Indicator 3.14 Deaths from diabetes


In 2018, diabetes contributed to around 16,700 deaths (as an underlying and/or associated cause)—67 deaths per 100,000 population.


After adjusting for age, death rates remained relatively stable from 1997–2018, fluctuating between 53 and 62 cases per 100,000 population (Figure 3.14.1).

Age and sex

Age-standardised diabetes-related death rates increased with age for both males and females. Overall, the age-standardised death rate was 1.7 times as high in males as females (68 and 41 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively) (Figure 3.14.1).

Population groups

In 2018, diabetes-related death rates increased along with the levels of remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage. The rate was twice as high among those living in Remote and Very remote areas as those living in Major cities (103 and 49 per 100,000 population, respectively) and more than twice as high among those living in the lowest socioeconomic areas as those living in the highest socioeconomic areas of Australia (77 and 33 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively) (Figure 3.14.2).

State and territory

Among the states and territories, rates in 2018 were highest in the Northern Territory and lowest in Western Australia (133 and 24 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively). Other states had rates ranging from 49 to 67 deaths per 100,000 population (Figure 3.14.2).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

There were around 629 diabetes-related deaths among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2018, a rate of 86 deaths per 100,000 population. Age-standardised rates were 4 times as high for Indigenous as non-Indigenous Australians (210 and 52 deaths per 100,000 population respectively) (Figure 3.14.2).

About the data

Diabetes is rarely listed as the underlying cause of death. A more complete picture of mortality is obtained by examining both diabetes as the underlying cause and associated cause of death. However, deaths from diabetes are known to be under-reported in national mortality statistics, as diabetes is often omitted from death certificates as a cause of death (Harding et al, 2014).

Deaths registered in 2016 and earlier are based on the final version of cause of death data. Deaths registered in 2017 and 2018 are based on the preliminary version; revised and preliminary versions are subject to further revision by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Explore the data

3.14 Deaths from diabetes (underlying or associated cause), by age group and sex, 1997 to 2018 and by selected population group, 2018

Trends figure 3.14.1 shows deaths from diabetes (underlying and associated cause) remained stable from 1997 to 2018, decreasing from 56 to 53 deaths per 100,000 population. Death rates peaked in 2008 at 62 per 100,000 population. Diabetes deaths were higher among males across all age groups during this period and highest among those aged 85+.

Population group figure 3.14.2 shows the increasing rate of diabetes deaths by age group in 2018 from 15 deaths per 100,000 persons aged 45-54 to around 1,200 deaths per 100,000 persons aged 85+. Males accounted for a higher rate of diabetes deaths across all age groups than females. Diabetes deaths among Indigenous Australians were around 4 times as high as non-Indigenous Australians (210 and 52 per 100,000 population, respectively), with rates being slightly higher among Indigenous males than Indigenous females (216 and 201 per 100,000 population, respectively). Deaths from diabetes increased with both the level of remoteness and socioeconomic burden. Among states and territories, diabetes deaths were highest in Northern Territory, at 102 and 161 per 100,000 males and females respectively. Diabetes deaths were lowest in Western Australia at 31 and 18 per 100,000 males and females respectively.

Visualisation not available for printing

Indicator 3.14 data specifications



Data source


Number of deaths with diabetes listed as an underlying or associated cause of death (ICD-10: E10, E11, E13, E14, O24).

AIHW National Mortality Database (NMD)


Estimated Australian resident population.

AIHW Population Database (sourced from ABS Australian Demographic Statistics and Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians)


Harding JL, Shaw JE, Peeters A, Guiver T, Davidson S, Magliano DJ. 2014. Mortality trends among people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in Australia: 1997–2010. Diabetes Care 37.