Provides an insight into the diseases and factors contributing to life expectancy, potentially avoidable deaths, years of life lost and leading causes of death.
Causes of death data are a significant and important input to health and social policy formulation and planning as well as health related research and analysis. For example, causes of death data provide an insight into the diseases and factors contributing to life expectancy, potentially avoidable deaths, years of life lost and leading causes of death. Causes of death statistics, together with statistics pertaining to births and deaths, make up the ’vital statistics’ component of Australia's civil registration system, providing an important foundation for both population statistics as well as health statistics. Australia, as a member state of the World Health Organization (WHO), supplies data annually to the WHO on deaths by age, sex and cause of death, as compiled from the civil registration system by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In Australia, causes of death statistics are recorded as both underlying causes and multiple causes of death. The underlying cause is the single disease or injury which began the sequence of conditions that resulted in death. Unless stated otherwise, causes of death statistics presented by the ABS refer to the underlying cause. For further information on the way causes of death are compiled, see the Explanatory Notes in this publication.