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Life expectancy and mortality

Death rates

In 2014–2018, the age-standardised death rate for Indigenous Australians was 917 deaths per 100,000 persons (1,036 per 100,000 for males and 813 per 100,000 for females) (AIHW & NIAA 2020).

Death rates among Indigenous Australians generally increased with age, with the lowest rate among children aged 5–14 (17 deaths per 100,000 population). The oldest age group — those 75 and over — died at the rate of 7,251 deaths per 100,000 population (Figure LM 3).


In 2019, there were 3,787 deaths among all Indigenous Australians, with a median age at death of 60.8 years.

The highest rate of deaths among Indigenous Australians occurred in Remote and Very remote areas (13.7 per 1,000 standard population) – 1.8 times the rate of death in Major cities (7.5 per 1,000).

For infants, the death rate in Remote and Very remote areas was 8.6 per live births – 2.1 times the rate of death in Major cities (4.1 deaths per live births) (Figure LM 4).


From 2012 to 2019, age-standardised death rates for Indigenous Australians changed minimally at a national level. However, death rates in Remote and Very remote areas appeared to fall considerably (from 18.9 to 13.7 deaths per 1,000 standard population).

The age-standardised death rates in non-remote areas increased somewhat over the same period (Figure LM 5).