3228.0.55.001 - Population Estimates: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/06/2009   
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5.1 Birth and death statistics are an estimate of the number of births and deaths that have actually occurred. They are estimated for two distinct purposes - as a component of population growth in Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) and for analysis of fertility and mortality in Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0) and Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0) respectively.

5.2 Two separate conceptual bases are used for measuring births and deaths - period of registration and period of occurrence. Data by registration are available 5 to 6 months after the end of the reference quarter and are directly measurable (as the registrations close off at the end of the quarter), whereas data by occurrence theoretically never closes so are not directly measurable. The time at which the estimate is required determines which concept is used.

5.3 For preliminary estimates, births and deaths by quarter of registration are used as a proxy for quarter of occurrence. For revised estimates, a factor has been applied to the number of occurrences to allow for those occurrences which were yet to be registered at the time of revision. For final estimates, year/quarter of occurrence data are used.

5.4 The scope of the births and deaths collections are:

  • all births that were live born and were not previously registered
  • all deaths registered for the first time
  • births and deaths to temporary visitors to Australia (including visitors from Norfolk Island)
  • births and deaths that occurred within Australian Territorial waters
  • births and deaths that occurred in Australian Antarctic Territories and other external territories (excluding Norfolk Island)
  • births and deaths that occurred in transit (i.e. on ships or planes) if registered in the state or territory of "next port of call"
  • births and deaths to Australian nationals employed overseas at Australian legations and consular offices (i.e. children born overseas to Australian diplomats or their families)
  • births and deaths that occurred in earlier years that have not been previously registered (late registrations).

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