Notes on the data: Child and youth health - Child mortality

Deaths of children aged 1 to 4 years, 2011 to 2015


Policy context:  Infant and child death rates offer insight into the social and environmental conditions in which Australian children grow and develop [1]. Death rates have halved for Australian infants and children under the age of five years over the last two decades, largely as a result of improved neonatal intensive care, increased community awareness of the risk factors for injury and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and reductions in vaccine-preventable diseases through national childhood immunisation programs [1]. However, rates among Indigenous children and children from remote areas remain much higher than the national rate [1]. High rates of infant and child mortality are also strongly associated with social and economic disadvantage [2] [3] [4]. Socioeconomic status affects infant and child survival through a number of proximate determinants including maternal factors (such as age, parity, birth interval), environmental contamination, nutritional deficiency, injury, individual preventive measures and access to effective medical treatment [5].


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). A picture of Australia's children 2009. (AIHW Cat. no. PHE 112.) Canberra: AIHW; 2009.
  2. Collison D, Dey C, Hannah G, Stevenson L. Income inequality and child mortality in wealthy nations. J Pub Hlth Pol. 2007;29(2):114-17.
  3. Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH). Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Final report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Geneva: World Health Organisation; 2009.
  4. Freemantle CJ, Read AW, de Klerk NH, McAullay D, Anderson IP, Stanley FJ. Patterns, trends, and increasing disparities in mortality for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal infants born in Western Australia, 1980-2001: population database study. Lancet. 2006;367(9524):1758-66.
  5. Mosley W, Chen L. An analytical framework for the study of child survival in developing countries. Bull World Health. 2003;81(2):140-45.

Notes:   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 this release, in addition to 2015 preliminary data, 2014 revised data, 2011, 2012 and 2013 final data have been published. For further information about the ABS revisions process see the following and related sites:


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas

Numerator:  Deaths of children aged 1 to 4 years


Denominator:  Children aged 1 to 4 years


Detail of analysis:  Average annual rate per 100,000 population (aged 1 to 4 years); and/or ratio, based on the Australian standard.


Source:  Data compiled by PHIDU from 2011 to 2015 deaths data produced as a consultancy by ABS on behalf of the State and Territory Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The population is the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for Australia, 30 June 2011 to 30 June 2015.


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