Australian Bureau of Statistics. Deaths. Catalogue number 3302.0. Canberra: ABS, latest available year. Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.
Infant mortality rate (IMR)= the number of deaths in children aged up to 1 year per 1,000 live births.Mortality rates were calculated based on registration year of death and registration year of birth and includes NSW residents only.
In order to complete a death registration in Australia, the death must be certified by either a doctor using the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, or by a coroner. Natural causes are predominantly certified by doctors, whereas External and Unknown causes or unaccompanied deaths are usually certified by a Coroner. Approximately 85-90% of deaths each year are certified by a doctor and the remainder is reported to a Coroner. The death is registered in the state in which the death occurred, rather than the state in which the person resides. The Australian Cause of Death Statistics System is outlined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) at https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3303.0Explanatory%20Notes12018?OpenDocument
The ABS have implemented a revision process for Coroner certified deaths. Data are deemed preliminary when published for the first time, revised when published the following year and final when published two years after initial publication. This revision process, and the impact on specific causes are described at https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3303.0Explanatory%20Notes12018?OpenDocument.
The ABS publishes two publications every September concerning deaths in the previous calendar year: Deaths, Australia (Catalogue Number 3302.0) and Causes of death, Australia (Catalogue Number 3303.0), which include breakdowns at the State and Territory level. These are usually published nine months following the most recent reported year.
Prior to 2008, the NSW Ministry of Health obtained data on causes of death of all NSW residents from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This covers deaths registered from 1964 to 2005.
For deaths registered from 2006 onwards, the NSW Ministry of Health receives coded cause of death data from the Australian Coordinating Registry (ACR). The ACR is an agency appointed to coordinate access of coded cause of death unit record data on behalf of the Registrars of Births Deaths and Marriages in each state or territory as well as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and National Coronial Information System. The coordinating registry undertakes the coordination and management of the designated activity. The underlying legal responsibility is retained by the collective Registrars. The coding of the causes of death is still undertaken by the ABS but the process to obtain the data is administered by the ACR.
The ACR provides the NSW Ministry of Health with a unit record file of all deaths, either occurring in NSW or to NSW residents who died interstate, approximately sixteen to seventeen months following the most recent reported year to allow a detailed analysis of deaths data. This analysis includes comparisons of causes of death in NSW by sub-state geographies (e.g. by Local Health District or Local Government Area) and by other dimensions and sub-populations, such as remoteness categories and socioeconomic groups. Causes of death data are also used throughout the NSW public health system for a variety of health system planning, reporting, research and evaluation needs.
There are differences in how deaths data are reported in HealthStats NSW and by the ABS, including differences in how deaths are allocated to specific years and differences in the populations used for calculating rates.
1. Death count by year of registration and by year of occurrence
There is usually an interval between the occurrence and registration of a death which is related to the time of year or whether a death is referred to a Coroner. The registration of deaths which occur in November and December are likely to be delayed until the following year, for example, of all deaths in NSW registered in 2013, 6.9% had occurred in 2012 or earlier (ABS 3302.0).Deaths data reported by the ABS for the latest year are based on the year of registration therefore do not include deaths which occurred in that year but where registration was delayed.
Deaths data reported in HealthStats NSW are based on the year of occurrence of the death to provide a better match for the population denominator when calculating rates. Estimates of missing deaths for the latest year due to delayed registration (i.e. due to time of year or Coronial cases) are imputed for each cause and included in the count reported in HealthStats NSW. A small percentage of death registrations may be delayed for more than one year. All deaths figures reported in HealthStats NSW are updated historically (e.g. in trends) when new data becomes available.
2. Different population projection data
For the calculation of rates, the NSW Ministry of Health uses population projection estimates from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment. The estimated residential populations which are not projected are the same as those published by the ABS and are currently based on the 2016 Census. See Methods associated with indicators in topics Demography (or Population) for further discussion of population estimates.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Deaths, Australia, latest year. 3302.0. Canberra: ABS, . Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3302.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of Deaths, Australia, latest year. 3303.0. Canberra: ABS, . Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Multiple Cause of Deaths, Australia, 1997-2001. 3319.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS, . Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3319.0.55.001
Refer to Australian Bureau of Statistics. Deaths. Catalogue number 3302.0. Canberra: ABS. (any year).
• In 2018, there were 53,456 deaths of residents in NSW. The number of deaths has increased by around 13% in the 10 years since 2009. However, the death rate has decreased by around 12% over this period due to an increasing population.
• The age standardised death rate was 506.4 per 100,000 population in NSW in 2018.
• In 2018 the age-adjusted male death rate was around 46% higher than the female death rate (610.5 compared with 417.0 per 100,000 population respectively). This difference has declined from 52% over the last 10 years since 2009.
• In 2018, there were 294 infant deaths in NSW, which was 2.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate in Australia was 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018.
Infant mortality rate is the number of deaths in children aged up to 1 year per 1,000 live births.
Infant mortality is an important indicator of the health of both pregnant women and newborns, and reflects a number of both social and economic factors, such as average income level, income distribution within a country, and the availability and accessibility of health services. In relation to health services, infant mortality is an indicator of the quality of antenatal care, the effectiveness of obstetric services and the quality of infant care in the hospital and in the community.
The large reductions in infant mortality seen in the first half of the twentieth century were a result of improvements in social and public health conditions, combined with the development of mass immunisation programs and the effective use of antibiotics. More recent reductions in mortality have been attributed to the decline in deaths from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), following national public education campaigns commenced in the early 1990’s that promoted placing babies on their back or side in such a way that they are unable to roll onto their stomach.
Interventions aiming to reduce deaths rates in NSW are embedded in strategies dealing with specific health issues or specific disadvantaged populations.