3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/11/2007   
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This publication brings together statistics on deaths and mortality in Australia. In the main, statistics refer to deaths registered during the calendar year shown, unless stated otherwise. Populations used in the calculation of rates for 2006 are preliminary estimated resident population by age and sex at 30 June 2006. State/territory relates to the state/territory of usual residence of the deceased at the time of death, unless stated otherwise.


Mortality rates from 2002 to 2005 have been revised using updated population data based on results of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2001 Census of Population and Housing has been removed from table 4.5, Regional Patterns of Mortality. For SEIFA 2001, see table 4.5 in Deaths, Australia, 2005 (cat. no 3302.0). SEIFA 2006 will be available in 2008.


As there is undercoverage of Indigenous deaths 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.


Calculations as shown in the commentary sections of this publication are based on unrounded figures. Calculations using rounded figures may differ from those published.

It is recommended that when using information presented in this publication, 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. As a result, sums of components may not add to totals.


Time series of deaths and mortality data for the states and territories, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas are available in spreadsheet format from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website <https://www.abs.gov.au/>. For more information see paragraph 32 of the Explanatory Notes.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Ian Appleby on Canberra (02) 6252 5406.



  • There were 133,700 deaths registered in Australia in 2006, approximately 3,000 (2.3%) more than the number registered in 2005 (130,700). The standardised death rate in 2006 (6.0 deaths per 1,000 standard population) was the lowest on record.
  • Over the past 20 years, standardised death rates have decreased for all states and territories.
  • The highest standardised death rate in 2006 was in the Northern Territory (8.7 deaths per 1,000 standard population), while the lowest was in the Australian Capital Territory (5.5).

  • Over the past 20 years life expectancy has improved by 5.8 years for males and 4.3 years for females. A boy born in 2004–2006 can expect to live 78.7 years while a girl can expect to live 83.5 years.
  • The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest life expectancy at birth for both males (80.0 years) and females (83.9 years) in 2004–2006, while the Northern Territory recorded the lowest life expectancy at birth for both males (72.1 years) and females (78.1 years).
  • In 2004–2006 life expectancy at birth varied between the Statistical Divisions (SDs) of Australia by approximately 12 years for males and 13 years for females. Male life expectancy at birth was highest in Melbourne and Canberra (both 80.0 years). Female life expectancy at birth was highest in Sunshine Coast SD in Queensland (84.7 years), Upper Great Southern SD in Western Australia (84.6 years) and Perth (84.4 years).
  • Male life expectancy was lowest in Kimberley SD in Western Australia (68.2 years), followed by Northern Territory Balance SD (68.3 years) and North West SD in Queensland (70.9 years). Female life expectancy was also lowest in Kimberley SD in Western Australia (72.9 years), Northern Territory Balance SD (74.3 years) and North West SD in Queensland (76.9 years).
  • Australia's life expectancy is ranked among the highest in the world. Australia's male life expectancy at birth ranks fifth, below Iceland, Hong Kong, Japan and Switzerland. Australia's female life expectancy at birth is ranked sixth, below Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Spain and France.

  • In 2006 there were 1,300 infant deaths (deaths of children less than one year of age) registered in Australia. This was a decrease of 40 infant deaths (or 3.1%) over the number registered in 2005.
  • The infant mortality rate of 4.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2006 was 5% lower than the 2005 rate (5.0) and 46% lower than the 1986 rate (8.8).
  • Of male deaths registered in 2006, 56% were in a registered marriage at the time of death, 19% were widowed and 15% were never married. Of female deaths registered in 2006, 26% were in a registered marriage, 57% were widowed and 8% never married. These differences are a consequence of the greater longevity of women.
  • The median age at death in 2006 was 77.3 years for males and 83.3 years for females, an increase of 6.2 years and 5.7 years over the median age at death for males and females respectively since 1986. 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 1–4 years age group (down 60%), followed by males aged 10–14 years (down 57%) and 5–9 years (down 56%). For females, the 10–14 years age group experienced the largest proportional decrease (down 56%), followed by females aged 1–4 years (down 51%) and infants (down 48%).

  • There were 2,300 deaths registered in Australia in 2006 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.