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Age standardisation is only appropriate when the following assumptions are met:
If the assumptions above are not met, a more appropriate method for comparison between populations would be to compare the distribution of the variable of interest by age group. For example, unadjusted (non age standardised) data could be output in 10-year age ranges.
Age standardisation techniques were applied to some data in the 2014–15 NATSISS summary publication to remove the effect of the differing age structures for comparisons between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and non-Indigenous populations. The age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is considerably younger than that of the non-Indigenous population. The age standardised estimates are those rates that 'would have occurred' should the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations both have the standard age composition.
The method used to calculate age standardised rates is explained in Reliability of estimates (Technical note), released with the 2014–15 NATSISS summary publication.
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