Featured reports

Deaths in Australia 

Deaths data is a vital measure of a population’s health, and provides information on patterns in the contributing causes of death by population groups and over time. Examining death patterns can help explain differences and changes in health status, evaluate health strategies, and guide planning and policy-making.

This web report presents updated data to 2016 on deaths, causes of death and life expectancy in Australia.

Incidence of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel 2001–2015: in brief summary report 

This in-brief report summarises results on the incidence of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel using 15 years of data and identifies characteristics that may be associated with risk of suicide. In 2001–2015 there were 325 certified suicide deaths among people with at least 1 day of ADF service since 2001. Of these deaths 166 occurred in the ex-serving population. Ex-serving men aged 18–24 were at particular risk—2 times more likely to die from suicide than Australian men of the same age. Service characteristics that may be associated with the higher rate of suicide in ex-serving men included: involuntary discharge—particularly medical discharge, short length of service (<1 year) and rank other than a commissioned officer.

Latest reports

National suicide monitoring of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel: 2018 update 

From 2001 to 2016, there were 373 suicides in serving, ex-serving and reserve Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel. Compared with all Australian men, the age-adjusted rate of suicide over the period was 51% lower for men serving full time in the ADF, 47% lower for men in the reserves and 18% higher for ex-serving men. In 2014–2016, ex-serving men aged under 30 had a suicide rate 2.2 times that of Australian men the same age.

MyHealthyCommunities: Life expectancy and potentially avoidable deaths in 2014–2016 

This MyHealthyCommunities report presents information on life expectancy and potentially avoidable deaths in 2014–2016 across Australia, by Primary Health Network and smaller local areas (SA3). 

Life expectancy at birth is the number of years a person is expected to live at the time they are born. It is a broad measure of population health. Potentially avoidable deaths are deaths below the age of 75 from conditions that are potentially preventable through primary or hospital care. Rates of potentially avoidable deaths per head of population can be a useful indicator of how well health systems are performing.

Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books 

MORT books are Excel workbooks that contain recent deaths data for specific geographical areas, sourced from the AIHW National Mortality Database. They present statistics by sex for each geographical area, including counts, rates, median age at death, premature deaths, potential years of life lost and potentially avoidable deaths. The workbooks also present leading causes of death by sex for each geographical area.

Perinatal deaths in Australia 2013–2014 

The perinatal mortality rate in Australia in 2013–2014 was low (9.7 deaths per 1,000 births). Perinatal mortality rates increased with low birthweight for gestational age, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander ethnicity and a number of other demographic factors. Perinatal death was most commonly caused by congenital anomaly and spontaneous preterm birth.

Closing the Gap targets: 2017 analysis of progress and key drivers of change 

This report provides detailed information and analyses on the Closing the Gap targets, including the key drivers of change underpinning these targets. This report provides context for policy debate and discussion for the Closing the Gap Refresh, a joint initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Information on this COAG initiative, and additional resources with updated data on the COAG targets are available at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

Spatial analysis of child deaths in New South Wales 

While child mortality rates in New South Wales have declined significantly over the 15 years between 2001 and 2015, there is still a great deal of geographic variation in the number and rate of child deaths. This report presents information on the geographic distribution of child deaths across New South Wales and shows that child mortality rates are higher in more disadvantaged areas, such as those with higher poverty rates, lower school engagement, overcrowded housing and higher rates of developmental vulnerability. 

Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011  

This report quantifies the health impact that alcohol and illicit drug use place on Australia, including as risk factors for other diseases and injuries. It estimates that alcohol and illicit drugs were collectively responsible for 6.7% of Australia’s disease burden in 2011. The report highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups and more remote areas generally experiencing higher rates of disease burden due to alcohol and illicit drug use.

Incidence of suicide in serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel: detailed analysis 2001–2015 

This report examines the incidence of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel in 2001–2015, and identifies characteristics that may be associated with suicide risk. Ex-serving men aged 18–29 have a higher suicide rate compared with Australian men of the same age. Ex-serving men of all ages who were medically discharged, or discharged in ranks other than commissioned officer, were at higher risk of suicide than their peers.

