • Northern Territory had the lowest median age at death for males, whereas Western Australia had the lowest median age at death for females.
  • While the median age at death for non-Indigenous males and females varied across the five jurisdictions, they were consistently higher than medians for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.


Age-specific death rates (calculated per 100,000 estimated resident population)
  • ASDRs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory were higher in all age groups than those for non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Compared with ten years ago, ASDRs for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population declined in most age groups with the exception of 75 years and over age group.
  • For the non-Indigenous population, ASDRs declined in all age groups compared with ten years ago.
  • For five state/territory, the broader 25-54 years age group had the highest ratio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ASDRs to the non-Indigenous ASDRs.


Standardised death rates (calculated per 1,000 standard population)
  • The SDR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for total five state/territory was 9.1 deaths per 1,000 standard population, lower than 10.0 deaths per 1,000 ten years ago.
  • The SDR for males fell to 10.2 from 11.4 ten year ago.
  • Over the same period, the SDR for females decreased to 8.1 from 8.8.
  • The SDR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians varied across the selected states and territory.
  • The Northern Territory had the highest SDR at 13.2 deaths per 1,000 standard population, while New South Wales had the lowest at 6.8 deaths per 1,000.


Infant mortality rates (calculated per 1,000 live births)
  • The total five state/territory IMR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was almost twice the rate for non-Indigenous Australians (5.8 and 3.0 per 1,000 live births respectively).
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander IMRs in the Northern Territory were the highest of the five jurisdictions in both the 2006-2008 (13.5) and 2016-2018 (13.0) periods.
  • All five state/territory IMRs fluctuated over the ten year period due to the small and variable number of registered infant deaths in these jurisdictions.