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Latest release

Self-assessed health status

Contains information and key statistics about how people perceive their overall health at a given point in time

Reference period
2017 - 2018
Released
12/12/2018
Next release Unknown
First release

Key statistics

  • 56% of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years.
  • 15% of Australians aged 15 years and over reported being in fair or poor health.
  • Younger Australians generally rated themselves as having better health than older people.

Self-assessed health status

Self-assessed health status is a commonly used measure of overall health which reflects a person's perception of his or her own health at a given point in time. It is a useful measure of a person's current health status and provides a broad picture of a population's overall health.

Key findings

  • In 2017-18, over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.7% reported being in fair or poor health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years.
  • Around one in eight (13.0% or 2.4 million) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, an increase from 2014-15 (11.7% or 2.1 million).
     

How did Australians rate their health in 2017-18?

In 2017-18, over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.7% reported being in fair or poor health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years. 

Younger Australians generally rated themselves as having better health than older people, with over two-thirds (67.6%) of 15-24 years olds rating their health as being excellent or very good, compared with over one-third (36.7%) of people aged 75 years and over. Males and females generally assessed their overall health similarly, with over half reporting their health as excellent or very good (56.5% and 56.4% respectively).

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In 2017-18, almost two-thirds (64.9%) of people living in areas of least disadvantage (fifth quintile) rated their health as being excellent or very good, compared with less than half (45.1%) of people living in areas of most disadvantage (first quintile). This was similar to the pattern in 2014-15 (66.1% and 43.8% respectively). Conversely, those living in areas of most disadvantage were more than twice as likely as those living in areas of least disadvantage to assess their health as fair or poor (23.4% and 10.2% respectively).

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a. A lower Index of Disadvantage quintile (e.g. the first quintile) indicates relatively greater disadvantage and a lack of advantage in general. A higher Index of Disadvantage (e.g. the fifth quintile) indicates a relative lack of disadvantage and greater advantage in general. See Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage in the Glossary.

State and territory findings

  • In 2017-18, over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health with the highest rate in Western Australia (60.7%) and the lowest rate in Tasmania (51.2%).
  • Rates of high or very high levels of psychological distress among adults aged 18 years and over ranged from 11.1% in Australian Capital Territory to 13.9% in Queensland and (13.0%) in Australia.
     

New South Wales

  • More than half (56.3%) of people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • One in eight (12.8%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Victoria

  • More than half (57.3%) of people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • Almost one in eight (12.8%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Queensland

  • More than half (53.8%) of people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • One in seven (13.9%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

South Australia

  • Just over half (55.8%) of people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • Of all adults aged 18 years and over, 13.5% experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Western Australia

  • Just over three in five (60.7%) people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • Almost one in eight (12.2%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Tasmania

  • Just over half (51.2%) of people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • More than one in seven (13.4%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Northern Territory

  • More than half (56.7%) of people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • One in nine (11.3%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Australian Capital Territory

  • Around three in five (59.6%) people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • One in nine (11.1%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.
     

Data downloads

Table 1: Summary health characteristics, 2001 to 2017–18 - Australia

Table 2: Summary health characteristics, 2017–18 - states and territories

Table 5: Selected current long-term conditions by health risk factors and health status - Australia

Table 15: Self-assessed health status - Australia

Table 20: New South Wales

Table 21: Victoria

Table 22: Queensland

Table 23: South Australia

Table 24: Western Australia

Table 25: Tasmania

Table 26: Northern Territory

Table 27: Australian Capital Territory