AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Juvenile justice Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data catalogue Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Burden of disease Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability eHealth Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals
Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG
NMDD NMDS NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduate Program
Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Australians are generally healthy, with the majority feeling positive about their quality of life, according to the latest national report card on health released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
But most Australians also have at least one health risk factor that is likely to contribute to poorer future health.
Australia’s health 2012, launched today by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek in Canberra, brings together the latest statistics and information on health.
AIHW Director and CEO David Kalisch said that while good health is always good news, there are challenges ahead to maintain an overall healthy population.
‘Australia compares well internationally: we enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world—79.5 years for men and 84.0 years for women—our level of smoking continues to fall, and most children are fully immunised,’ Mr Kalisch said.
‘However, there are several areas where Australia compares less favourably. For example, among developed countries, Australia has relatively high death rates from heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
‘And Australia has one of the highest rates of obesity: the latest figures show, 1 in 4 Australian adults and 1 in 12 children were obese.’
Australia’s health 2012 shows that all Australians have at least one risk factor for poor health, and about 1 in 7 people have five or more risk factors. The most common combination of risks was inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption with insufficient physical activity.
‘Many Australians eat too few vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals, and eat too many foods high in fat, sugar and salt. And almost 60% of Australians over 15 don’t do enough physical activity to benefit their health.’
High levels of health risk factors are common among socially disadvantaged people, people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those living in rural areas.
‘Most Australians rate their health highly—about 85% of people aged 15 and over rate their health as good or better,’ Mr Kalisch said.
‘The proportion rating their health highly is not the same across all population groups. For example, 61% of people who were unemployed for a year or more rated their healthy highly, compared with 91% of employed people. And the rating generally decreases with age.’
‘In the next two decades, the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to nearly double, and the number aged 85 and over to more than double. This means that healthy ageing is a priority for now, not for the future,’ Mr Kalisch said.
Although many older Australians have good mental and physical health, nearly half of those aged 65–74 have five or more long-term physical health conditions.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 19 June 2012
Nigel Harding, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1025, mob. 0409 307 671Jess Cumming, AIHW, tel. 02 6249 5033, mob. 0401 769 793
Australia's health 2012
Australia's health 2012: in brief
Online: Australia's health