Australian Bureau of Statistics
4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2008
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Changes over time in self-assessed health
Between 1994 and 2004-05, the proportion of Indigenous Australians who reported their health as fair or poor increased from 18% to 22%. There were corresponding decreases in the proportions reporting their health status as good and excellent/very good (table 7.2). The increase in the proportion reporting fair/poor health was more pronounced among Indigenous females, rising from 17% in 1994 to 24% in 2004-05.
Self-assessed health and socioeconomic factors
Health status is related to socioeconomic status - people with higher socioeconomic status generally enjoy better health than those with lower socioeconomic status. In 2004-05, Indigenous adults with relatively high equivalised household incomes (as measured by the fourth and fifth quintiles) were more likely to report very good or excellent health than those with lower equivalised household incomes (49% compared with 33%) (table 7.3). For more information on equivalised income and income quintiles, see Glossary.
Indigenous males and females who had completed Year 12 or equivalent were also much more likely to report very good or excellent health (54% of males and 50% of females) compared with those whose highest level of schooling was Year 9 or below (28% of males and 29% of females). Similarly, employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more likely than those who were unemployed to report very good or excellent health (48% compared with 41%) (table 7.3). Those who were not in the labour force were even less likely than the unemployed to report very good or excellent health (29%), however, this is probably also age-related (i.e. older people comprise a greater share of those who are not in the labour force, and a smaller share of those with very good or excellent health).
After adjusting for age differences between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, Indigenous adults were less likely than non-Indigenous adults with the same socioeconomic characteristics to report very good or excellent health. Apart from unemployed Indigenous and non-Indigenous females who were equally likely to report very good or excellent health, Indigenous to non-Indigenous sex-specific rate ratios were between 0.6 and 0.8 for the selected socioeconomic characteristics (table 7.3).
Self-assessed health status and other selected indicators
According to the 2004-05 NATSIHS, Indigenous adults who reported having been removed from their natural families as children were more likely to report fair or poor health (35% of men and 41% of women) than those who had not (20% of men and 25% of women). Indigenous adults who spoke English as their main language at home were more likely to report fair or poor health (22% of men and 27% of women) than those who spoke an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language at home (19% of both men and women).
This page last updated 27 May 2010
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