Context: mortality in humanitarian entrants

Humanitarian entrants face unique challenges in their new country of settlement that put them at a higher risk for some causes of death compared to the general population. A systematic review and meta-analysis found that international migrants had increased mortality due to infectious diseases and external causes compared with the general population in their new country of settlement (Aldridge et al. 2018). Viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were the infectious diseases with increased mortality among migrants, and assaults and deaths of undetermined intent were the external causes with increased mortality among migrants (Aldridge et al. 2018).

There are also reports of concerning rates of suicidality among humanitarian entrants in Australia (Procter et al. 2022). This may be explained by an increased risk of mental distress, despair, hopelessness and suicidal ideation and behaviour due to traumatic events prior to resettlement in Australia and further challenges after resettlement (Procter et al. 2022).

This section includes deaths data from 2007 to 2020. All cause of death data presented are based on underlying cause of death, that is the disease or injury that began the train of events leading to the death, as recorded on the death certificate. The underlying causes of death data presented here are classified using an AIHW-modified version of Becker et al. (2006). For more information on classifying causes of death see Deaths in Australia – Leading causes of death.

Data are presented in this report on:

For information on methods and data sources used in this section see Data sources and methods and Technical notes.


Aldridge RW, Nellums LB, Bartlett S, Barr AL, Patel P, Burns R, Hargreaves S, Miranda JJ, Tollman S, Friedland JS, and Abubakar I (2018) Global patterns of mortality in international migrants: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Lancet, 392(10164):2553–2566, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32781-8.

Becker R, Silvi J, Ma Fat D, L’Hours A and Laurenti R (2006) A method for deriving leading causes of death, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84:297–304, doi:10.2471/blt.05.028670.

Procter N, Posselt M, Ferguson M, McIntyre H, Kenny MA, Curtis R, Loughhead M, Clement N and Mau V (2022) An Evaluation of Suicide Prevention Education for People Working With Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Crisis, 43(3):205–213, doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000777.