3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2011   
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The National Health Survey (NHS)


The National Health Survey (NHS) collects information about the health status of Australians including health related aspects of their lifestyle, other health risk factors, and their use of health services and other actions recently taken for their health.

The NHS aims to obtain national benchmarks on a wide range of health issues, enable changes in health to be monitored over time, and provide information on health indicators for national health priority areas and for important subgroups of the population.

The NHS collects data under the broad topics of demographics, education, employment, housing, income, household characteristics, health status, risk factors and actions taken (relating to health). Data items contained within these topics are capable of being cross classified with Data Items Relevant to Migrants and Ethnicity.

National Health Surveys have been conducted 5 yearly until 2001 after which they have been conducted every 3 years. The ABS will be conducting the most comprehensive health survey of Australians - The Australian Health Survey - during 2011 with results expected in late 2012 . The Australian Health Survey (AHS) represents an expansion of the existing ABS health surveys to include the:

  • National Health Survey (NHS) - existing household survey last conducted in 2007/08
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) - existing household survey last conducted in 2004/05
  • National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) - new household survey
  • National Health Measures Survey (NHMS) - new collection of biomedical information from pathology samples.

Details appearing in this guide are based on the 2007-08 NHS.


  • Country of birth
    Note: Country of birth is classified to the full 4 digit level of the Standard Australian Classification of Countries. While survey results can technically be compiled at this level, the survey sample is not sufficient to support reliable output at that level. For most output purposes, country of birth is classified to broader level classifications such as region of birth.
  • Year of arrival
  • Main language spoken at home
  • Proficiency in spoken English


Details of data items and questionnaire used for the 2007-08 National Health Survey are contained in National Health Survey Data Reference Package, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.002).

For further details on scope, geographic coverage, data availability and publications, methodology, classifications and concepts visit the National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001) or the Topics at a glance - Health page.


The Migrant Data Matrices provide a link to summary data on migrants from the National Health Survey. The data items included in each datacube are not exhaustive, but rather a selection of the data available. Care must be taken in comparing data from different collections presented in the Matrices due to differences in survey methodology, definitions and reference periods.

Additional data are also available in the publication National Health Survey: Summary of Results (cat. no. 4364.0).


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.

Phone: 1300 135 070
Fax: 1300 135 211
Post: Client Services, ABS, GPO Box 796, Sydney 2001
Email: client.services@abs.gov.au