3302.0.55.001 - Life Tables, Australia, 2003 to 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/11/2006   
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LIFE TABLES, Australia

A life table is a statistical model used to represent mortality in a population. A life table is generated from age-specific death rates and the resulting values are used to measure mortality, survivorship and life expectancy.

The life tables in this product are based on deaths and population data for 2003–2005.

The life table depicts the mortality experience of a hypothetical group of newborn babies throughout their entire lifetime. It is based on the assumption that this group is subject to the age-specific mortality rates of the reference period. Typically this hypothetical group is 100,000 in size.

The life tables presented in this product contain four life table functions. These functions are:
lx—the number of persons surviving to exact age x;
qx—the proportion of persons dying between exact age x and exact age x+1. It is the mortality rate, from which other functions of the life table are derived;
Lx—the number of person-years lived within the age interval x to x+1; and
eox—expectation of life at exact age x.

The 2003–2005 life tables were produced by the ABS. The tables differ from those compiled prior to the 1995 edition of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0) in a number of important respects. Firstly, they are based on three years of deaths and population data. This is designed to reduce the impact of year-to-year statistical variations, particularly at younger ages where there is a small number of deaths and at very old ages where the population at risk is small. Secondly, the deaths and population data are based on Australian residents who are physically present in Australia over the three-year period; i.e. Australian residents temporarily overseas are excluded. Thirdly, they have been actuarially graduated on the same principles which were used for the quinquennial Australian life tables prepared by the Australian Government Actuary.

Life tables for the states and territories are produced on the same principles as the Australian life tables. For the years 1994–1996 to 1999–2001 these are available in the Demography (cat. nos. 3311.1–8.55.001) set of publications. State and territory life tables for 2000–2002 are available on request. For state and territory life tables from 2001–2003 onwards, please refer to the other electronic products in this series.

Further information on deaths and mortality statistics can be found in the ABS publication Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0).