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National Healthcare Agreement: PI 06-Life expectancy, 2018 QS

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term681690
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 30/01/2018

Relational attributes

Indicators linked to this Quality statement:Help on this term

National Healthcare Agreement: PI 06–Life expectancy, 2018 Health, Superseded 19/06/2019

Data quality

Institutional environment:Help on this term

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, see ABS institutional environment.

Death statistics are sourced from death registrations systems administered by the various state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It is a legal requirement of each state and territory that all deaths are registered. Information about the deceased is supplied by a relative or other person acquainted with the deceased, or by an official of the institution where the death occurred.

Timeliness:Help on this term

ABS estimates of life expectancy at birth are calculated for a 3-year period and published on an annual basis.

Accessibility:Help on this term

ABS life expectancy estimates are published on the ABS website (see Life tables, states, territories and Australia, 20142016 (ABS 2017)).

Interpretability:Help on this term

Please view explanatory notes and glossary (ABS 2017) that provide information on the data sources, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

Relevance:Help on this term

Life tables based on assumed improvements in mortality are produced by the ABS using assumptions on future life expectancy at birth, based on recent trends in life expectancy. These life tables are not published by the ABS, they are used as inputs into ABS population projections.

The life tables are current or period life tables, based on death rates for a short period of time during which mortality has remained much the same. Mortality rates for the Australian and state and territory life tables are based on the occurrence of deaths in the 2014–2016 period and the estimated resident population (ERP) at the mid-point of that period. The life tables do not take into account future assumed improvements in mortality.

Life tables are presented separately for males and females. The life table depicts the mortality experience of a hypothetical group of newborn babies throughout their entire lifetime. It is based on the assumption that this group is subject to the age-specific mortality rates of the reference period. Typically this hypothetical group is 100,000 in size.

Accuracy:Help on this term

Compilation of life tables requires complete and accurate data on deaths that occur in a period, and reliable estimates of the population exposed to the risk of dying during that period. These data are required by age and sex so as to calculate age-sex specific death rates.

Information on deaths is obtained from a complete enumeration of deaths registered during a specified period and are not subject to sampling error. However, deaths data sources are subject to non-sampling error which can arise from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data.

Sources of non-sample error include:

  • completeness of an individual record at a given point in time
  • completeness of the dataset (e.g. impact of registration lags, processing lags and duplicate records)
  • extent of coverage of the population (whilst all deaths are legally required to be registered, some cases may not be registered for an extended time, if at all)
  • lack of consistency in the application of questions or forms used by data providers, both through time and between different jurisdictions.

Every effort is made to minimise error by working closely with data providers, the careful design of forms, training of processing staff, and efficient data processing procedures.

ERP is based on Census counts by place of usual residence, adjusted for net Census undercount and the number of Australian residents temporarily overseas on Census night, and backdated from the Census date to 30 June. For post-censal years, ERP is obtained by adding post-censal births, deaths and migrations to the Census ERP.

Coherence:Help on this term

The methods used to construct the indicator are consistent and comparable with other collections and with international practice.

Source and reference attributes

Reference documents:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2017. Life tables, states, territories and Australia, 20142016. ABS cat. no. 3302.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 8 June 2018,

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes National Healthcare Agreement: PI 06-Life expectancy, 2017 QS Health, Standard 31/01/2017

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