This publication reports sex, age and cause specific death rates in Australia for each year between 1921 and 1988. These rates are summarised by direct age standardisation using the population distribution of people in five year age groups in Australia at 30 June 1988. The cause of death categories used are All causes-chapters I-XVII and the 17 International Classification of Disease (ICD9) Chapters.

Death rates from many causes, and overall, have declined markedly over this period, reflecting underlying changes in disease incidence and survival.