How many deaths are there in Australia each year?

Glenn - The Census Expert

Glenn is our resident Census expert. After ten years working at the ABS, Glenn's deep knowledge of the Census has been a crucial input in the development of our community profiles. These tools help everyday people uncover the rich and important stories about our communities that are often hidden deep in the Census data. Glenn is also our most prolific blogger - if you're reading this, you've just finished reading one of his blogs. Take a quick look at the front page of our blog and you'll no doubt find more of Glenn's latest work. As a client manager, Glenn travels the country giving sought-after briefings to councils and communities (these are also great opportunities for Glenn to tend to his rankings in Geolocation games such as Munzee and Geocaching).

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9 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    A cynical person might think the original mortality numbers for Australia were deliberately inflated by so called health experts/ authorities to ensure they could not lose. Terrified politicians had no choice but to fall in line and the economy was sacrificed at the altar of Covid 19. A bit of a catch 22 “You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.”

  2. Alex says:

    “suggested 50,000-150,000 deaths from the virus in Australia. If this happened in the next year it would potentially see an increase of 30% to 100%”

    This line here is what is wrong with the response to covid-19. There are two horrific errors – one, obviously the count is just way, way off. I don’t need to go into much depth here. Two, which is the insidious error, is that we constantly portray Covid deaths as being additional deaths, when looking at countries like Sweden demonstrates there has been very little net excess mortality after they’ve burnt through the first (only?) wave of the pandemic. Covid deaths are being over-reported – deaths with covid, not due to – and a vast majority of these deaths are deaths that would happen in the course of the year anyway, just with a severe forward-harvesting of the season due to the lack of immunity to slow the spread.

  3. Big N says:

    It’s August now, and in the wake of Melbourne’s authoritarian dictatorship, what are the numbers looking like? Every day I see “highest number of deaths recorded!”, then read the article to see them mentioning people from ages 80 to 100. How is this and different to any other years’ winter burden? You should also check out Denis Rancourt’s recent paper that goes through all-cause mortality.

    • D Plowman says:

      Speaking with a Funeral Director about Winter deaths in the aged, he said most people live in an air conditioned environment and Winter numbers of deaths were now about average across the whole year.

  4. Malcolm Read says:

    The question remains unanswered: Why are the deaths being over reported?
    I’m also trying to find raw figures of covid deaths above and beyond so called average death rates

  5. Sheila whittam says:

    It would be great if we could have an update to Your great article about usual deaths in Australia each year among the over 70 s age group … and the comparison with the pandemic.. because you wrote the stats in April 2020 it would be good to see what it looks like now in September! The figures are difficult to compare because leaders didn’t do herd immunity to know what that would look like if we had gone that way, we can only compare with how it looks in other countries! Alan Jones and Tony Abbot are putting a cost the nation on the small number of deaths, which is not of course allowing for bigger numbers if we had not had lock downs. Between a rock and hard place!

    What it does look like is that Australia’s implementation of strict social distancing, contact testing and tracing has reduced the number of cases substantially. It seems unlikely at the moment that the worst case is going to happen, or anything close to it. Our low population density may also be having an impact. The number of deaths at the time of writing (April 17th) stands at 63 people. While each death is a tragedy, this number is not enough to make even a blip in the total deaths numbers for the year. Of course, this may still increase substantially, but even if it were to increase 100-fold, this is only a 3-4% increase in deaths expected for the year. This is the impact of the popular concept of “flattening the curve” in relation to the worst-case scenario.

  6. Bob McKerrow says:

    Victoria had 40,800 deaths in 2018, an average of 111 per day, every day yet out so called leader stands and tells us how many people died OF Covid19. A report on Saturday the 12th of August on Channel 10 news said that deaths in aged care are actually down buy about 1,000 on the same time last year. We are being terrified for purely political purposes.
    The cold hearted leaders in Queensland are the worst and unfortunately the majority of Queenslanders actually believe in what she is doing. This whole episode is bringing death to humanity and the end of people being cordial.
    Really is time that our constitution is looked at and any laws allowing this to happen are revoked.

    • Ray says:

      Aus population 26 million. Deaths in Aus in next 100 yrs.26 million. ÷ by 100 yrs =260,000 per yr ÷ by 52 weeks = 5000 per week. How come our records show approx 100.000 less per yr.

    • Hi Ray – thanks for the comment. That’s a good illustration of how you can’t just assume current population = deaths in the future. Yes, pretty much everyone who is alive now is likely to be dead in 100 years (barring major advances in medical science, which is not out of the question). But each age group has an age-specific death rate and it’s highly age dependent. i.e. the older you are, the more likely you are to die in any given year. Current deaths are a reflection not of the current population, but of the population born many years ago – most people live to over 75, and the population 75 years ago was much smaller, only around 8 million – less than a third of the current total. A large share of that 26 million was born recently or immigrated recently aged in their 20s, so potentially have 50-60 years of life left. While we may reach 260,000 deaths a year in less than 100 years from now, you can’t evenly spread the deaths expected in that time over each year. That’s why we use age-specific death rates in forecasting.

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