One in five Australians has a mental or behavioural condition


Around 4.8 million Australians (20 per cent) had a mental or behavioural condition in 2017-18 up from 4 million (17.5 per cent) in 2014-15 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 this increase was due predominantly to a rise in the number of people with anxiety-related conditions or depression.

“Anxiety-related conditions were the most common mental or behavioural conditions with 13 per cent of Australians affected in 2017-18, up from 11 per cent in 2014-15" Ms Gates said.

“One in ten people had depression (up from 9 per cent in 2014-15) and 6 per cent had both an anxiety-related condition and depression (up from 5 per cent in 2014-15).

“Females were more likely to experience mental or behavioural conditions than males (22 per cent compared with 18 per cent).”

Unlike many other conditions, the proportion of people with a mental or behavioural condition does not increase with age. The highest proportion of people affected was found in the 15-24 year age group where 30 per cent of females and 21 per cent of males had a mental or behavioural condition.

Further details are in National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) from the ABS website

Media notes

  • 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 Media Team on or 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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  • Mental and behavioural conditions include mood (affective) disorders such as depression, anxiety-related problems, organic mental problems such as dementia, alcohol and drug problems, disorders of personality and behaviour, learning disorders and other mental and behavioural problems.
  • 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.
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