Featured reports


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.

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.

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 factsheet 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.

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.

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.

Fourth study of mortality and cancer incidence in aircraft maintenance personnel: a continuing study of F-111 Deseal/Reseal personnel 2016 

Between 1974 and 2000, the Royal Australian Air Force undertook a series of formal Deseal/Reseal (DSRS) programs, alongside informal repair activities, to correct fuel leaks inside the fuel tanks of F-111 aircraft. A number of concerns were raised about health outcomes in personnel who worked on these programs and associated activities. The repair work was suspended in 2000, and a series of inquiries and health studies followed. This report presents the findings of the fourth iteration of a series of studies on mortality and cancer incidence of F-111 DSRS personnel. The report will be a valuable resource for policy makers, program managers and health professionals interested in health outcomes of Australian Defence Force personnel.

Perinatal deaths in Australia 1993–2012 

This report presents an analysis of the statistics for stillbirths and neonatal deaths in Australia for the calendar years 2011 and 2012, as well as selected trend information for 1993–2012. The aim of this report is to gain a better understanding of the characteristics and causes of stillbirths and neonatal deaths in Australia at a population level and identify changes in perinatal mortality over time. This report is one of several components of the National Maternity Data Development Project.

Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011 

This report provides estimates of the non-fatal and fatal burden of disease for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population as well as estimates of the gap in disease burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The disease groups causing the most burden among Indigenous Australians in 2011 were mental and substance use disorders, injuries, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases. Indigenous Australians experienced a burden of disease that was 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. Over one third of the overall disease burden experienced by Indigenous Australians could be prevented by removing exposure to risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, high body mass, physical inactivity and high blood pressure.