3106.0 - Demography News, Feb 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/02/2003   
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In 2001, 128,540 deaths (66,830 males and 61,710 females) were registered in Australia, 250 more than in 2000 (128,290). There were 2,100 deaths registered in 2001 where the deceased was identified as being of Indigenous origin (Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both origins). The median age at death in 2001 was 76 years for males and 82 years for females (an increase of 6 and 5 years respectively on 1981 median ages). The median age at death for Indigenous males was 52 years and 58 years for females.

Since 1981 the number of deaths has increased by an average of around 1% per year. The steady increase over time reflects the increasing size of the population and, in particular, an aging population. The death rate has declined 5% since 2000 and 36% since 1981, after accounting for the differences in the age structure of the population over the period.

Australia's 1999-2001 life expectancy at birth of 77 years for males and 82.4 years for females is amongst the highest in the world. Regional life expectancy at birth in 1999-2001 for males and females varied across the regions of Australia by up to 11 years. Australia's more rural and remote populations had higher mortality rates and consequently lower life expectancy than populations living in capital cities and other urban areas.

Further details are in Deaths, Australia 2001 (cat. no. 3302.0) and Causes of Death, Australia 2001 (cat. no. 3303.0), released on 10 December.