Provisional Mortality Statistics Show Decrease in Deaths in Australia for April 2023

The latest release of the Provisional Mortality Statistics by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed a decline in the number of deaths in April 2023 compared to the same month in the previous year. The data, which covers the reference period from January to April 2023, was released on 28th July 2023.

According to the report, there were 14,495 deaths in April 2023, representing a decrease of 2.4% compared to April 2022. Additionally, the death rate for April 2023 stood at 40.3 deaths per 100,000 people, down from 42.6 in April 2022.

One notable observation is the impact of COVID-19 on mortality trends. In May 2023, there were 581 COVID-19 related deaths, showing a notable increase from the 406 deaths recorded in April 2023.

The ABS also announced upcoming changes to the Provisional Mortality Statistics releases. From August 2023, the detailed reports will be released every two months, instead of monthly. This change comes after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Director-General of the World Health Organization declared the end of the pandemic’s emergency phase in May 2023. The ABS will continue to release simple summary mortality statistics every month.

The report also introduced baseline comparisons to provide typical years for comparison. Deaths in 2023 will be compared to both deaths occurring in 2022 and a baseline period consisting of the average number of deaths occurring in the years 2017-2019 and 2021.

The ABS urged caution when interpreting the data, as it does not account for changes in population size and age structures over time. For a more accurate estimate of excess mortality, the ABS released a separate article, “Measuring Australia’s Excess Mortality During the COVID-19 Pandemic Until the First Quarter 2023.”

While the report shows an overall decrease in deaths in April 2023, it also highlights the need for continued monitoring of mortality patterns to understand the impact of various factors, including the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the population’s health.