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Deaths, Australia

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

Reference period
2018

Key statistics

  • There were 158,493 registered deaths, a decrease of 1.5% since 2017.
  • The standardised death rate decreased to 5.1 deaths, from 5.3 in 2017.
  • Infant deaths decreased by 31 deaths to 988.
  • There were 3,218 deaths where the deceased was Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both.
Summary statistics
200820172018
All deathsno.143,946160,909158,493
Infant deathsno.1,2261,019988
Standardised death raterate6.15.35.1
Crude death raterate6.86.56.3
Infant mortality raterate4.13.33.1

The standardised death rate uses the age distribution of total persons in the Australian population at 30 June 2001 as the standard population. 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
Males3,89550,54777455,216
Females3,67047,77268552,127
Persons7,56598,3191,459107,343
Vic.
Males93639,19322540,354
Females79737,12521238,134
Persons1,73376,31843778,488
Qld
Males3,24828,5993831,885
Females3,11426,9013130,046
Persons6,36255,5006961,931
SA
Males5789,0521989,828
Females5378,5661829,285
Persons1,11517,61838019,113
WA
Males1,43215,34134017,113
Females1,29314,51633516,144
Persons2,72529,85767533,257
Tas.
Males3012,54772,855
Females2752,407102,692
Persons5764,954175,547
NT
Males8501,23502,085
Females7931,17201,965
Persons1,6432,40704,050
ACT
Males1062,576502,732
Females982,492522,642
Persons2045,0681025,374
Aust.(b)
Males11,349149,1061,633162,088
Females10,579140,9731,507153,059
Persons21,928290,0793,140315,147
  1. Limited births data has 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 158,493 deaths registered, 2,416 less than the number registered in 2017 (160,909).
  • There were more male deaths (82,320) than female deaths (76,173), resulting in a sex ratio of 108.1 male deaths for every 100 female deaths.
  • Since 2008, the number of deaths registered has increased by around 1.1% per year on average for males and 0.8% per year for females, with year-to-year fluctuations.
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Age and sex distribution

 

  • The distribution of deaths by age and sex reflects males dying at a younger age than females until age 84 years.

  • At age 85-89 years and onwards, females record more deaths than males.

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Median age at death

The median age at death:

  • was 78.9 years for males and 84.8 years for females
  • for males has not changed since 2015
  • for females has decreased slightly from 85.0 years to 84.8 years, back to the same as it was in 2014
  • 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: 

  • decreased to 5.1 deaths per 1,000 standard population, from 5.3 in 2017
  • declined from 6.1 in 2008 to 5.1 in 2018, with both males and females showing a similar decline
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Crude death rate

The crude death rate: 

  • decreased to 6.3 deaths per 1,000 population, from 6.5 in 2017
  • has been relatively stable with the highest rate at 6.8 deaths per 1,000 population in 2008 and the lowest at 6.3 in 2018

Age-specific death rate

The age-specific death rates were: 

  • higher for males than for females for nearly all age groups, with few exceptions 
  • lowest in age group 5-14 years for both males (15.4) and females (14.8)
  • highest in age group 75+ years for both males (7566.0) and females (7193.8)

States and territories

Deaths registered

Over three quarters (77.4%) 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 territory2008 (no.)2017 (no.)2018 (no.)2018 (%)
New South Wales48,78252,77853,63333.8
Victoria35,49739,79138,23124.1
Queensland27,33531,55530,86019.5
South Australia12,61614,05213,5718.6
Western Australia12,75214,49414,6529.2
Tasmania4,2194,7804,2872.7
Northern Territory1,0411,1061,1100.7
Australian Capital Territory1,6972,3202,1271.3
Australia(a)143,946160,909158,493100
  1. Includes Other Territories. 

Median age at death

Median age at death was: 

  • highest in Victoria and South Australia for males (80.1 years) and in Victoria for females (85.4 years)
  • lowest in the Northern Territory (64.7 years for males and 67.9 years for females)

Standardised death rate

In 2018, the standardised death rate was:

  • highest in the Northern Territory (7.2 deaths per 1,000 standard population), followed by Tasmania (5.6)
  • lowest in Victoria (4.7) 

Over the past ten years, standardised death rates:

  • declined in all states and territories
  • declined the most in the Northern Territory (2.3 deaths per 1,000 standard population), followed by Tasmania (1.3) 
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Infants

Deaths registered

  • There were 988 infant deaths (deaths of children aged less than one year) registered (571 boys and 417 girls). 
  • This was a 3.0% decrease compared with the number registered in 2017 (1,019). 
  • Over the past ten years, the number of infant deaths has decreased overall (with some fluctuations) from 1,226 in 2008.

