- + Key points: Overview of deaths
• In 2013, there were 49,066 deaths of residents in NSW. The number increased by only around 20% between 1983 and 2013. This is despite an almost 38% increase in the NSW population in that time.
• The age standardised death rate was 528.9 per 100,000 in NSW in 2013. This rate has decreased around 87% over the 30 year period from 1983 to 2013.
• In 2013, the age-adjusted male death rate was 46% higher than the female death rate. This difference has declined from almost 66% in 1983.
• In 2014, there were 318 infant deaths in NSW, which was 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate in Australia was 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014.
- + Background: Overview of deaths
Death or mortality statistics are published at regular intervals in most countries and usually show numbers and rates of deaths by sex, age and other variables. A death rate is an estimate of the proportion of the population that dies during a specified period (Last 2001). In this report it is expressed as the number of deaths per 100,000 population (person-years).
The proportion of older people varies between geographic areas and over time and can therefore influence death rate comparisons within these dimensions. Age-adjustment (also known as age-standardisation) allows for the comparison of death rates across geographic areas and over time after removing the effects of the different age structures in these dimensions.
Refer to the Methods tab for more information.
Death rates in NSW and in Australia
The age-adjusted death rate was 528.9 deaths per 100,000 population per year in NSW in 2013 (preliminary death data, from Australian Coordinating Registry (ACR)). There were 49,066 deaths per year in NSW in this year - 25,237 men and 23,829 women died.
The ABS reported age-standardised death rate in NSW in 2013 was 5.4 deaths per 1,000 people and 5.4 deaths per 1,000 people in the whole of Australia. The ABS reported rate was 5.4 in NSW in 2013 (ABS 3302.0), very similar to the ACR source. Some differences between the ABS figures and those in this report include the fact that the ABS reports deaths by the year of registration and this report uses the year of occurrence as the basis of reporting, which mainly affects numbers in the latest reporting year. Refer to the Methods tab for more information.
Death rates internationally
Death rates from all causes are low in Australia and NSW by international standards. The World Health Organization classifies Australia into an ‘A stratum’, with very low child and adult mortality (WHO 2003). Comparisons by country reveal that the probability of dying between 15 and 60 years per 1,000 population (WHO calculated adult mortality rate) spans from low 50s in selected developed countries to 600-700 in some African counties. Australia’s rate was 61 per 1,000 in 2008, which placed it in fifth (WHO 2010).
Causes of death in NSW by sex and age in 2012 and 2013
The leading causes of all deaths in NSW (after averaging results from the last two years) were cardiovascular diseases followed by malignant neoplasms (or cancers), each contributing around one-third of all deaths. Respiratory diseases and injury and poisonings were distant third and fourth causes of all death, each accounting for less than 10% of deaths.
Analysis by sex and age reveals striking differences between males and females and different ages. One of the main differences is that injury and poisoning is of much greater importance as a cause of death in younger ages in both sexes, but especially in males. It constitutes over 70% of all deaths in males aged 15-24 years and over 50% in females of the same age.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Deaths, Australia 2013. 3302.0. Canberra: ABS, 2014. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3302.0
Last JM (ed). A dictionary of epidemiology. Fourth edition. New York: Oxford University Press. Inc, 2001.
World Health Organization. World health statistics 2010. Geneva: WHO, 2010. Available at: http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/en/index.html
World Health Organization. The world health report 2003 - shaping the future. Geneva: WHO, 2003. Available at: http://www.who.int/whr/2003/en/
- + Interventions: Overview of deaths
Interventions aiming to reduce deaths rates in NSW are embedded in strategies dealing with specific health issues or specific disadvantaged populations.