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Perinatal deaths comprise stillbirths (fetal deaths) and deaths of infants within the first 28 days of life (neonatal deaths). New scope definitions were applied to the perinatals collection in November 2007 to achieve consistency between ABS collections and other external collections. See Perinatal Deaths, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 3304.0) for the new scope definitions and historical data for the years 1999-2006 republished based on the new scope.
Causes of death revisions process
All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2006 are subject to a revisions process. For more information see Explanatory Notes 29-33.
Please note, the revisions process impacts only the causes of death assigned to a record. Where presented, this publication and associated data cubes contain final 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and revised 2011 causes of death data. Data for 2012 is preliminary and will be subject to the revisions process.
In 2012, there were 2,558 perinatal deaths registered in Australia, similar to the number registered in 2011 (2,553). This was 3.1% higher than the number registered in 2003 (2,480).
The number of fetal deaths in 2012 was 1,832, 4.8% more than the number registered in 2011 (1,748). This represented an increase of 11.8% over the last decade (1,638 in 2003).
There were 726 neonatal deaths registered in 2012, 9.8% lower than the number registered in 2011 (805), and a 13.8% decrease from registrations in 2003 (842).
In 2012, there were 1,355 male perinatal deaths and 1,203 female perinatal deaths. The sex ratio was 113 male perinatal deaths for every 100 female perinatal deaths, compared with 118 males per 100 females in 2011.
Footnote(s): (a) Perinatal deaths are all fetal deaths (at least 20 weeks' gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight) plus all neonatal deaths (death of a live born baby within 28 days of birth). See Glossary for further information. (b) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2006-2010 (final), 2011 (revised), 2012 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 29-33 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 (cat. 3303.0) and Causes of Death Revisions, 2010 and 2011 in this publication. (c) Fetal death rates and perinatal death rates are calculated per 1,000 all births for the calendar year. Neonatal death rates are calculated per 1,000 live births for the calendar year. See Glossary for further information. (d) The neonatal count in this publication differs from that previously published for 2011. The total neonatal death count for 2011 has had a net reduction of nine deaths, bringing the total of neonatal deaths down to 805 (compared to the previously published figure of 814). This also affects the total number of perinatal deaths for 2011, and also potentially affects associated rates. See Explanatory Note 99 for further details. (e) The live births data used in the calculation of rates in this graph have been revised to include previously unprocessed NSW birth registrations for the period 2005-2010. Therefore, rates presented in this graph will differ from those previously published for those years. See Appendix: Data Used in Calculating Death Rates, in this publication, for further information.
Source(s): Causes of Death, Australia
Sources of perinatal death data
The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes perinatal death data on an annual basis. Data for this publication are sourced from state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Care should be taken when comparing data in this publication to other available sources of information on perinatal deaths. For example, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publish perinatal death data on an annual basis in the publication "Australia's Mothers and Babies". Data for the AIHW publication are sourced from midwives, and other staff, who collect information from mothers and perinatal administrative and clinical record systems.
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