The increase in life expectancy is one of the factors contributing to the ageing of Australia's population. Death rates have continued to decline over the past 20 years. In 2010, the standardised death rate was the lowest on record at 5.7 deaths per 1000 people. In 1990, the standardised death rate was 8.6 deaths per 1000 people. The infant mortality rate decreased slightly, from 4.3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2009 to 4.1 in 2010.
While there are serious issues with the quality of data, a special chapter on Indigenous mortality indicates that the mortality level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians remains substantially higher than that of the total Australian population.