• Print

This web report measures and describes the impact of premature mortality in Australia—that is, deaths among people younger than 75.

In Australia, as in most developed countries, the vast majority of deaths occur at older ages. In general, cancers and chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease are the leading causes of death at older ages, while among younger ages injury and poisoning deaths (external causes of death) such as suicide and accidents are more common. Summary mortality statistics are usually influenced by diseases among the elderly and are less reflective of the patterns of deaths in younger age groups.

These web pages are accompanied by 15 fact sheets and 15 GRIM books on leading causes of premature mortality, including coronary heart disease, lung cancer and suicide. Supplementary data tables and PowerPoint slides are also available.

In 2012, there were 49,692 premature deaths in Australia

Premature mortality dash 1: 1 in 3 deaths among people aged <75 PNG

Over 1 in 3 deaths (34%) occurred among people younger than 75.

Premature mortality dash 2: 62% of premature deaths were males PNG

Males accounted for 62% of premature deaths.

Premature mortality dash 3: 1 in 2 deaths were avoidable PNG

1 in 2 premature deaths were considered potentially avoidable.

Premature mortality dash 4: premature death rate decreased by 35% from 1997 to 2012 PNG

35%: the decrease in the rate of premature deaths between 1997 and 2012.

Premature mortality dash 5: 4 in 5 Indigenous deaths among people aged <75 PNG

4 in 5 Indigenous deaths (2008–2012) occurred among people under 75.

Premature mortality dash 5: Australia ranked 10 in OECD PNG

10th: Australia’s rank out of 34 OECD countries for lowest premature mortality due to all causes.

Leading causes of premature mortality in 2010–2012 varied by age group

Premature mortality dash 6: 75% infant deaths were perinatal or congenital PNG

75% of infant deaths (aged less than 1) were due to conditions originating in the perinatal period and congenital conditions.

Premature mortality dash 7: ages 1-14 land transport accident 14% deaths PNG

Land transport accidents were the leading cause of death among children aged 1–14.

Premature mortality dash 9: ages 15-24 over 3 in 4 avoidable PNG

More than 3 in 4 deaths among young people aged 15–24 were considered potentially avoidable.

Premature mortality dash 11: ages 25-44 1 in 5 suicides PNG

1 in 5 deaths among adults aged 25–44 were due to suicide.

Premature mortality dash 12: ages 45-64 breast cancer f chd m PNG

Breast cancer was the leading cause of death among 45–64 year old women and coronary heart disease among 45–64 year old men.

Premature mortality dash 13: ages 65-74 45% premature deaths PNG

45% of all premature deaths were among people aged 65–74.

Information in this section was last updated in October 2015.