, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 283-287
Date: 18 Aug 2012

Response: ABS’s comments on ‘Estimating Indigenous life expectancy: pitfalls with consequences’

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This is an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) response to Madden et al.’s paper entitled ‘Estimating Indigenous life expectancy: pitfalls with consequences’, which is published in this issue of the Journal of Population Research. This paper is a critique of the method used by the ABS for compiling life tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The paper claims that ‘the ABS methods have understated Indigenous deaths and so overstated life expectancy’. The purpose of this rejoinder is to ensure that readers are aware of the ABS response to the points raised in the paper.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed themselves collectively to overcoming the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and set a number of high-level targets to achieve this commitment. One of the targets is to close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians (Steering Committee for th