3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Sep 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2001   
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Special Article - Deaths of People Aged 25-29 Years (Sep, 2000)

This article was published in Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 2000 (ABS Catalogue number 3101.0).


Over the past 10 years, declining death rates have increased the Australian life-expectancy at birth by around 3 years for males and 2 years for females. In 1997-99 the average life expectancy at birth was 76 years for boys and 82 years for girls. While overall death rates have declined by around one-fifth since 1989, the death rates for people aged 25-39 years have not undergone the same general decline. In 1999, 4,300 deaths (3% of all deaths) occurred in this age group.

Since 1989, the age-specific death rate (ASDR) among 25-39 year olds decreased by 6% overall, from 105 per 100,000 in 1989 to 99 per 100,000 in 1999. The decrease in the male death rate (7%) was more than double that of the decrease in the female death rate (3%). Females aged 30-34 years were the only group for which death rates did not decline (increased by 0.1%).

The ASDR for persons aged 25-39 has not declined steadily over time. Since a peak of 108 deaths per 100,000 population in 1979, the death rate dropped to a low of 95 per 100,000 population in 1984 before rising again to 105 per 100,000 population in 1989. These continuing fluctuations mean that the death rates registered for this age group in 1999 are little different to those which occurred throughout much of the 1980s and 90s.

AGE-SPECIFIC DEATH RATES, Persons Aged 25-39 Years
Time series - Age-specific death rates, persons aged 25-39 years
(a) ASDR per 100,000 population.


In 1999, the leading causes of death among 25-39 year olds were intentional self-harm (21% of all deaths), malignant neoplasms (cancer) (15%), accidental poisoning by, and exposure to, noxious substances (accidental poisoning) (13%) and transport accidents (excluding water, air and space accidents) (12%). For each of these except cancer, the death rate for males was considerably higher than that for females.

Overall, males accounted for more than 70% of all deaths in this age group. Among the leading causes of death, males comprised 82% of all deaths due to intentional self-harm, 80% of deaths due to accidental poisoning and 78% of deaths due to transport accidents, but less than half (47%) of all cancer deaths.


In 1999, death rates for 25-39 year olds varied among the States and Territories with an Australian rate of 99 per 100,000 population. The Northern Territory had the highest rate (207 per 100,000 population), more than twice the Australian rate while the ACT had the lowest rate (91 per 100,000 population).

Death rates of 25-39 year olds, States and Territories

(a) ASDR per 100,000 male or female population aged 25-39 years.


Based on registered deaths in 1999, the ASDRs for Indigenous males and females aged 25-39 were more than three times higher than the corresponding ASDRs for total Australian males and females in this age group.

The four top causes of Indigenous deaths accounted for 32% of all Indigenous deaths compared with 60% for the four top causes of death for all persons aged 25-39. As with the total Australian population, intentional self-harm was the leading cause of death among Indigenous 25-39 year olds, accounting for 9% of all Indigenous deaths in this age group (29 deaths per 100,000 Indigenous population, compared with 20 deaths per 100,000 total population). In this age group the largest difference in death rates was for those dying of ischaemic heart disease (ASDRs of 27 for Indigenous and 4 for total population).

Persons Aged 25-39 Years, 1999
Indigenous and Total Australian Death Rates, persons aged 25-39 years, 1999
(a) Excluding water, air and space.
(b) ASDR per 100,000 population aged 25-39 years.


Further information on deaths of persons aged 25-39 years and deaths in general is available in Deaths, Australia, 1999 (Cat. no. 3302.0) released on 18 December 2000.

1 ICD codes 10th revision: Intentional self-harm (X60-X84), cancer (C00-C97), transport accidents (excluding water, air and space accidents) (V01-V89), and accidental poisoning by, and exposure to, noxious substances (X40-X49).
2 Rates in this section are calculated using the 1996-based Indigenous population projections (low series). See Experimental Projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population 1996-2006 (Cat. no. 3231.0).