Notes on the data: Aboriginal premature mortality by selected cause

Deaths from all other causes, Aboriginal persons aged 0 to 64 years, 2003 to 2007


Policy context:  Deaths from all 'other causes' include deaths from all causes other than cancer, circulatory system diseases, respiratory system diseases, and external causes. These include deaths such as those from diseases of the kidney and urinary system, gastrointestinal system, brain and nervous system and endocrine system (such as diabetes).


Notes:  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes: All codes excluding C00-D48; I00-I99; J00-J99; andV01-Y98

Concording of data on different boundaries


Deaths data supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) were coded to Statistical Local Area (SLA) boundaries using various editions of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) from 2002 (deaths in 2003) to 2006 (deaths in 2007). These data were concorded to 2006 boundaries using population-based correspondence files at the SLA level supplied by ABS.


The calculation of rates required a population consistent with the period for which the deaths data were recoded: the population decided upon was the average of the June 2003 and 2007 Indigenous population, by age and sex (five year age groups to 60-64 years) by SLA. At the time of calculation of these rates, the only data on which this population could be estimated was Usual Resident Population from the 2001 and 2006 Population Censuses. Initially, the 2001 data were converted to 2006 SLA boundaries using a concordance (provided by ABS) at the Collection District (CD) level which allocated 2001 CDs to 2006 SLAs on a proportional basis: these proportions were applied to the 2001 Indigenous populations at the CD level.

The intercensal estimates for 2004 were determined by progressing the five-year age group cohorts both forward, from 2001, and backwards, from 2006: these two figures were averaged to provide the estimated population for each five-year age group at 2004 (for the 0-4 year age group there was only one estimate (backwards)). This exercise was undertaken separately for males and females, and repeated for 2005: the results for 2004 and 2005 for each five-year age group were then averaged to produce estimates for males and for females: the persons estimate is the sum of these.

This method takes into account both the ageing of the population and the non-demographic intercensal change in the Indigenous population between 2001 and 2006 i.e., the change that cannot be explained by demographic factors (e.g., births and deaths), such as changes overall, and at certain ages, in the propensity to identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Data quality

Almost all deaths in Australia are registered. However, Indigenous status is not always recorded, or recorded correctly. The incompleteness of Indigenous identification (referred to as completeness of coverage) means that the number of deaths registered as Indigenous is an underestimate of the actual number of deaths which occur in the Indigenous population. It should also be noted that completeness of coverage is likely to vary between geographical areas.

While there is incomplete coverage of Indigenous deaths in all state and territory registration systems, some jurisdictions have been assessed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as having a sufficient level of coverage to enable statistics on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mortality to be produced. Those jurisdictions are Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.


Numerator:  Aboriginal deaths from all 'other causes' at ages 0 to 64 years, 2003 to 2007


Denominator:  Estimated Indigenous population aged 0 to 64 years at 30 June 2006


Detail of analysis:  Average annual indirectly age-standardised rate per 100,000 Aboriginal population (aged 0 to 64 years); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio


Source:  Data produced by PHIDU based on deaths data supplied by ABS on behalf of State and Territory Registrars of Deaths for 2003 to 2007; and Estimated Indigenous Population, 30 June 2006 (refer to Notes above).


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