1384.6 - Statistics - Tasmania, 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2002   
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Contents >> Health >> Health status >> Indigenous people's health

Indigenous people have the lowest health status of any identifiable population group in Australia. The Aboriginal Health Unit in the Department of Health and Human Services is striving to improve the standard of health of Tasmania's Indigenous people to a level equal to that of non-Indigenous Tasmanians. This involves identifying the health and wellbeing needs and priorities of Tasmanian Indigenous communities.

In a 1998 survey, Indigenous Tasmanians reported that:

  • 46% did not drink or only rarely drank alcohol (compared with 40% of non-Indigenous Tasmanians)
  • 42% were smokers (compared with 25% of non-Indigenous Tasmanians)
  • 31% drank at least once a week (compared with 43% of non-Indigenous Tasmanians)
  • 12% had excellent health (compared with 13% of non-Indigenous Tasmanians)
  • 24% had fair or poor health (compared with 18% of non-Indigenous Tasmanians)
  • 24% had experienced depression
  • 8% had seriously contemplated taking their own life.

(Source: Healthy Communities Survey, 1998, Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services.)

It should be noted that the above results have not been adjusted for differences in the age structures of the Tasmanian Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. The Tasmanian Indigenous population is a younger population than the general Tasmanian population. This should be taken into account when comparing the two populations, as variables relating to health may be strongly associated with age.

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