ACT residents healthier than other Australians


People in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are healthier than other Australians across a range of factors including levels of physical activity and rates of smoking and obesity, according to new data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Health, Louise Gates, said the 2017-18 National Health Survey showed that compared with the national rates, people in the ACT were less likely to be obese (26.4 per cent compared with 31.3 per cent) and less likely to be daily smokers (10.6 per cent compared with 13.8 per cent).

“However, taking into account the number of adults who were overweight, the survey also found that almost two thirds (64.0 per cent) were overweight or obese which is similar to the national average (67.0 per cent). The ACT had higher rates of adults in the healthy weight range (35.1 per cent compared with 31.7 per cent),” Ms Gates said.

“More positively, adults aged 18-64 years were more likely than other Australians to have undertaken 150 minutes or more of exercise, excluding workplace physical activity (62.6 percent compared with 55.4 per cent nationally).

“They were also less likely to consume sugar sweetened drinks daily (6.7 per cent compared with 9.1 per cent nationally) or once per week (43.3 per cent compared with 48.0 per cent nationally).

“It’s not all good news though, three in five (60.0 per cent) adults aged 18-64 years in the ACT were more likely to describe their day at work as ‘mostly sitting’ compared with 43.7 per cent for Australia as a whole.”

The ACT also had a lower rate of adults meeting the Australian Dietary Guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit compared with the rest of Australia (48.1 per cent compared with 51.3 per cent).

For further information about these and related statistics see publication National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001), available for free download from the ABS website,

Media note

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.
  • The survey was conducted in all States and Territories and across urban, rural and remote areas of Australia (excluding very remote areas) from July 2017 to June 2018. The survey included around 21,000 people in over 16,000 private dwellings.
Back to top of the page