Avoidable fatal burden in Indigenous Regions
Indigenous Regions (IREGs) are large geographical units that are part of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (ABS 2016). IREGs do not cross state or territory borders and are defined to cover the whole of geographic Australia. In this report, avoidable fatal burden data were analysed for the 37 IREGs for which mortality and population data were available.
Crude rather than age-standardised rates have been used in this section due to the small First Nations populations in some regions. These small numbers often result in zero counts for a particular cause (by age or sex) and therefore are not suitable for age-standardisation. Because the population structures (by age and sex) of the IREGs are generally similar, crude rates are appropriate to use when comparing avoidable fatal burden between regions.
Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in death records varies geographically and tends to be more accurate in remote and very remote areas. This will affect the rates and rankings shown in this section.
The rate of avoidable fatal burden ranged from 32 AYLL per 1,000 people in Tasmania to 236 AYLL per 1,000 in Kununurra (in Western Australia).
Of the regions with the 10 highest rates of avoidable fatal burden:
- 6 were in the Northern Territory (all the Northern Territory IREGs except Darwin)
- 2 were in Western Australia (Kununurra, Kalgoorlie)
- 1 was in Queensland (Mount Isa)
- 1 was in South Australia (Port Augusta).
Of the regions with the 10 lowest rates of avoidable fatal burden:
- 1 was the Tasmania IREG (the only IREG in Tasmania)
- 2 were in Queensland (Torres Strait and Brisbane)
- 2 were in Victoria (the only 2 IREGs in Victoria)
- 4 were in New South Wales (Sydney – Wollongong, NSW Central and North Coast, South-Eastern NSW, Riverina – Orange)
- 1 was the ACT IREG (the only IREG in the ACT).
Across all IREGs, First Nations males experienced more of the avoidable fatal burden than First Nations females. The proportion of avoidable fatal burden experienced by First Nations males ranged from 51% in Nhulunbuy (in the Northern Territory) to 69% in Tasmania.
For First Nations males, injuries were more prevalent among the top 5 causes of avoidable fatal burden, whereas, for females, chronic conditions were more prevalent among the top 5.
- Around half (46%) of IREGs had 3 or more injuries among the top 5 for First Nations males, compared with 14% of regions for females (17 regions for males, 5 regions for females).
- Over half (54%) of IREGs had 3 or more chronic conditions in the top 5 for First Nations females, compared with a quarter (24%) of regions for males (20 regions for females, 9 regions for males).
Leading causes of avoidable fatal burden in Indigenous Regions
In every IREG, the top 5 causes together accounted for at least half of the total avoidable fatal burden among First Nations people; ranging from 50% in Katherine (in the Northern Territory), Port Augusta (in South Australia) and North-Eastern NSW to 68% in South-Eastern NSW.
- Coronary heart disease was among the 3 leading causes of avoidable fatal burden in 36 of the 37 IREGs (the exception was West Kimberley (in Western Australia), where coronary heart disease ranked 5th).
- Suicide & self-inflicted injuries was among the 3 leading causes of avoidable fatal burden in 31 of the 37 IREGs.
- Looking at the top 5 causes of avoidable fatal burden among First Nations people, in IREGs the AYLL per 1,000 people ranged from:
- 4.7 to 53.4 for coronary heart disease (lowest in the ACT; highest in Tennant Creek (in the Northern Territory))
- 1.4 to 42.5 for suicide & self-inflicted injuries (lowest in Tasmania; highest in Kununurra (in Western Australia))
- less than 0.5 to 12.6 for poisoning (lowest in Port Lincoln – Ceduna (in South Australia) and Torres Strait (in Queensland); highest in the ACT)
- less than 0.5 to 19.9 for COPD (lowest in West Kimberley (in Western Australia) and Tennant Creek (in the Northern Territory); highest in Jabiru – Tiwi (in the Northern Territory))
- less than 0.5 to 20.7 for chronic kidney disease (lowest in Tasmania; highest in Kununurra (in Western Australia).
Tile maps showing the top 5 causes of avoidable fatal burden for each IREG are available under Related materials.
Interactive data on avoidable fatal burden by Indigenous Regions
The interactive data visualisations (Figure 7) present estimates of avoidable fatal burden (AYLL) for Indigenous Regions in 2018. Use the interactive map and table to explore the number or rate of avoidable fatal burden (AYLL) for the top 10 causes by sex.
Figure 7: Leading causes of avoidable fatal burden, by Indigenous Region and sex, First Nations people, 2018
2 interactive visualisations show avoidable fatal burden by selected Indigenous Region.