Australian death rate hits all-time low

Published: July 17, 2019 13:03:23 | Updated: July 19, 2019 11:30:01

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The rate of death in Australia is the lowest it has ever seen, according to data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on Wednesday.

Data revealed that the rate of death in 2017 was 529 per 100,000 people, a 74-per cent decline since 1907.

Figures showed that the decline has been largely driven by a decreasing number of avoidable deaths, the number of which fell 46 per cent from 193 per 100,000 people to 104 between 1997 and 2017.

In 2017, dementia and Alzheimer's disease was the leading cause of deaths among females, accounting for 11 per cent of the total, reports Xinhua.

Among men, coronary heart disease was responsible for 13 per cent of deaths.

Of the 160,909 total deaths registered in Australia in 2017, 66 per cent were of people aged 75 or over. The median age at death was 78 years for males and 85 years for females.

Since 1907, deaths of children between zero and four years have fallen from 26 per cent of the total to less than 1.0 per cent in 2017.

Alarmingly, suicide was the leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 44.

In the Northern Territory (NT), 76.1 per cent of deaths in 2017 were considered "premature," almost double the national average of 40.3 per cent.

The territory also had a median age at death of 62 years, significantly lower than the average.

Rob Parker, the NT president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), told News Corp Australia that the data was not surprising.

"The key issue again is the Territory has the highest rate of smoking in Australia, diabetes is five times as prevalent and rate of renal disease is way above the national average," he said.

"With higher rates of smoking and alcohol abuse, overconsumption of sugary drinks, all of this potentially contributes to a potentially shorter lifespan."

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