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Hospitalised injury in Australia

Almost half a million people a year were hospitalised in Australia as a result of an injury in 2011–12. The annual number of cases has risen from around 327,000 in 2002–03 to 454,000 in 2011–12. The overall rate of injuries resulting in hospital stays has also risen over recent years by an average of 1% a year since 1999–00.

Most injuries requiring hospitalisation in Australia happen as a result of car crashes, falls, interpersonal violence, sporting and recreational activities, and in work settings. 

These pages summarise key findings about hospitalised injury in Australia based on data about patients admitted to hospital from the National hospital morbidity database. More detailed information on hospitalised injury, including trends over time, can be found in:

Injury by numbers

graphic for injury dashboard - 57% males


people were injured severely enough to be admitted to hospital during 2011–12.

Males comprised 57% of these cases.

graphic for injury dashboard - 1 in 4 over 65

1 in 4

people hospitalised for an injury in 2011–12 were over the age of 65.

graphic for injury dashboard - main causes


of the main causes of injury in Australia are falls and transport accidents.

graphic for injury dashboard - remoteness


Rates of hospitalised injury rise steeply with distance from a major city with the highest rates of hospitalised injury among people who live in very remote regions.

graphic for injury dashboard - Indigenous Australians


Indigenous Australians were twice as likely to be admitted to hospital for an injury than were other Australians.

This finding is influenced by the high proportion of Indigenous people living in remote and very remote regions in Australia.

graphic for injury dashboard - 1 in 10 falls admissions PNG

1 in 10

of all hospital admissions for older Australians were for injuries sustained in a fall.

graphic for injury dashboard - older australians PNG


older Australians were hospitalised in 2011–12 as the result of a fall, most of them women (68%).

graphic for injury dashboard - decline PNG


Rates of injury due to poisoning by pharmaceuticals, poisoning by other substances, and drowning and submersion have fallen since 1999–00.