This report is the second in a series of reports on the health status of Australians who live in regional and remote areas. The principal aim of the report is to answer the question of mortality rates increase with remoteness? A description of mortality is simply one measure of health. Other important aspects of health include how well people feel, levels of fitness, the prevalence of risk factors such as smoking, measures of disability, disease rates, visits to medical practitioners, rates of surgical intervention and so on. These have not been described in this report but have been addressed, at least in part, in the development of a framework for rural health information by the Institute (AIHW 2003d) under the guidance of the Rural Health Information Advisory Committee (RHIAC).