3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2014   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


This publication presents statistics on the number of deaths for reference year by state or territory of Australia, sex, selected age groups, and cause of death classified to the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Version 10 of the ICD was introduced in 1999, and has been used to code from 1997 causes of death data onwards.

Explanatory Notes and a technical note describing the impact of Causes of Death revisions are presented in this publication. Users should read these notes in order to make themselves aware of any changes in ABS processes.


The Causes of Death publication has previously included a section on potentially avoidable deaths for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders compared with non-Indigenous Australians. A potentially avoidable death is one that could have theoretically been avoided given an understanding of causation, the adoption of available disease prevention initiatives and the use of available health care, for persons aged under 75 years. In this publication, an additional entry has been included in the Underlying Causes of Death by Selected ICD-10 Chapters section, entitled Potentially Avoidable Mortality by Sex. This section provides data at the national level by sex on potentially avoidable deaths. For further details on the causes of death that make up potentially avoidable deaths, see Appendix 3, Avoidable Mortality.


All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2006 are now subject to a revision process. This is a change from previous years where all ABS processing of causes of death data for a particular reference period were finalised approximately 13 months after the end of the reference period. Where insufficient information was available to code a cause of death (e.g. a coroner certified death was yet to be finalised by the Coroner), less specific ICD-10 codes were assigned as required by the ICD-10 coding rules. The revision process enables the use of additional information relating to coroner certified deaths as it becomes available over time. This may result in increased specificity of the assigned ICD-10 codes.

Final data for 2006 to 2010, and revised data for 2011 is published in this release on a reference year basis. Final 2011 data will be published in the 2013 Causes of Death release in March 2015. The revisions process only impacts on coroner certified deaths which remain open at the finalisation of ABS processing. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in the Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 publication, and Causes of Death Revisions, 2010 and 2011 in this publication for further information.


From 2010, perinatal death statistics have been included in Causes of Death, Australia.


This publication draws extensively on information provided freely by the state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and the Victorian Department of Justice who manage the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of vitals statistics published by the ABS would not be available.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.