COVID-19 deaths

There were 899 deaths due to COVID-19 registered in 2020, accounting for 0.6% of all deaths in Australia. There were slightly more deaths among females (460 deaths, 51%) than among males (439 deaths, 49%). Note that 2020 data presented in this report are preliminary and subject to further minor revisions by the ABS.

The number (and rates) of deaths increased with increasing age; there were no deaths among those aged under 30 and approximately 2% of all COVID-19 deaths were among those aged 30–59, whereas 59% deaths occurred among those aged 85 and over (Figure 4.1).

While deaths due to COVID-19 were registered among residents of every state and territory in 2020, the majority of deaths were among people residing in Victoria (800 deaths, 89%), followed by people residing in New South Wales (60 deaths, 7%).

For the latest statistics on deaths due to COVID-19, see Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports Provisional Mortality Statistics and COVID-19 Mortality in Australia, and ‘Chapter 1 The impact of a new disease: COVID-19 from 2020, 2021 and into 2022’ in Australia’s health 2022: data insights (AIHW 2022 forthcoming).

Figure 4.1: Number of deaths and age-specific rates (per 100,000 population) in Australia due to COVID-19, by age and sex, 2020

This figure shows the number of deaths and age-specific death rates due to COVID-19 registered in 2020 for males and females for each age groups, presented in varying age intervals. The figure shows that for both males and females, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 increased with increasing age. For all age groups under 80 years, there were more deaths among males than among females. For the age groups 80-84 and 85+, there were more deaths among females than males. It also shows that the rate of death due to COVID-19 also increases with increasing age for both males and females. For most age groups (30-39, 60-64, 65-69 and 80-84), age-specific deaths rates for males and females are similar.  However, among age groups 70-74, 75-79 and 85+ males had slightly higher death rates than females.


  1. COVID-19 is coded to ICD-10 codes U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified) or U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified). Only deaths where COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death are included.
  2. A correction was received after ABS publication of Causes of Death, Australia, 2020, therefore the number of COVID-19 deaths registered in 2020 published in this report differs slightly to the number previously published by the ABS.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database (Table S4.1).