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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
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Contents >> Chapter 9 - 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 2001 the majority of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in good health, with 82% reporting their health status as good, very good or excellent (table 9.1). This is similar to the proportion reported in the 1995 NHS (83%). In general, a higher proportion of younger people reported their health to be either excellent, very good or good compared to those in the older age groups.

In 2001 people with higher educational qualifications were generally more likely to report their health to be excellent. People who were employed or in a higher income unit were more likely to report their health as very good or better.

9.1 SELF-ASSESSED HEALTH STATUS(a), Persons aged 15 years and over - 2001
Excellent
Very good
Good
Fair
Poor
Population characteristics
%
%
%
%
%

Highest educational qualification(b)
Associate diploma or above
23.7
37.7
27.3
8.8
2.5
Other qualification
17.5
32.1
31.1
14.3
4.9
Labour force status
Employed
21.2
37.4
29.8
9.8
1.8
Unemployed
20.8
28.7
34.4
12.6
3.5
Not in the labour force
14.5
25.1
30.5
19.7
10.2
Location
Major cities of Australia
19.2
33.1
30.1
12.8
4.8
Inner regional Australia
18.5
32.0
30.9
14.1
4.4
Outer regional Australia/other areas
17.6
32.5
29.9
15.0
4.9
Household composition
Person living alone
14.7
27.3
31.2
18.8
8.0
Couple only
16.3
30.8
31.2
15.5
6.1
Couple with children
22.1
36.2
29.4
9.7
2.6
All other households
18.1
31.9
30.2
14.4
5.5
Income unit income
1st quintile (lowest income)
12.1
23.1
32.2
21.6
11.1
5th quintile (highest income)
25.7
39.3
27.7
6.3
0.9
Index of socioeconomic disadvantage(c)
1st quintile (most disadvantaged)
13.8
28.5
31.9
17.9
7.9
5th quintile (least disadvantaged)
23.3
35.9
28.0
9.8
3.1
Persons
18.9
32.8
30.2
13.3
4.8

(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 18 years and over.
(c) 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, 2001 National Health Survey.


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