Notes on the data: Premature mortality by selected cause - 0 to 74 years

Deaths from external causes, persons aged 0 to 74 years, 2010 to 2014


Policy context:  Deaths from external causes, commonly described as deaths from accidents and injury, are deaths caused by environmental events and circumstances that are external to the body. External causes of death can be classified as 'unintentional', such as transport accidents (the largest number in this category), falls, and accidental drowning or poisoning; 'intentional', such as suicides (the largest number in this category) and homicides; and those which occur due to the complications of medical and surgical care (commonly referred to as 'adverse events') [1].

Deaths from external causes as a proportion of all deaths vary between age groups. Males are more likely to die from external causes than females: in 2007 over two-thirds of the total number of deaths were males, with the difference most notable in the 25 to 34 year age group (in which 879 males died from external causes compared to 238 females) [1]. There are concerns regarding the quality of data on suicides, some of which may have been counted as deaths from other accidental, ill-defined or unspecified causes rather than suicide; and numbers are subject to revision as coronial enquires are completed [1].


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Causes of death, Australia, 2007. (ABS Cat. no. 3303.0). Canberra: ABS; 2009.

Notes:  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes: V01-Y98

For deaths data released since 2007, the ABS has applied a staged approach to the coding of cause of death which affects the number of records available for release at any date. In each release, the latest year’s data is preliminary, the second latest is revised and the data for the remaining years is final. For further information about the ABS revisions process see the following and related sites:


Numerator:  Deaths from external causes at ages 0 to 74 years


Denominator:  Population aged 0 to 74 years


Detail of analysis:  Average annual indirectly age-standardised rate per 100,000 population (aged 0 to 74 years); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio, based on the Australian standard.


Source:  Data compiled by PHIDU from deaths data based on the 2010 to 2014 Cause of Death Unit Record Files supplied by the Australian Coordinating Registry and the Victorian Department of Justice, on behalf of the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the National Coronial Information System. The population is the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for Australia, 30 June 2010 to 30 June 2014.


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