• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Male 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: Between 1955 and 1970, Australian male middle-age mortality rose slowly—in total, over this decade-and-a-half, by about 4%. But, in 1971, a steep and sustained decline began. Nearly a decade earlier than that, in 1963, plummeting Japanese male middle-age mortality fell below Australia's level for the first time in recorded history, but the rate of decline in Japan slowed from about 1990 onwards, and the Australian rate dipped below the Japanese rate again in 1999. In 2004, only the rate among middle-aged Icelandic males (516 per 100 000) was lower than that for middle-aged Australian males (among 40 countries with available data).

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