• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Male mortality at age 35-69 years, overall and for some

main mortality categories: Australia, 1952-2004

Graph showing Australian mortality, 1952-2003

Comment: The decline in all-cause mortality since the early 1970s is almost perfectly paralleled by the decline in vascular mortality (ie, death due to heart disease, stroke etc.), because the decline in vascular mortality over that period in fact accounts for most of the decline in all-cause mortality. (As well, the increase in all-cause mortality between 1955 and 1970 somewhat mirrors an increase in vascular mortality during those years.) Neoplastic mortality (ie, death due to cancer) has been declining since 1986, but much more slowly than vascular mortality, and since 1993, the neoplastic mortality rate has exceeded that for vascular disease.

Method: Mortality rates calculated using data from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Division, then standardised for age (by taking unweighted averages of component rates) and smoothed (as weighted 3-year moving averages). For details, see the Info page.

Caution: Trends can reflect not only changes in disease occurrence or treatment, but also changes in how a cause of death is defined or coded.

WHO mortality rates for particular countries, ages and causes of death