Thoughts on violence in Australia? How do you think the VDR could be lowered? Feel free to comment below.

Current VDR: 1.4 Life Expectancy: 81

Average VDR over nation’s history: 14.0

Average VDR over current life expectancy: 6.3

Lifetime Chance Of Dying By Someone Else’s Hands (2008 rate): 1/882

Lifetime Chance Of Dying By Someone Else’s Hands (Duration of Life Expectancy): 1/196

Average Military Death Rate over Nation’s History: 10.9

Average Homicide/Execution Rate over Nation’s History: 3.1

Link To Spreadsheets

Category Of VDR# of Years% of Nation’s HistoryYear of Last Occurrence

OBLITERATION1 (.67%) 1916

DECIMATION2 (1.3%) 1918



WATCH YOUR BACK1 (.67%) 1944

HARSH LIVING1 (.67%) 1945


SOME CONCERN12 (8.0%) 1869

LOW LIKELIHOOD27 (18.0%) 1914

PEACEFUL37 (24.7%) 1999

UTOPIA65 (43.3%) 2008

aussie homicide and military death rates

Australia has had a pretty impressive history of non-violence. As the above section shows, 86% of the years in her history placed Australia within the 3 lowest rungs for violent deaths. Australia’s Historical VDR of 14.0 is actually higher than the United States (13.7) however… which begs the obvious question: “Is Australia historically a more violent country?”

The answer is technically, “Yup.” But as the chart above illustrates, the entire history of people violently dying in Australia is dominated by the events of World War 1 and 2. Indeed, it is to their credit that even though her population centers were not in any real danger of invasion during the world wars, Australia really ponied up and sacrificed on the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and Asia for her British mother country when needed most.

austalian battle deaths by war history

Being as isolated as Australia is, it isn’t surprising that she rarely has to duke it out with other countries. World War 1 casualties were particularly harsh, especially given the fact that Australia’s population was less than one fourth of what it is today. Indeed, by my estimates, more people died in WW1 than all other violent deaths throughout Australia’s history combined (starting from 1858 when population crossed over 1,000,000).

Population by year australian history

I don’t know that any two nations on Earth (especially not ones on either side of the globe) share as much of a similar nation building history, and hence violent death history, as Canada and Australia. Both were primarily formed by British interests, and remain to this day UK Commonwealth entities. The military histories of both too are dominated by their participation in British wars. Like Australia, Canada does not have a threat to it’s national borders (unless you consider those pesky Americans), making their enormous contributions in WW1 and WW2 all the more shocking and worthy of regard.

Australia’s major VDR differences lie in the fact that their early history was marred with higher Domestic Manslaughter numbers (in this regard, Australia is similar to the US). To be fair though, my statistics for Canada only begin in 1867, and Canada very well might have had a more violent history during the early 19th and 18th centuries.