Gladstone has the 8th lowest death rate in QLD
GLADSTONE residents are dying at rates lower than the Queensland average, with figures revealing the region's death rate is among the lowest in the state.
Out of a total ranking of 46 death rates, Gladstone has the eighth lowest.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures have shown a general downward trend in the state's death rates, with a 5% drop in a decade.
In 2003, 6.3 out of every 1000 people died.
Fast forward 10 years to the most recent figures and the rate has dropped to six people out of every 1000.
The rate was lower than the state average in the Gladstone local government area in both years. In 2003, 3.9 Gladstone residents died for every 1000 of the population. By 2013 it had increased to 4.2 for every 1000 people.
But while Gladstone's death rate has increased it is still among the state's lowest.
Despite these low figures, Rural Health Alliance staff said there was still a stark difference in death rates between regional areas and the city.
In 2013, 5.4 people died in Brisbane for every 1000 in the population. While Gladstone's rate was lower than Brisbane's, neighbouring shire Rockhampton's was not.
It was amongst the highest 20 death rates in Queensland, with 8.4 people dying for every 1000.
Rural Health Alliance chief executive Gordon Gregory said Gladstone residents could also be missing out on health benefits.
He said rural health statistics showed people in cities were reaping more benefits from Medicare and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.
"(Regional residents) are missing out on Medicare-funded services at a rate of $2 billion a year," he said.
Mr Gregory also said the further towns were from a city, the more disadvantaged the population, especially when it came to health.
"The very reason for the Rural Health Alliance's existence is because there remains a gap," he said. Mr Gregory said regional and rural areas generally had more elderly residents, more people with a disability and more families with lower incomes.
Uncommon ways to die
Coalworkers' lung disease
Hair colour and hair shaft abnormalities
Exposure to noise
Crushed, pushed or stepped on by crowd or human stampede
Victim of lightning
Contact with scorpions
Prolonged stay in weightless environment
Source: ABS "Causes of Death"
- APN NEWSDESK