The ABS causes of death collection includes all deaths that occurred and were registered in Australia, including deaths of persons whose usual residence is overseas. Deaths of Australian residents that occurred outside Australia may be registered by individual Registrars, but are not included in ABS deaths or causes of death statistics.
Data in the Causes of Death collection include Causes of Death information, as well as some demographic items. Causes of Death information is obtained from the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (general deaths), the Medical Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death (perinatal deaths) and the National Coronial Information System (coroner-certified deaths). Causes of Death are coded according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
Issues for causes of death data:
- The primary objective of the owner of the source data can differ from the information needs of the statistical users. Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages and coroners have legislative and administrative obligations to meet, as well as being the source of statistics. As a result, the population covered by the source data, the time reference period for some data, and the data items available in the registration system, may not align exactly with the requirements of users of the statistics.
- There can be differences between the defined scope of the population (i.e. every death occurring in Australia) and the actual coverage achieved by the registration system. Levels of registration can be influenced by external factors and coverage achieved will be influenced by the steps taken by the owners of death registration systems to ensure all deaths are registered. For example, a death certificate may need to be produced in order to finalise certain other legal requirements e.g. finalisation of a person's estate.
- There are eight different registration systems within Australia. Each jurisdiction's registration system, while similar in many ways, also has a number of differences. These can include the types of data items collected, the definition of those collected data items, and business processes undertaken within Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages including coding and quality assurance practices.
Census of Population and Housing data
The Australian Census of Population and Housing is the official count of population and dwellings and collects details of age, sex and other characteristics of the population.
The Census aims to measure the number and key characteristics of people in Australia on Census Night. All people in Australia on Census Night are in scope, except foreign diplomats and their families. Visitors to Australia are counted regardless of how long they have been in the country or how long they plan to stay. Australian residents not in the country on Census Night are out of scope of the Census.
Topics collected by the Census change from time to time. There must be a demonstrated national need for Census data for policy development, planning and program monitoring. Details on the changing content of Censuses from 1911 to 2011 can be found in Appendix 4 of How Australia Takes a Census (cat. no. 2903.0). A copy of the 2016 Census Household Form is included in the Appendix to the Census Dictionary, 2011 (cat. no. 2901.0).
Minimal changes were made to the 2011 Census questions, however there were some major changes in some of the classifications used. The largest of these is the change around geographical units used to output Census data. The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) will be used for the 2011 Census for the first time. Other revised classifications have been used for the coding of occupation, industry, cultural and ethnic groups, language, religion and countries. For more detail see the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0).