• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Female all-cause mortality at age 35-69 years:

Australia and selected other countries, 1930-2004

Graph showing Australian, UK, US and Japan mortality, 1930-2003

Comment: Although Australian female middle-age mortality generally decreased throughout the period 1930-2004, between 1962 and 1970 the decline stalled, and mortality in fact increased slightly in most years, and in total over those 8 years by 4%. Mortality resumed a downward course in 1971. In 2004, only five 'countries' had lower middle-age mortality rates than Australia (among 40 countries with data): Japan (274 per 100 000), Hong Kong (281), Spain (296), Greece (314) and Italy (328).

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