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This document was added or updated on 07/11/2018.
Life tables based on assumed improvements in mortality
6 Life tables based on assumed improvements in mortality are produced by the ABS using assumptions on future life expectancy at birth, based on recent trends in life expectancy. These are not the ABS' official life tables and are only used as inputs to ABS population projections. For further information see Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0).
Australian life tables
7 The 2015-2017 national and state/territory life tables have been compiled using the final rebased ERP based on the 2016 Census data.
8 With the release of the 2010-2012 life tables, a small refinement was made to the method to bring Australia's mortality rates (qx values) into line with other comparable countries. The impact of these changes in life expectancy at birth estimates is minimal, though caution should be applied when interpreting changes to life tables over time. For more information, see:
State and territory life tables
9 Life tables for the states and territories are produced on the same principles as the Australian life tables with the exception of the crude death rate, m(x). Crude death rates are smoothed using the Australian life table through the application of the Hodrick-Prescott filter (Hodrick and Prescott, 1977). This overcomes problems associated with excessive noise in the single year of age rates. In addition, some minor smoothing and suppression of outliers is often required to achieve reasonable mortality curves with satisfactory goodness-of-fit statistics.
10 State and territory life tables produced by the ABS are available for:
Statistical Area Level 4 life tables
11 Life expectancy at birth estimates for Statistical Area Level 4s are released for males, females and persons. They have been calculated with reference to state and territory life tables, using the Brass' Logit System (Brass, 1975). These small area life tables are based on age-specific death rates for each area, some of which may be zero where no deaths are recorded at these ages. The Brass' Logit technique enables the calculation of smooth abridged life tables for regions which have deficient age-specific death rates, by adjusting them with reference to a standard life table. The technique does not alter the overall level of mortality, but the age-specific functions of the life table are smoothed.
12 The Brass' Logit technique essentially compares mortality between the regional and standard life tables across ages, then a line of best fit is calculated to describe that relationship by age. The line of best fit is then used in conjunction with the standard life table to determine death rates for the small area life table. For a more detailed description of the Brass' Logit System, see Methods for Estimating Fertility and Mortality from Limited and Defective data (Brass, 1975).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian life tables
13 Life tables for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were published in November 2013 in Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2010-2012 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.003).
14 Estimates of life expectancy at birth for the total population published in Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2015-2017 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.001) are constructed differently to estimates that will be released in Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2015-2017 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.003). Estimates of life expectancy at birth for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population will be derived from abridged life tables with an upper age limit of 85 years and over, using numbers of deaths registered in 2015-2017 and the population as at 30 June 2016. Estimates of life expectancy for the total population are based on complete life tables with an upper age group of 120 years and over, using deaths according to month of occurrence in 2015-2017 and quarterly population estimates. In addition, smoothing processes applied to both sets of life tables differ.
15 The ABS' releases draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. The efforts of each state and territory's Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages to improve the data quality, coverage and timeliness of death registration information, processes and systems are noted and valued by the ABS. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
16 Other ABS products which may be of interest to users include:
17 ABS products and releases are available free of charge from the ABS website <https://www.abs.gov.au>. Click on Statistics to gain access to the full range of ABS statistical and reference information.
ADDITIONAL STATISTICS AVAILABLE
18 More detailed life table information can be obtained from data cubes (in Microsoft Excel format) available electronically, from the Downloads tab of the following releases:
20 For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
21 The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details the products to be released in the week ahead.
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