02/07/2007 NOTE: This release corrects the life expectancy at birth and the probability of surviving data for 1993-1995 presented in tables 7.3: Life expectancy, Australia—Selected years and 7.4: Probability of surviving from birth to specific ages, Australia—Selected years, and reissues the publication, originally released on 30 November 2006.
The footnote on graph 2.2: Standardised death rates, States and territories—1985 and 2005, has also been updated.
04/12/2006 NOTE: Incorrect life expectancy at birth data for Statistical Divisions for 2000 was presented in TABLE 4 DEATHS, Summary, Statistical Divisions, 2000-2005, released on 30 November 2006.
These errors have been corrected.
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
This publication brings together statistics for deaths and mortality in Australia. In the main, data refer to deaths registered during the calendar year shown, unless stated otherwise. Populations used in the calculation of rates for 2005 are revised estimated resident population by age/sex at 30 June 2005, unless stated otherwise. State/territory relates to the state/territory of usual residence of the deceased at the time of death, unless stated otherwise. Calculations as shown in the commentary sections are based on unrounded data. Calculations using rounded data may differ from those published.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
Causes of death data in tables 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9 of the 2004 issue have been removed from this issue. No causes of death data will be published in future issues. Causes of death information for 2005 will be published in Causes of Death, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 3303.0), scheduled for release on 14 March 2007.
One feature article is included: Natural decrease in Local Government Areas.
Information from the New South Wales and Queensland Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages indicates that decreases in deaths registered in 2005 for these states are partly due to delays in processing death registrations for 2005. Combined, these states had 2,600 fewer death registrations than were reported in 2004. As a result, the number of deaths registered for Australia overall for 2005 may be underestimated. It is expected that as the backlog in registrations is processed, the number of deaths registered in subsequent periods will increase. See paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Explanatory Notes.
During 2005 it was identified that some death registrations for South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory were not being provided to the ABS in the appropriate year of registration if cause of death information was not available. Registrations for 1 July to 31 December 2004 (41 for South Australia and 26 for the Australian Capital Territory) were subsequently provided to the ABS when cause of death information became available, and have therefore been included in the 2005 death registrations data although they were initially registered in 2004.
As there is undercoverage of Indigenous deaths to some extent in most states and territories, Indigenous age-specific death rates presented in this publication are likely to be underestimates of the true rates. Fluctuations in the level of Indigenous mortality over time partly reflect changing levels of coverage of Indigenous deaths. Given the volatility in measures of Indigenous mortality, caution should be exercised in assessing trends in Indigenous mortality over time.
In commentary based on the statistics in this publication, it is recommended that the relevant statistics be rounded. All data are affected by errors in reporting and processing. Death registration data are also affected by delays in registration. Where necessary, tables have had small values suppressed or randomised to protect confidentiality. No reliance should be placed on statistics with small values.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Paul Lukong on Canberra (02) 6252 5997.
MORTALITY CONTINUES TO DECLINE
- There were 130,700 deaths registered in Australia in 2005, approximately 1,800 (1.4%) less than the number registered in 2004 (132,500). The standardised death rate in 2005 (6.0 deaths per 1,000 standard population) was the lowest on record, slightly lower than that in 2004 (6.3) and down 38.8% from 1985 (9.8).
- Over the past 20 years there has been a decline in death rates for all states and territories. The highest standardised death rate in 2005 was in the Northern Territory (8.6), while the lowest was in the Australian Capital Territory (5.6).
- Information from the New South Wales and Queensland Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages indicates that decreases in deaths registered in 2005 for these states are partly due to delays in processing death registrations for 2005. Combined, these states had 2,600 fewer death registrations than were reported in 2004. As a result, the number of deaths registered for Australia overall for 2005 may be underestimated. See paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
LIFE EXPECTANCY CONTINUES TO INCREASE
- Over the past 20 years life expectancy has improved by 6.1 years for males and 4.5 years for females. A boy born in 2003-2005 can expect to live 78.5 years while a girl can expect to live 83.3 years.
- The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest life expectancy at birth for both males (79.9 years) and females (84.0 years) in 2003-2005, while the Northern Territory recorded the lowest life expectancy at birth for both males (72.5 years) and females (78.2 years).
- In 2003-2005 life expectancy at birth varied between Statistical Divisions (SD) of Australia by up to 12 years. Male life expectancy at birth was highest in Canberra (79.9 years), followed by Melbourne (79.6 years) and Perth (79.5 years). Female life expectancy at birth was highest in South West SD in Western Australia (84.5 years), followed by South East SD in South Australia (84.1 years) and Canberra and Perth (each 84.0 years).
- Male life expectancy was lowest in the Balance of Northern Territory (68.2 years), followed by Kimberley SD in Western Australia (70.2 years) and North West SD in Queensland (72.2 years). Female life expectancy was lowest in Kimberley SD (73.1 years), Balance of Northern Territory (73.9 years) and North West SD in Queensland (77.5 years).
- Among the countries of the world Australia's male life expectancy at birth ranks below Iceland and Hong Kong (each 79 years). Japan, Macao, Sweden, Switzerland and Israel all share with Australia a male life expectancy at birth of 78 years. Australia's female life expectancy at birth ranks below Japan and Hong Kong (both 85 years). Females of Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy and Iceland share with Australia a life expectancy at birth of 83 years.
VARIATIONS IN MORTALITY
- In 2005 there were 1,300 infant deaths (deaths of children less than one year of age) registered in Australia. This was an increase of 120 infant deaths (or 10.0%) over the number registered in 2004.
- The infant mortality rate of 5.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 was slightly higher than the 2004 rate (4.7) and 49.5% lower than the 1985 rate (9.9).
- Of male deaths registered in 2005, 55.1% were in a registered marriage at the time of death, 18.7% were widowed and 14.8% were never married. In contrast, female deaths showed 26.6% were in a registered marriage, 56.5% were widowed and 8.9% never married. This difference is a consequence of the greater longevity of women.
- The median age at death in 2005 was 76.8 years for males and 82.9 years for females, an increase of 5.8 years and 5.0 years over the median age at death for males and females respectively since 1985. This reflects the ageing of the population, as well as improving life expectancy over the period.
- In the last 20 years death rates have declined for both males and females for all ages. The largest proportional decrease in male age-specific death rates occurred in the 10-14 years age group (down 60.5%), followed by those aged 5-9 years (down 57.1%) and 15-19 years (down 56.2%). For females, the 5-9 years age group experienced the largest proportional decrease (down 54.0%), followed by those aged 1-4 years (down 52.8%) and 55-59 years (down 47.4%).
- There is undercoverage of Indigenous deaths to some extent in most states and territories. Indigenous age-specific death rates presented in this publication are therefore likely to be underestimates of the true rates. Fluctuations in the level of Indigenous mortality over time partly reflect changing levels of coverage of Indigenous deaths. Given the volatility in measures of Indigenous mortality, caution should be exercised in assessing trends in Indigenous mortality over time.
- There were 2,100 deaths registered in Australia in 2005 where the deceased person was identified as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both origins (Indigenous).
- Experimental Indigenous life expectancy at birth for 1996-2001 is estimated to be 59.4 years for males and 64.8 years for females.
NEW TIME SERIES OF STATE AND TERRITORY DEATHS DATA
- Time series of deaths and mortality data for the states and territories, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas are now available in spreadsheet format from the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au/>. For more information see paragraph 37 of the Explanatory Notes.