This information paper describes the background and rationale for the 2016 Death Registrations to Census linkage project (previously referred to as the Indigenous Mortality Project). This project involved linking the Census with death registrations to examine differences in the reporting of Indigenous status across the two datasets in order to apply adjustment factors to mortality and life-expectancy estimates.
The 2016 Death Registrations to Census project involved linking twelve months of post-Census deaths data to the 2016 Census. Specifically, deaths date from 9 August 2016 until 28 September 2017, with a slightly longer range than 12 months to allow time for all relevant deaths to be registered and processed. The project attempted to link 177,380 death registrations records to 22,485,854 Census records, which led to 159,657 links, or a linkage rate of 90%.
The aims of this project were to:
- assist in understanding the differences in recording of Indigenous status between death registrations and Census data; and
- assess the under-identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in death registrations records.
The 2016 Death Registrations to Census linkage project expanded on the methods used in the 2011 iteration of the same project. The main enhancements implemented for the 2016 project included:
- use of non-sequential probabilistic linking of 2016 Census data to death records (as opposed to sequential probabilistic linking used in 2011);
- use of alternative address information from Census and Death registrations to improve linkage of records between datasets;
- improved name repair processes, where the rarity of a name was used in evaluating the quality of links established; and
- an enhanced clerical review strategy resulting in higher quality links.