Deaths higher than the historical average in April

Media Release

A higher than average number of deaths were recorded in April, continuing the pattern evident at the end of March 2020, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In the second provisional monthly mortality report released today, the ABS found that between January and April this year there were around 44,000 doctor certified deaths. This compares with an average of 42,500 over the previous five years.

Director of mortality statistics at the ABS, James Eynstone-Hinkins said: “The number of deaths between 18 March and 14 April were particularly high, exceeding historic averages by more than 700. The number of deaths then decreased through the remainder of April.”

Deaths from pneumonia were high compared to historic averages from mid-March to mid-April before decreasing towards the end of April. Diabetes deaths were also higher than expected, and remained high through April.

“This sustained increase in diabetes deaths highlights the importance of patients continuing to manage chronic health conditions with their doctor during the course of the pandemic”, Mr Eynstone-Hinkins said.

Comprehensive data and analysis can be found in Provisional mortality statistics (cat. no. 3303.0.55.004), available for free download from the ABS website -

This release is part of a range of additional products produced by the ABS to measure the impact of COVID-19. It is expected the next provisional mortality data for May will be released in late August.

Media notes

  • Data in this report are provisional, are limited to deaths certified by doctors (not coroner referred), are based on date of death and state or territory of registration. Data are not comparable with annual data released in Deaths, Australia (cat. No. 3302.0) or Causes of Death, Australia (cat. No. 3303.0).
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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