National death data
We can help you access 2 national datasets that are only available through us.
As the appointed Australian Coordinating Registry (ACR), we have the approval of all Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) offices (data custodians) to release these datasets on their behalf to an approved agency or applicant.
You can apply to get this information once only, or on a recurring basis.
Deaths are registered by the state or territory of the death, not by the individual’s usual place of residence. Therefore, if a person who usually lived in Queensland died in New South Wales, the record would be registered in New South Wales.
If you only require data from a single state or territory, apply to:
Fact of death
Fact of death (FOD) is a compilation of death records from each of the data custodians. These files contain full name, date of birth and residential address details of all the people who have died in Australia.
Data files are available from the ACR dating back to 1992.
When provided to an approved agency, this information is used for cleansing administrative data within a database, and can’t be used for research or statistical findings (a separate dataset exists for this).
Eligible applicants are Australian state, territory and federal government agencies only.
We are working to make alternative services available for private sector agencies.
Register your interest
We invite Australian non-government agencies to register their interest in the FOD dataset.
Cause of death unit record file (COD URF)
The cause of death is a snapshot of data, which is compiled and coded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) based on data from the data custodians that is correct as at a point in time.
Data files are available from the ACR dating back to 2006 (final).
There are 3 versions of a year’s data files:
We will only release the most-recent version of the data that is available when you apply. So, once a data file reaches the final stage, we will only release the final version.
When provided to an approved applicant, this information is used for:
- population-based health research and policy development, monitoring or evaluation
- investigating potential projects (i.e. testing hypotheses and pilot studies)
- follow-up and comparison of different treatment regimes
- the study of morbidities and outcomes of specific diseases.
The data available is coded to ICD-10, not ICD-10-AM.
Who are the data custodians
Data custodians (sometimes referred to as data source agencies or data owners) are the agencies responsible for the collection, use and disclosure of information in a dataset. These agencies collect data about individuals under their respective legislation.
Data custodians may grant access to information they maintain, however, they have an obligation to protect the people the information relates to from unjustified intrusion on their privacy.
FOD data custodians
All state and territory RBDM offices make up the collective data custodians, because each contributes data.
COD URF data custodians
Each jurisdictional state/chief coroner, as represented by the National Coronial Information System (NCIS), and all state and territory RBDM offices make up the collective data custodians, because each contributes data.
Who can use this request
Only organisations and institutional or educational researchers can use this assessment request.
Approved use is determined by the ACR, and when deemed necessary the data custodians. Agencies must meet the eligibility requirements for the relevant dataset through an application process administered by the ACR once we have assessed your needs and the best product for you.
The applicant must:
- apply strict protocols to ensure the confidentiality of the information
- have appropriate data security measures and
- undertake the research using de-identified data (where possible).
Family history research
If you are researching your family tree (or a genealogist) and the event took place outside Queensland, contact the interstate or overseas registering authority.
If the event took place in Queensland, search our historical records online for free.
If you need a certificate for an event that is registered outside Queensland, contact the interstate or overseas registering authority to get your certificate.
Purpose of assessment
Submit this request form so we can determine your requirements. We will advise if you may be eligible to receive one of the datasets, and what steps you need to follow from here.
So we can accurately assess your request, tell us specifically:
- what information or data you require
- how you plan to use it
- why you need it.
The details you provide will help us direct you to the most suitable products or services.
What happens next
We try to help all eligible requestors obtain data for their purposes while considering the requirements and access principles.
Before we send you an application, we will assess your request and talk to you about the options that are suitable for your purposes. This ensures that you complete the correct application process to comply with the legislative requirements governing the data.
After you submit this request, we’ll contact you within 10 business days to discuss how our products and services can help you and how much it will cost.
To access the data we hold, you must agree to:
- use it for the public interest—for example, in research that benefits the community or to keep your administrative records up to date
- manage the data in a way that protects people’s privacy.
Some requests may need ethics approval before you can access the data.
For more information
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