Using population census and death registration data linkage in compiling life expectancy estimates for Indigenous Australians
Patrick M. Corr, Australian Bureau of Statistics
Life expectancy estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians are important in assessing Indigenous disadvantage. The compilation of accurate life tables for Indigenous Australians presents particular difficulties due to data quality limitations in both Indigenous population estimates and death registrations. The application of standard life table methods without any adjustments can lead to results with numerator/denominator bias. The Australian Bureau of Statistics used data linkage techniques with the 2006 Australian Population Census to derive Indigenous identification consistency ratios for Indigenous death registrations compiled from vital event registers. This paper presents a summary of the life expectancy results from direct adjustment of the number of Indigenous-identified registered deaths for differential Indigenous identification using the results of the data linkage study and Census-based population estimates adjusted for net undercount and misclassification error. Comparative results are presented from selected other methods and approaches.