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Deaths, Australia

Statistics about deaths and mortality rates for Australia, states and territories, and sub-state regions

Reference period
2019

Key statistics

  • There were 169,301 registered deaths in 2019, an increase of 10,808 since 2018
  • The standardised death rate increased to 5.3 deaths, from 5.1 in 2018
  • Infant deaths increased by 21 deaths to 1,009
Summary statistics
200920182019(a)
All deathsno.140,760158,493169,301
Infant deathsno.1,2619881,009
Standardised death raterate5.85.15.3
Crude death raterate6.56.36.7
Infant mortality raterate4.23.13.3

a. Data for 2019 shows an increase of 10,808 deaths compared with the number of deaths registered in 2018. Victoria recorded the largest increase (5,713 deaths), which included 2,812 deaths from between 2017 to 2019 that had not previously been supplied to the ABS. New South Wales recorded the second largest increase (2,425 deaths) which reflected more timely registration of deaths. Further information can be found in paragraph 23 in the Explanatory Notes.

The standardised death rate (SDR) uses the age distribution of total persons in the Australian population at 30 June 2001 as the standard population. The SDR is expressed as deaths per 1,000 standard population. 

The crude death rate is the number of deaths registered during the calendar year per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June. 

The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths of children under one year of age in a specified period per 1,000 live births in the same period.

Births registered by Indigenous status of the birth(a)

State or territory of usual residenceSexAboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderNon-IndigenousNot statedTotal
NSW
Males3,77946,88427750,940
Females3,58244,14224247,966
Persons7,36191,02651998,906
Vic.
Males88438,10571239,701
Females84835,98069137,519
Persons1,73274,0851,40377,220
Qld
Males3,44928,3242031,793
Females3,40326,5083129,942
Persons6,85254,8325161,735
SA
Males5489,2402049,992
Females5348,7651999,498
Persons1,08218,00540319,490
WA
Males1,37015,69725117,318
Females1,31014,66424716,221
Persons2,68030,36149833,539
Tas.
Males2992,66772,973
Females3192,44452,768
Persons6185,111125,741
NT
Males7021,18111,884
Females6671,10621,774
Persons1,3692,28743,658
ACT
Males1142,74482,866
Females1162,528102,654
Persons2305,272185,520
Aust.(b)
Males11,145144,8511,480157,476
Females10,780136,1491,427148,356
Persons21,925281,0002,907305,832
  1. Limited births data have been included to allow for the calculation of infant mortality rates. Detailed births and fertility data will be released in Births. 
  2. Includes Other Territories.

National

Deaths registered

  • There were 169,301 deaths registered in 2019, an increase of 10,808 from 2018 (158,493)
  • There were more male deaths (88,346) than female deaths (80,955), resulting in a sex ratio of 109.1 male deaths for every 100 female deaths
  • Over three quarters (78.3%) of deaths registered were to usual residents of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland combined.
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a. Data for 2019 shows an increase of 10,808 deaths compared with the number of deaths registered in 2018. Victoria recorded the largest increase (5,713 deaths), which included 2,812 deaths from between 2017 to 2019 that had not previously been supplied to the ABS. New South Wales recorded the second largest increase (2,425 deaths) which reflected more timely registration of deaths. Further information can be found in paragraph 23 in the Explanatory Notes.

Age and sex distribution

  • The distribution of deaths by age and sex reflects males dying at younger ages than females

  • From 0-84 years, there were more male deaths than there were female deaths

  • At age 85-89 years and onwards, more female deaths were recorded than male deaths

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a. Excludes deaths for which age was not stated

Median age at death

The median age at death:

  • was 78.8 years for males and 84.8 years for females
  • for males decreased by 0.1 since 2018
  • for females has remained the same since 2018
  • has increased by 1.0 years for males and 0.9 years for females over the past ten years

Standardised death rate

The standardised death rate: 

  • increased to 5.3 deaths per 1,000 standard population, from 5.1 in 2018
  • declined from 5.8 in 2009 to 5.3 in 2019, with both males and females showing a similar decline
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a. Data for 2019 shows an increase of 10,808 deaths compared with the number of deaths registered in 2018. Victoria recorded the largest increase (5,713 deaths), which included 2,812 deaths from between 2017 to 2019 that had not previously been supplied to the ABS. New South Wales recorded the second largest increase (2,425 deaths) which reflected more timely registration of deaths. Further information can be found in paragraph 23 in the Explanatory Notes.

