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Provisional Mortality Statistics, November 2020

Centre for Population analysis of the Provisional mortality statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Reference period: -

The data show that the weekly number of doctor-certified deaths returned to the 2015–19 average at the start of November. Cumulatively, between January and November in 2020, the total number of doctor-certified deaths was slightly lower than the number of cumulative doctor-certified deaths between January and November on average over the previous 5 years. Weekly deaths due to respiratory diseases were lower than the 2015–19 average from late April until mid-November.

Chart 1. Doctor-certified deaths, COVID-19 infections, January-November 2020 versus, 2015-19 average

The weekly number of deaths from January through to mid-May was higher than the 2015 19 average, and higher than maximums observed in previous years from mid-March through to early May. From mid-May through to the end of October the weekly number of deaths fell below the 2015 19 average. Since the start of November, the weekly number of deaths have returned to the 2015 19 average. In the week of 24 November, the number of doctor certified deaths (2,441) was lower for 2020 than for the 2015 19 average (2,563) (Chart1).

Cumulatively, between January and November in 2020, the total number of doctor-certified deaths was slightly lower than the number of cumulative doctor certified deaths between January and November on average over the previous 5 years (126,974 compared with 127,873 or a decrease of 0.7 per cent).

Compared with the 2015-19 average, there have been slightly more cumulative doctor certified deaths between January and November 2020 for males aged over 65 years (an increase of 1.8 per cent) (Chart 2).

Chart 2.Cumulative doctor-certified deaths by age and sex, January-November, 2015-19 average compared with 2020

Cumulative doctor certified deaths to November 2020 were higher in some states and territories compared with the 2015-19 average (for example, 1.3 per cent higher in Queensland), and lower in other states and territories (for example, 9.8 per cent lower in Tasmania) (Chart 3).

Chart 3. Cumulative doctor-certified deaths by state/territory of registration, January-November, 2015-19 average compared with 2020

Cumulative doctor certified deaths due to influenza and pneumonia between January and November 2020 were 37.0 per cent lower compared with the 2015 19 average over the same period, while doctor certified deaths due to dementia between January and November 2020 were 6.4 per cent higher compared with the 2015 19 average over the same period (Chart 4).

Chart 4. Cumulative doctor-certified deaths by specified cause of death, January-November, 2015-19 average compared with 2020

Note: Chart 4 shows the main causes of doctor-certified deaths, and does not sum to total doctor‑certified deaths for the period.

NOTES:
Provisional data in this release only include doctor-certified deaths, and are therefore not comparable with the annual Deaths and Causes of Death data releases (which also include coroner‑certified deaths).

Each new Provisional Mortality Statistics release will include those deaths that have been registered and reported to the Australian Bureau of Statistics since the previous release. As some of those deaths will have occurred in time periods covered in previous reports, the counts of deaths for those time periods will change from one report to the next. As a result, the cumulative numbers of deaths for the January-November period will change in future releases.