Latest release

Contains key statistics and information about diabetes and its prevalence in Australia

Reference period

Key statistics

  • One in twenty (5.3% or 1.3 million) people had diabetes in 2022
  • Males and females had similar rates of diabetes (5.8% and 4.9%)
  • Diabetes prevalence has slowly increased from 3.3% in 2001 to 5.3% in 2022

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.

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin, a hormone essential for converting glucose into energy. If poorly managed, diabetes can lead to additional health complications, such as heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation[1].

In 2022, diabetes was ranked seventh in the leading causes of death in Australia with 6,050 deaths[2]. In the same year, Type 2 diabetes was the twelfth leading contributor (4.8%) to Australia’s total disease burden[3].

Diabetes prevalence

Diabetes prevalence has slowly increased over the last twenty years, from 3.3% in 2001 to 5.3% in 2022. Like other chronic conditions, diabetes prevalence increases with age; from 1.0% for people aged 0–44 years, to 18.7% for people aged 75 years and over. Overall, rates were similar between males and females (5.8% and 4.9%).

Type 2 diabetes was the most common type of diabetes (87.6%), followed by Type 1 diabetes (9.6%) and type not known (2.8%).

Characteristics of people with diabetes

In 2022, people:

  • Born overseas were more likely than those born in Australia to have diabetes (6.7% compared to 4.7%)
  • Living in areas of most disadvantage were more likely than those living in areas of least disadvantage to have diabetes (8.6% compared to 3.1%)
  • Living with disability were more likely than those with no disability to have diabetes (10.8% compared to 2.8%)
  • Living in lone person households were more likely to have diabetes than people living in any other household type (11.3%).

People aged 15 years and over who:

  • Were not in the labour force were more likely to have diabetes than either those who were employed (13.2% compared to 3.3%) or those who were unemployed (13.2% compared to 5.8%)
  • Completed year 10 or below as their highest qualification were more likely to have diabetes than people with a bachelor degree or above (12.4% compared to 3.8%).

Waist circumference for adults is a good indicator of total body fat and is a better predictor than body mass index (BMI) for certain chronic conditions such as cardiovascular risk and Type 2 diabetes[4]. In 2022, adults with a measured waist circumference that put them at increased risk of disease were more likely to have diabetes than people at lowered risk (8.8% compared to 2.5%). For more information, see Waist circumference


Treatment of diabetes aims to prevent complications by controlling blood glucose levels and helping insulin to work more effectively[5]. More than three quarters (76.2%) of people with diabetes took one or more actions to manage their condition:

  • Almost one in four (24.0%) took insulin daily
  • Nearly three in five (57.8%) changed their eating pattern or diet
  • Almost one in three (32.6%) exercised most days
  • One in seven (13.7%) were not taking current action to manage their diabetes.

Additionally, two in three (66.9%) had their feet checked at least once a year and 29.5% checked their glucose levels daily.

Additional survey notes

This analysis refers to people who reported having ever been told by a doctor or nurse that they had diabetes (including Type 1, Type 2, and type not known) and excludes gestational diabetes. People who considered their condition not to be current or long-term are included in this analysis.

Data downloads

See National Health Survey 2022 data downloads for the full suite of available data. Data relating to Diabetes 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. Diabetes Australia, ‘What is diabetes?’, https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/what-is-diabetes/; accessed 15/11/2023.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘Causes of Death, Australia’, www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/causes-death-australia/latest-release; accessed 15/11/2023.
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Australian Burden of Disease Study 2022’, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/australian-burden-of-disease-study-2022/contents/summary; accessed 15/11/2023.
  4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Diabetes: Australian facts’, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/diabetes/diabetes/contents/risk-factors/among-people-with-hsvd; accessed 15/11/2023.
  5. Diabetes Australia, ‘Managing type 2 diabetes’, https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/managing-diabetes/type-2/; accessed 15/11/2023.

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.

Collection method

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

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

Not applicable to this release.

View full methodology
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