Age-standardisation is a method of removing the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures – either different populations at one time or the same population at different times.
Direct age-standardisation was used in this report. The Australian estimated resident population as at 30 June 2001 has been used as the standard population.
The observed value of a rate may vary because of the influence of chance and natural variation. To provide an indication of whether 2 rates are statistically different, 95% confidence intervals can be calculated, and statistically significant differences highlighted.
A 95% confidence interval describes a span of numbers around the estimate which has a 95% chance of including the true value. When comparing 2 groups, if the 2 confidence intervals do not overlap, the reader can be confident that the difference between the groups is real, and not due to chance.
Confidence intervals were calculated for survey data in this report.
Comparisons of regions in this report use the ABS Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2016 Remoteness Structure, which groups Australian regions into 6 remoteness areas.
The 6 remoteness areas are Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote and Migratory. These areas are defined using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index for Australia (ARIA), which is a measure of the remoteness of a location from the services that large towns or cities provide.
In some instances, data for remoteness areas have been combined because of small sample sizes.
Further information on the ASGS is available on the ABS website.
Socioeconomic classifications in this report are based on the ABS Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD). Geographic areas are assigned a score based on social and economic characteristics of that area, such as income, educational attainment, public sector housing, unemployment and jobs in low-skill occupations. The IRSD relates to the average disadvantage of all people living in a geographical area. It cannot be presumed to apply to all individuals living in the area.
For the analyses in this report, the population is divided into 5 socioeconomic groups, with roughly equal populations (each around 20% of the total), based on the level of disadvantage of the statistical local area of their usual residence. The first group includes the 20% of areas with the highest levels of relative disadvantage (referred to as Group 1, most disadvantaged), while the last group includes the 20% of areas with the lowest levels of relative disadvantage (referred to as Group 5, least disadvantaged).
It is possible that not every record in a dataset will correspond directly to one of these socioeconomic areas. Where data do not correspond, they have been excluded from analyses by socioeconomic area.
The IRSD values used in this report are based on the ABS 2016 Census of Population and Housing with the exception of the National Mortality Database. Further information is available on the ABS website.
In this report, comparisons are made between First Nations persons and people who do not identify as First Nations.
People with ‘not-stated’ Indigenous status are excluded from any analysis by Indigenous status.
Population data are used throughout this report to calculate rates. The population data used are estimated resident populations (ERPs) derived from the ABS Census of Population and Housing.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting Australian Government closure of the international border from 20 March 2020, caused significant disruptions to the usual Australian population trends. This report uses Australian Estimated Resident Population (ERP) estimates that reflect these disruptions.
In the year July 2020 to June 2021, the overall population growth was much smaller than the years prior – in particular there was a relatively large decline in the population of Victoria. ABS reporting indicates these were primarily due to net-negative international migration.
This may complicate interpretation of statistics calculated from these ERPs. For example, rates and proportions may be greater than in previous years due to decreases in the denominator (population size) of some sub-populations.
For more information: National, state and territory population, June 2021 | Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Throughout this report, rates of deaths and hospitalisations are age-standardised. In these cases, the standard population used to calculate the age-standardised rate is the Australian ERP as at 30 June 2001.
First Nations populations
The ABS 2016 Census base series B First Nations population projections were used to derive rates (ABS 2019). To calculate non-Indigenous estimates, the First Nations projections were subtracted from the total Australian estimated resident population data.
ABS 2009. Causes of death, 2007. ABS cat. no. 3303.0. Canberra: ABS.
ACCD (Australian Consortium for Classification Development) 2018a. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM)–11th edition. Tabular list of diseases, and alphabetic index of diseases. Adelaide: Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.
ACCD 2018b. The Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI)—11th edition. Tabular list of interventions, and alphabetic index of interventions. Adelaide: Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.
IHACPA (Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority) 2022. Emergency Department ICD-10-AM Principal Diagnosis Short List, accessed 30 November 2022.
WHO (World Health Organization) 2019. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10). Geneva: WHO.