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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Health >> How Australians rate their health

HOW AUSTRALIANS RATE THEIR HEALTH

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as 'a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'. While the level of disease or infirmity can be assessed by mortality, disability and morbidity statistics, the presence of positive wellbeing is more difficult to measure.


Health and wellbeing

In 2007-08 the majority of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in good health, with 85% reporting their health status as good, very good or excellent. This is similar to the proportion reported in the 2004-05 NHS (84%). The proportion of people reporting fair or poor health increased with age, from 7% among those aged 15-24 years to 39% among those aged 75 years and over.

In 2007-08 people with higher educational qualifications were generally more likely to report their health to be excellent. Similarly, people who were employed or with a higher income were more likely to report their health as very good or excellent (table 11.1).

11.1 SELF-ASSESSED HEALTH STATUS(a)(b) - 2007-08

Excellent
Very good
Good
Fair
Poor
Population Characteristics
%
%
%
%
%

Highest educational qualification(c)
Bachelor degree or above
28.7
39.0
23.4
6.6
2.2
Advanced Diploma/Diploma
23.7
39.4
27.4
7.3
2.2
Certificate
17.1
36.1
32.3
10.8
3.6
Labour force status
Employed
22.9
40.0
28.3
7.3
1.5
Unemployed
20.4
29.8
32.0
14.5
3.3
Not in the labour force
15.0
26.6
30.3
18.4
9.7
Location
Major cities
21.4
35.7
29.0
10.2
3.8
Inner regional
19.8
34.9
28.5
12.0
4.8
Outer regional/ other areas
15.3
35.9
30.6
13.3
4.9
Household composition
Person living alone
16.2
30.6
30.1
16.2
6.9
Couple only
17.6
35.0
28.9
12.9
5.6
Couple with children
24.8
37.9
27.5
7.8
2.0
All other households
18.1
34.8
31.5
11.1
4.5
Household income(d)
1st quintile
10.1
22.4
30.6
24.6
12.2
5th quintile
26.1
40.5
26.1
6.1
1.1
Index of disadvantage(e)
1st quintile
13.2
32.4
30.7
16.2
7.4
5th quintile
26.4
38.4
25.0
8.0
2.1
Persons
20.3
35.5
29.1
11.0
4.1

(a) This table shows the percentage of persons in the specified population (eg persons employed) who have reported their health status as either excellent, very good, good, fair or poor. The age distribution of the population should be considered in interpreting these estimates.
(b) Persons aged 15 years and over.
(c) 18 years and over
(d) Gross weekly cash income.
(e) Where the first quintile represents the 20% of the total population living in areas with the most disadvantage and the fifth quintile represents the 20% of the population with the least disadvantage.
Source: ABS data available on request, 2007-08 National Health Survey.







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