Health conditions prevalence

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Key findings on long-term health conditions and chronic conditions, and prevalence in Australia

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Key statistics

  • Eight in ten (81.4%) people had at least one long-term health condition
  • One in two (49.9%) people had at least one chronic condition
  • Mental and behavioural conditions (26.1%), back problems (15.7%), and arthritis (14.5%) were the most common chronic conditions

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.

Health influences, and is influenced by, how we feel and how we interact with the world around us. Health is broader than just the presence or absence of disease, it reflects the complex interactions between a person’s genetic makeup, family environment, and social and economic conditions[1]. It is also affected by their perceptions, emotions, and behaviours[2].

Long-term health conditions

Long-term health conditions are conditions which were current at the time of the survey interview and had lasted, or were expected to last, for 6 months or more. Eight in ten (81.4% or 20.7 million) people had at least one long-term health condition in 2022.

Chronic conditions

Selected chronic conditions are a subset of long-term health conditions that are common, pose significant health problems, and have been a focus of ongoing public health surveillance[3].


One in two (49.9% or 12.6 million) people had at least one chronic condition. Females were more likely to have at least one chronic condition than males (52.3% compared to 47.4%).

The most prevalent chronic conditions experienced in Australia in 2022 were:

  • Mental and behavioural conditions – 26.1%
  • Back problems – 15.7%
  • Arthritis – 14.5%
  • Asthma – 10.8%
  • Diabetes – 5.3%
  • Heart, stroke and vascular disease – 5.2%
  • Osteoporosis – 3.4%
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – 2.5%
  • Cancer – 1.8%
  • Kidney disease – 1.0%.


Many people with chronic conditions often have more than one condition at the same time (multimorbidity)[3]. For example, of those who had COPD in 2022, almost nine in ten (86.6%) had another condition. The prevalence of multimorbidity varied across chronic conditions:

  • COPD – 86.6%
  • Heart, stroke and vascular disease – 84.8%
  • Cancer – 82.0%
  • Kidney disease – 80.5%
  • Osteoporosis – 78.9%
  • Diabetes – 78.2%
  • Arthritis – 74.4%
  • Back problems – 71.6%
  • Asthma – 64.9%
  • Mental and behavioural conditions – 51.8%.

As people age, the prevalence of both chronic conditions and multimorbidity increased.

Almost one in three (28.4%) people living in areas of most disadvantage had two or more chronic conditions, compared to one in eight (16.1%) of those living in areas of least disadvantage.

  1. A lower index of Disadvantage quintile (e.g. the first quintile) indicates relatively greater disadvantage and a lack of advantage in general. A higher Index of Disadvantage (e.g. the fifth quintile) indicates a relative lack of disadvantage and greater advantage in general. See Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, 2016 (

Other long-term health conditions

Prevalence of most health conditions typically increases with age. Eight in ten (81.4%) people had at least one long-term health condition in 2022, and almost all (99.2%) people aged 65 years and over had at least one long-term health condition.

Prevalence of other long-term health conditions included:

  • More than a quarter (28.1%) of people were short sighted and three in ten (30.4%) were long sighted
  • Almost one in four (23.9%) people reported hay fever or allergic rhinitis
  • One in seven (14.0%) people had an allergy, including 7.0% who reported food allergies
  • More than one in ten (11.5%) people reported feeling anxious, nervous or tense
  • Around one in ten (9.6%) people had a hearing impairment (partial or complete deafness)
  • One in fourteen people (7.1%) reported feeling depressed
  • One in fifteen (6.6%) people experienced migraine
  • Around one in fifty (2.3%) females had endometriosis.

Data downloads

See the National Health Survey 2022 data downloads for the full suite of available data. Data relating to Health conditions prevalence 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. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘What is health?’,; accessed 15/11/2023.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Australia’s health 2022: data insights’,; accessed 15/11/2023.
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Chronic conditions and multimorbidity’,; 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.

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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