News

6 September, 2021

Non-Covid related mortality in Australia – 2020-2021


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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regularly publishes data on mortality in Australia. On 25 August 2021, the ABS published its provisional deaths data for measuring changes in patterns of mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic period, between January 2020 to May 2021.

These figures show that compared with the previous 2014-2019 five year period, national mortality has risen by over 6% in both 2020 and 2021 compared with the preceding five years (2015-2019).

Categories that have seen substantial rises in mortality are people with diabetes and dementia disorders.

In relation to March-April 2021 figures, Director of mortality statistics at the ABS, James Eynstone-Hinkins said:

“The number of deaths between 18 March and 14 April were particularly high, exceeding historic averages by more than 700. The number of deaths then decreased through the remainder of April.”

“This sustained increase in diabetes deaths highlights the importance of patients continuing to manage chronic health conditions with their doctor during the course of the pandemic”, Mr Eynstone-Hinkins said.

The following summary information is courtesy of the ABS website:

Australian deaths by week, 30 December 2019 to 30 May 2021

All-cause deaths certified by a doctor

Tracking the number of doctor certified deaths against historical averages for similar time periods provides an initial indication of when excess deaths may occur. This is of particular relevance because of the many potential public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of COVID-19 infections by week in Australia is highlighted alongside total deaths. This is to enable insights into patterns of mortality from all causes of death during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during peak infectious periods.

  • There were 58,515 deaths that occurred between January and May 2021 and were registered by 31 July.
  • This is 3,475 deaths (6.3%) more than the 2015-19 average and comparable to 2020.
  • There was an average of 387.5 deaths per day between January and May 2021, compared to 382.2 at the same point in 2020 and a baseline average of 364.0.
  • For the month of May, there were 12,973 deaths, which is 7.6% more deaths than average, and 5.3% more than in 2020.

For further details, go to the ABS Provisional deaths data for measuring changes in patterns of mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery period webpage.

Sources:

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/provisional-mortality-statistics/jan-2020-may-2021. Accessed 31.08.2021

https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/deaths-higher-historical-average-april. Accessed 31.08.2021


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