This report focuses on Indigenous injury deaths and their causes that occurred over a 5-year period (2011–12 to 2015–16) following the period covered by The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples report (AIHW 2015) and the Indigenous burden of disease report (AIHW 2016a). The report also examines long-term trends in injury deaths over a 15-year period.
- Over the 5-year period 2011–12 to 2015–16, it is estimated that at least 2,145 Indigenous Australians who lived in 5 Australian jurisdictions with adequate Indigenous identification levels (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory) died as the result of an injury—an annual average of 429 deaths. The rate of injury death for Indigenous males was nearly double that for females.
- Over the 5-year period, 706 Indigenous Australians died as the result of suicide—an average of 141 per year. Suicide accounted for around one-third of all injury deaths of Indigenous Australians.
- Over the 5-year period, 430 Indigenous Australians died as the result of Transport crashes— an annual average of 86 deaths. This cause of death represented one-fifth of all Indigenous vi injury deaths. Around two-thirds of transport deaths involved males and, for both sexes, around 4 in 10 deaths occurred between the ages of 25 and 44.
- There were 301 deaths of Indigenous Australians due to this cause over the 5-year period— an average of 60 per year. These poisoning deaths accounted for 14% of all Indigenous injury deaths. Around 6 in 10 of these deaths involved males and, for both sexes, they were most frequent between the ages of 25 and 44.
Indigenous Australians have a relatively high level of mortality with injury being the leading cause of the fatal disease burden (24%). Injury also accounted for 15% of the fatal gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Most injury related deaths are preventable.