Crude death rate

The crude death rate: 

  • increased to 6.7 deaths per 1,000 population, from 6.3 in 2018
  • increased from 6.5 in 2009 to 6.7 in 2019

Age-specific death rate

The age-specific death rates were: 

  • higher for males than females for nearly all age groups, with few exceptions
  • under 1 death per 1,000 population for age groups below 30-34 years (except age 0), increased from 45-49 years, then more rapidly from 55-59 years
  • lowest in age groups 5-9 and 10-14 years for both males (0.1) and females (0.1)
  • highest in age group 95-99 years for males (271.6) and 100+ years for females (426.5)

States and territories

Deaths registered

Over three quarters (78.3%) of deaths registered were to usual residents of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland combined.

Deaths registered by state and territory of usual residence
State or territory2009 (no.)2018 (no.)2019 (no.)2019 (%)
New South Wales46,97453,63356,05833.1
Victoria(a)35,64038,23143,94426
Queensland26,31630,86032,47319.2
South Australia12,46813,57113,9178.2
Western Australia12,56614,65215,0428.9
Tasmania4,1884,2874,6632.8
Northern Territory9531,1101,1420.7
Australian Capital Territory1,6482,1272,0331.2
Australia(b)140,760158,493169,301100
  1. Data for 2019 includes 2,812 deaths that had not previously been supplied to the ABS. The majority of these deaths were registered in 2017 and 2018. Further information can be found in paragraph 23 in the Explanatory Note
  2. Includes Other Territories. 

Median age at death

Median age at death was: 

  • highest in South Australia for both males (80.0 years) and females (85.9 years)
  • lowest in the Northern Territory (66.2 years for males and 66.4 years for females)

Standardised death rate

The standardised death rate was:

  • highest in the Northern Territory (7.3 deaths per 1,000 standard population), followed by Tasmania (5.9)
  • lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (4.7) 

Over the past ten years, standardised death rates:

  • declined in all states and territories
  • declined the most in the Northern Territory (0.9 deaths per 1,000 standard population), followed by Western Australia and Tasmania (both 0.8) 
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Infants

Deaths registered

  • There were 1,009 infant deaths (deaths of children aged less than one year) registered (576 boys and 433 girls)
  • This was a 2.1% increase compared with the number registered in 2018 (988)
  • Over the past ten years, the number of infant deaths has decreased overall (with some fluctuations) from 1,261 in 2009

Infant mortality rate

Australia has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

The infant mortality rate was:

  • 3.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with 3.1 in 2018
  • 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009

 

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Deaths registered

  • There were 3,787 deaths registered where the deceased person was recorded as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both
  • Deaths increased by 269 from 2018
  • NSW recorded the largest increase which reflected more timely registration of deaths that occurred in November and December 2019
Deaths by Indigenous status
State or territory of usual residenceAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (no.)Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (%)Non-Indigenous (no.)Non-Indigenous (%)Not stated (no.)Not stated (%)Total (no.)
NSW1,1222.054,22096.77161.356,058
Vic.2540.643,24898.44421.043,944
Qld1,0163.131,38796.7700.232,473
SA2231.613,68098.3140.113,917
WA5783.814,39195.7730.515,042
Tas.681.54,57598.1200.44,663
NT49643.464456.440.41,142
ACT291.41,99898.360.32,033
Aust.(a)3,7872.2164,15297.01,3620.8169,301
  1. Includes Other Territories.

Age and sex distribution

Deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more widely spread across younger age groups, whereas deaths of non-Indigenous people are concentrated in the older age groups. This reflects a younger age profile for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples five state/territory data

Median ages, age-specific death rates, standardised death rates and infant mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included in this commentary for New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory only. These five jurisdictions have been included due to there being evidence of sufficient levels of identification and sufficient numbers of deaths to support mortality analysis. Total five state/territory combines data for these five jurisdictions.

Summary statistics(a)
200920182019
All deathsno.2,2303,2183,435
Infant deathsno.9799113
Standardised death rate(b)rate9.99.19.1
Crude death rate(b)rate44.24.4
Infant mortality rate(b)rate7.25.85.8
  1. Data for Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory (based on state or territory of usual residence) are excluded due to the small numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.
  2. These rates are based on three-year averages. They are calculated for each calendar year and then averaged.

Median age at death

The median age at death for: 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was 60.4 years, up from 56.1 years ten years ago
  • non-Indigenous people was 81.9 years, compared with 80.9 years ten years ago

Age-specific death rate

Age-specific death rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:

  • were higher in all age groups than those for non-Indigenous people
  • declined in most age groups (with the exception of 75 years and over), compared with ten years ago

The broader 25-54 years age group had the highest age-specific death rates compared to the non-Indigenous population.

