How multiple decrements and standard deviations affect Australia’s senior citizens

The ABS most recent publication on Australian mortality experience was released towards the end of May, with the rather noteworthy key point that for the first two months of 2022, all cause mortality is up over 20% compared to normal, Figure 1.

When it comes to vital statistics of mortality, departures of this magnitude are rare, indeed. This represents about two standard deviations (more on that below) over the baseline, which was measured over the seven calendar years to 2021 inclusive. So, I obtained the full set of data from the ABS website to review the results in more detail, given the data are broken down by state, age group, cause of death and by both sexes.

Figure 1. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics )
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20% increase in mortality?

I haven’t yet read the report properly. No doubt many statisticians, demographers and actuaries will be doing so now. It feels to my old actuarial bones that a 20% increase in mortality, relative to trend, is notable. That’s a big deviation. Worth reading in full.


The Russian invasion of Ukraine remains an act of barbarism. It’s a disaster for many, if not most, of the Ukrainians. It’s also a disaster for the Russian people.

A swift capitulation may have been what Putin expected. It didn’t happen. Putin’s reasons for the invasion have been well telegraphed for at least 20 years and so it’s not really a surprise. The surprise is all on the upside if you are in favour of western civilisation, the nation state and energy independence.

There is a struggle underway for global hegemony. Klaus Schwab, Jinping and Putin wanted to be in charge. Unfortunately for that trio, Putin will fall first, Jinping will retreat to ponder and Schwab will die soon enough unfulfilled. He won’t be missed in this quarter.

Putin has shown: the nation state matters. It is still a thing. Culture and history matters. He has also shown that energy matters. Hence the scramble in Europe to fire up coal fired generators that they previously shut down.

Putin has also shown how hard it is to invade. Jinping won’t have missed the lesson.

Putin is almost out of gas. Ukraine will be supported by the West in rebuilding. Russia will be a Chinese vassal. The fourth turning looks likely to turn out well for everyone outside Ukraine, Russia and China.

Update: as at late July, it seems that Ukraine can’t win and Russia is about to achieve what she set out do to.

The latest COVID strain

It’s the Omicron strain. Or as I prefer, the OMG strain. Viruses mutate, particularly so in response to mass vaccination. No surprises in this quarter. This strain is likely to consider both the vaxxed and the unvaxxed as fair game.

Update: increased government restrictions as a result of this strain apply to all people regardless of vaccination status. The UK has gone even further: to remain classed as vaccinated, booster jabs are now to required once every three months. (Cognitive dissonance alert for those readers who prefer government actions to be coherent.)

Australians should be grateful to the US founders

The Australian constitutional convention to establish the Federation in 1901 closely followed the US model that had been established in 1776. We should be grateful for the wisdom and foresight of both. A Federation of States has the advantage of internal constrained competition.

In both the US and Australia, interstate migration is increasing. Victoria is well on the way to self destruction due to decades of Labor government. Whether it’s deliberate or accidental can be discussed. Both are plausible. The end result is the same. Migration out of states like Victoria in Australia and California in the US after leftist government naivety, wilful stupidity or deliberate destruction is on the rise. That couldn’t happen in a one jurisdictional state, such as Austria, for example. The Austrian Government is trying to impose a lockdown on the unvaccinated citizens. Memories appear to be short in Austria. Not even long enough to remember what happened in 1939.

While certain Australian States are doomed, the country is not necessarily so. NSW looks to be a beacon.