Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Contains key statistics and information about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and its prevalence in Australia

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Key statistics

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease prevalence has remained steady over the last decade, from 2.4% in 2011–12 to 2.5% in 2022
  • One in fourteen (7.0%) people aged 65 years and over had COPD, more than any other age group

These statistics form part of the National Health Survey 2022. More information on other topics of interest from the survey are available on the National Health Survey 2022 page.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) covers a range of conditions including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma. For the purposes of this analysis, asthma is reported separately. The condition causes narrowing of the bronchial tubes in the lungs (sometimes called bronchi or airways) which makes breathing difficult[1].

COPD prevalence

In 2022, 2.5% (638,100) of people had COPD:

  • COPD prevalence has remained steady over the last decade, from 2.4% in 2011–12 to 2.5% in 2022
  • Prevalence was similar between males and females (2.4% and 2.6%)
  • One in fourteen (7.0%) people aged 65 years and over had COPD, higher than any other age group
  • Adults aged 18 years and over who were current daily smokers were more likely to have COPD than either ex-smokers (8.1% compared to 4.4%) or those who have never smoked (8.1% compared to 1.6%).

Of all people with COPD in 2022, almost nine in ten (86.6%) had two or more chronic conditions. Additionally, almost one in ten (9.3%) adults who experienced severe or very severe bodily pain in the four weeks prior to interview had COPD.

  1. Includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic airflow limitation. Asthma is reported separately.

Data downloads

See the National Health Survey 2022 data downloads for the full suite of available data. Data relating to COPD can be found in tables:

  • TABLE 1 Summary health characteristics, 2001 to 2022
  • TABLE 2 Summary health characteristics, by states and territories
  • TABLE 3 Long-term health conditions, by age and sex
  • TABLE 4 Selected long-term health conditions, by population characteristics
  • TABLE 5 Selected long-term health conditions, by health risk factors and health status
  • TABLE 15 Number of chronic conditions, by population characteristics, by age
  • TABLE 16 Comorbidity of selected chronic conditions, by age and sex.


  1. Lung Foundation, ‘Overview – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease’,; accessed 15/11/2022.

Media release

See National Health Survey 2022 media release for more information.




  • all usual residents in Australia aged 0+ years living in private dwellings.
  • urban and rural areas in all states and territories, excluding very remote parts of Australia and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.


The data available includes estimates for:

  • Australia
  • States and territories


The National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Medications data from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Collection method

Face-to-face interview with an Australian Bureau of Statistics Interviewer.

Linkage to the Person Level Integrated Data Asset.  

Concepts, sources and methods

Health conditions are presented using a classification which is based on the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

History of changes

Full history of changes.

View full methodology
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