Standardised death rate

The standardised death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:

  • was 9.1 deaths per 1,000 standard population, lower than 9.9 deaths per 1,000 ten years ago
  • for males fell to 10.3 from 10.9 ten years ago
  • for females fell to 8.1 from 8.9 over the same period
  • was highest in the Northern Territory at 12.9 and lowest in New South Wales at 7.2

Infant mortality rate

The infant mortality rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 

  • was almost twice the rate for non-Indigenous people (5.8 per 1,000 live births compared with 3.0)
  • in the Northern Territory were the highest of the five jurisdictions in both the 2007-2009 (12.2) and 2017-2019 (12.0) periods
  • for all five jurisdictions fluctuated over the ten year period due to the small and variable number of registered infant deaths in these jurisdictions

Deaths by year of registration and year of occurrence

While the interval between the occurrence and registration of deaths is often longer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples than for the non-Indigenous population, there is normally little difference between the number of deaths registered and the number that occurred in a given year. The number of deaths not registered in the year that they occurred are balanced by the number of deaths that occurred in the previous years but were subsequently registered. Data for the latest year will be underestimated if reported on a year of occurrence basis. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths, state or territory(a) of usual residence by year of registration

NSW(b)Vic.Qld(c)(d)SAWATas.NTACTAust.(e)
19994351305291163501139961,976
2000473108535144407845022,127
2001481935651253453242932,072
2002516645901073712046242,136
2003485825691373382343592,079
20044905457913140020449102,136
20055077151914240628454112,141
200653011158412444320452142,279
2007601955941384492446162,368
20085599756214148624467162,353
200959110663216041630431102,377
201062211794814743637447132,767
201172612862914145430437122,558
20126351006781514664553962,620
201375312376517745727489182,811
201479413968816951731562132,914
201582214184216751150537173,088
201685717588417056554443193,168
201785718689722250852504223,250
201896021196322356366509223,518
20191,1222541,01622357868496293,787
  1. Due to differing levels of recording Indigenous status by the states and territories registrars, and over time, care should be taken in interpreting change in numbers of deaths.
  2. NSW recorded the largest increase which reflected more timely registration of deaths, particularly those that occurred in November and December 2019.
  3. Care should be taken when interpreting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths data for Queensland for 2010. See Technical Note: Queensland Retrospective Deaths Project, and Explanatory Note 34.
  4. From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 27.
  5. Includes Other Territories.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths, state or territory(a) of usual residence by year of occurrence(b)

NSWVic.Qld(c)(d)SAWATas.NTACTAust.(e)
19994331055401173481243872,000
20004801156191403841042912,178
2001487815811223682943032,100
2002508646141083842247152,178
20034948359514432422419122,095
2004481556351343911943772,161
20055088154214041632496122,230
200653111759212446216454122,309
2007599945921434622546582,388
20085599755414447523491142,358
200959610962814840933440122,376
201064013363314942535429122,457
201171110565014844432484112,585
20126661136821584524350872,629
201375711674916746529509172,811
201479613471917749730546162,916
201579914884015853350502163,047
201686419884817854053461193,162
201790018592022652956516233,357
201896219595022055163535203,497
20191,01722191319450366326283,269
  1. Due to differing levels of recording Indigenous status by the states and territories registrars, and over time, care should be taken in interpreting change in numbers of deaths.
  2. Includes deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2019. The number of deaths presented on a year of occurrence basis is subject to change, as deaths that occurred prior to 31 December 2019 but have not yet been registered are registered in subsequent years. See paragraphs 24 and 25 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
  3. Care should be taken when interpreting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths data for Queensland for 2010. See Technical Note: Queensland Retrospective Deaths Project, and Explanatory Note 34.
  4. From 2015, deaths data provided by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages include information resulting in an improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification. See Explanatory Note 27.
  5. Includes Other Territories.

Data downloads

Table 1: Deaths, country of birth, Australia - 2019

Table 2: Median age at death, year of occurrence, states, territories and Australia, 2009 to 2019

Table 3: Deaths, summary, Statistical Area Level 4 - 2012 to 2019

Table 4: Deaths, summary, Statistical Area Level 2 - 2012 to 2019

Table 5: Deaths, summary, Local Government Areas - 2012 to 2019

Table 6: Deaths, summary, Remoteness Areas - 2012 to 2019

Table 7: Deaths, Indigenous status, summary, Remoteness Areas, Australia - 2012 to 2019

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3302.0.