Infant mortality rate

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

The infant mortality rate was:

  • 3.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with 3.3 in 2017
  • 4.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008

 

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Summary statistics(a)
200820172018
All deathsno.2,2152,9883,218
Infant deathsno.10111399
Standardised death raterate10.09.09.1
Crude death raterate4.04.24.2
Infant mortality raterate8.26.25.8
  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 registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.

Deaths registered

  • There were 3,518 deaths registered where the deceased person was recorded as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both. 
  • Increased by 268 deaths from 2017.
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.)
NSW9601.851,95296.97211.353,633
Vic.2110.637,84499.01760.538,231
Qld9633.129,84796.7500.230,860
SA2231.613,33898.3100.113,571
WA5633.814,01695.7730.514,652
Tas.661.54,21098.2110.34,287
NT50945.960054.140.41,110
ACT221.02,10198.840.22,127
Aust.(a)3,5182.2153,91397.11,0620.7158,493
  1. Includes Other Territories.

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 non-Indigenous, there is little difference between the number registered and occurred in a given year. The number of deaths not registered in the year that they occurred are balanced by 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 of usual residence by year of registration

NSWVic.Qld(a)(b)SAWATas.NTACTAust.(c)
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
  1. 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 36.
  2. 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 28.
  3. Includes Other Territories.

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

NSWVic.Qld(a)(b)SAWATas.NTACTAust.(c)
19994331055401173481243872,000
20004801156191403841042912,178
2001487815811223682943012,100
2002508646141083842247152,178
20034948359514432422419122,095
2004481556351343911943772,161
20055088154214041632496122,230
200653111759112346216454122,307
2007599945921404622546482,384
20085599755414447523491142,358
200959610962814740933440122,375
201064013363314942535429122,457
201171110564914844432484112,584
20126661136811584524350872,628
201375711674916646229508172,806
201479613471917749730545162,915
201579814884015753350501163,044
201686219584517853953459193,151
201789617891522652556511233,332
201886417285819848461376193,033
  1. 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 36.
  2. 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 28.
  3. Includes Other Territories.
  4. Includes deaths registered up to and including 31 December 2018. The number of deaths presented on a year of occurrence basis is subject to change, as deaths that occurred prior to 31 December 2018 but have not yet been registered are registered in subsequent years. See paragraphs 25 and 26 of the Explanatory Notes in the Methodology for more information.

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 not included for Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory as it isn't of sufficient quality. Total five state/territory combines data for the other jurisdictions. 

Median age at death

The median age at death for: 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was 60.2 years, up from 55.8 years ten years ago
  • non-Indigenous people was 82.0 years, compared with 80.7 years ten years ago

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 10.0 deaths per 1,000 ten years ago
  • for males fell to 10.2 from 11.4 ten years ago 
  • for females decreased to 8.1 from 8.8 over the same period
  • varied across the selected states and territory
  • was highest in the Northern Territory at 13.2 deaths per 1,000 standard population, and lowest in New South Wales at 6.8 deaths per 1,000

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 the 75 years and over age group, 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.

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 and 3.0 per 1,000 live births respectively)
  • in the Northern Territory were the highest of the five jurisdictions in both the 2006-2008 (13.5) and 2016-2018 (13.0) periods
  • for all five state/territories fluctuated over the ten year period due to the small and variable number of registered infant deaths in these jurisdictions

Data downloads

Table 1: Deaths, country of birth, Australia - 2018

Table 2: Median age at death, year of occurrence, states, territories and Australia, 2008 to 2018

Table 3: Deaths, summary, Statistical Area Level 4 - 2012 to 2018

Table 4: Deaths, summary, Statistical Area Level 2 - 2012 to 2018

Table 5: Deaths, summary, Local Government Areas - 2012 to 2018

Table 6: Deaths, summary, Remoteness Areas - 2012 to 2018

Table 7: Deaths, Indigenous status, summary, Remoteness Areas, Australia - 2012 to 2018