Maternal deaths in Australia 2012–2014 

The maternal mortality rate in Australia in 2012–2014 was 6.8 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth, which is among the lowest rates in the world. The most common causes of maternal death were bleeding in the brain and in the abdomen (non-obstetric haemorrhage). Women over the age of 35 and under 20 were more likely to die in association with childbirth.

Health-adjusted life expectancy in Australia: expected years lived in full health 2011 

Health-adjusted life expectancy reflects the average length of time an individual can expect to live without disease or injury. This report shows that: health-adjusted life expectancy increased comparably to life expectancy; and that people in Remote and very remote areas and people in the lowest socioeconomic group expected both shorter lives and fewer years in full health compared with their counterparts in Major cities and the highest socioeconomic group.

Trends in Indigenous mortality and life expectancy 2001–2015 

This report examines Indigenous mortality and life expectancy during the period 2001 to 2015, based on evidence from the Enhanced Mortality Database. The study observed increases in life expectancy during the study period for both Indigenous males and females across most jurisdictions. Life expectancy however increased faster among non-Indigenous than among Indigenous males and females. As a result, there was little change in the life expectancy gap.

Deaths among people with diabetes in Australia, 2009–2014 

This report uses linked data to provide a more complete understanding of deaths among people with diagnosed diabetes. It highlights that death rates for people with diabetes are almost double those of other Australians and that people with diabetes are more likely to die prematurely. Between 2009 and 2014, death rates fell by 20% for people with type 1 diabetes but rose by 10% for those with type 2 diabetes.

Trends in injury deaths, Australia 1999–00 to 2011–12 

This report focuses on trends in deaths due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999–00 to 2011–12. 
The age-standardised rate of injury deaths decreased from 55.4 to 47.2 deaths per 100,000 between 1999–00 and 2004–05 and changed little after that. Rates of injury deaths involving transport injury and homicide declined from 1999–00 to 2009–10, while rates for most other external cause groups fluctuated over this period. Rates for suicide deaths declined from 1999–00 until 2004–05 and remained relatively steady thereafter.
Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were generally at least twice as high as rates for non-Indigenous Australians over the period from 2001–02 to 2011–12.

Trends in cardiovascular deaths 

Despite falling cardiovascular disease death rates across all age groups in Australia, the rate of decline in younger age groups has slowed in recent decades. This report describes trends in cardiovascular disease death rates (including coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease) by age group using the latest available data. It builds on previous reports where slowdowns in younger age groups were also found.

Firearm injuries and deaths 

This fact sheet examines hospitalisations (2013–14) and deaths (2012–13) that occurred as a result of firearm-related injuries. Over 90% of all firearm-related hospitalisations and deaths occurred among men. Over a third of hospitalised cases were the result of unintentional injury, one-third (33%) resulted from assault, and in almost one-fifth (19%) of cases, intent was undetermined. In contrast, over 79% of deaths resulted from intentional self-harm (suicide), while over 17% resulted from assault (homicide). Rates of firearm-related injuries for deaths fell between 1999–00 and 2013–14.

Life expectancy and disability in Australia: expected years living with and without disability 

Australians are living longer, and their state of health in these years has important implications for population health and wellbeing and for Australia’s health and care systems. Between 2003 and 2015, life expectancy at birth increased for both sexes, and most of this increase corresponded with an increase in years living free of disability and free of severe or profound core activity limitation. Older Australians have also seen increases in the expected number of years living free of disability.

Incidence of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel 2001–2014 

There is strong and increasing public interest in, and concern about, the incidence of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel. A study undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare calculates, for the first time, accurate rates of suicide deaths among ex-serving ADF personnel. This fact sheet presents the preliminary results of this analysis for three ADF populations—serving full-time, reserve and ex-serving personnel—and shows the number of suicide deaths for 2001–2014 and the comparative rate of suicide death for 2002–2014 (for men only, as number of women in the study meant valid comparisons were not possible). Further detailed results are anticipated to be released in mid-2017.