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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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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 2004-05 the majority of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in good health, with 84% reporting their health status as good, very good or excellent (table 11.1). This is similar to the proportion reported in the 2001 NHS (82%). The proportion of people reporting fair or poor health increased with age, from 7% among those aged 15-24 years to 35% among those aged 75 years and over.

In 2004-05 people with higher educational qualifications were generally more likely to report their health to be excellent. People who were employed or with a higher income were more likely to report their health as very good or better.

11.1 SELF-ASSESSED HEALTH STATUS(a)(b) - 2004-05

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

Highest educational qualification(c)
Associate diploma or above
25.8
39.5
25.7
6.9
2.0
Other qualification
19.0
33.7
28.6
13.2
5.4
Labour force status
Employed
23.8
40.5
27.0
7.3
1.4
Unemployed
22.1
30.8
32.0
12.7
2.3
Not in the labour force
15.2
25.9
29.0
19.2
10.7
Location
Major cities of Australia
21.8
35.4
28.1
10.6
4.2
Inner regional Australia
20.2
35.9
26.1
13.0
4.8
Outer regional Australia/other areas
17.4
34.1
29.1
13.7
5.8
Household composition
Person living alone
15.4
29.9
30.5
16.9
7.4
Couple only
18.1
33.4
28.7
13.5
6.3
Couple with children
25.1
39.8
26.1
7.5
1.6
All other households
22.1
35.5
27.5
10.8
4.2
Household income(d)
1st quintile (lowest income)
11.5
24.5
31.2
20.8
11.9
5th quintile (highest income)
28.7
41.6
23.4
5.3
1.1
Index of disadvantage(e)
1st quintile (most disadvantaged)
17.5
30.1
29.6
15.2
7.6
5th quintile (least disadvantaged)
25.2
39.5
25.1
7.9
2.2
Persons
20.9
35.3
27.8
11.4
4.5

(a) This table shows the percentage of persons in the specified population (e.g. 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) Persons aged 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 highest levels of disadvantage and the fifth quintile represents the 20% of the population with the lowest levels of disadvantage.
Source: ABS data available on request, National Health Survey.





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