National Health Survey

Latest release

Information on health behaviours, conditions prevalence, and risk factors in Australia

Reference period

About the National Health Survey

The National Health Survey (NHS) 2022 is the most recent in a series of Australia-wide health surveys. It is designed to collect a wide range of information about the health of Australians, including:

  • Prevalence of health conditions
  • Prevalence of health risk factors (such as smoking and vaping, alcohol consumption, and physical activity)
  • Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

Brief information about key statistics available from the NHS can be found on this page. To find more detailed information on a topic of interest, a link has also been provided to the individual page.

Health conditions

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].

The NHS collects data on a broad range of health conditions, with a focus on selected health conditions that are common, pose significant health problems, or have been a focus of ongoing public health surveillance.

Chronic conditions

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.

See Health conditions prevalence for more information.


Key statistics

  • Just under 3.7 million (14.5%) people had arthritis in 2022
  • Prevalence of arthritis has remained stable since 2004–05 (15.3%)
  • People aged 75 years and over were more likely than any other age group to have arthritis (48.9%).

See Arthritis for more information.


Key statistics

  • Just under 2.8 million (10.8%) people had asthma in 2022
  • Almost one in three (32.1%) people with asthma had a written action plan
  • One in three (33.9%) people with asthma used asthma medication daily.

See Asthma for more information.


Key statistics

  • Around one in fifty (1.8% or 456,200) people had cancer in 2022
  • One in three (34.9%) people with cancer had skin cancer, the most reported type of cancer 
  • Males were slightly more likely to have cancer than females (2.1% compared to 1.6%).

See Cancer for more information.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Key statistics

  • COPD 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.

See Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for more information.


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.

See Diabetes for more information.

Heart, stroke and vascular disease

Key statistics

  • One in twenty (5.2% or 1.3 million) people had heart, stroke and vascular disease in 2022
  • Prevalence of heart, stroke and vascular disease has increased slightly since 2001 (4.1%)
  • Heart, stroke and vascular disease was slightly more common in males than females (5.9% compared to 4.6%).

See Heart, stroke and vascular disease for more information.

High cholesterol

Key statistics

  • One in twelve (8.4% or 2.1 million) people had self-reported high cholesterol in 2022
  • The prevalence of high cholesterol has increased since 2011–12 (6.8%)
  • Almost three in ten (29.0%) people aged 75 years and over had high cholesterol.

See High cholesterol for more information.

Hypertension and high measured blood pressure

Key statistics

  • Over one in ten (11.6% or 3.0 million) people reported having hypertension in 2022
  • Prevalence of reported hypertension was similar for males and females (11.7% and 11.6%)
  • Three in four (74.5%) adults with high measured blood pressure did not report having hypertension.

See Hypertension and high measured blood pressure for more information.

Kidney disease

Key statistics

  • 246,200 people (1.0%) had kidney disease in 2022
  • Kidney disease prevalence has remained steady over the last decade, from 0.8% in 2011–12 to 1.0% in 2022
  • One in twenty (4.9%) people aged 75 years and over had kidney disease.

See Kidney disease for more information.

Health risk factors

The NHS also collects information about a range of health risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing a health condition[3].

Alcohol consumption

Key statistics

  • More than one in four (26.8%) adults exceeded the Australian Adult Alcohol Guideline in 2022
  • Males were more likely than females to exceed the guideline (35.8% compared to 18.1%)
  • More than one in three (36.1%) young adults aged 18–24 years exceeded the guideline.

See Alcohol consumption for more information.


Key statistics

  • Nine in ten (90.6%) children aged 0–3 years had ever received breast milk
  • Nearly two in five (37.5%) were exclusively breastfed to 6 months
  • Almost two in three (64.2%) were introduced to solids at 6 months or later.

See Breastfeeding for more information.

Dietary behaviour

Key statistics

  • Adults and children had similar rates of meeting both fruit and vegetable recommendations (4.2% and 4.3%)
  • More than four in ten (44.1%) adults met the fruit recommendation and more than six in ten (63.9%) children met the fruit recommendation.

See Dietary behaviour for more information.

Physical activity

Key statistics

  • Almost one in four (23.9%) people aged 15 years and over met the physical activity guidelines
  • Nearly half (46.9%) of employed adults aged 18–64 years described their day at work as mostly sitting.

See Physical activity for more information.

Smoking and vaping

Key statistics

  • One in ten (10.6%) adults were current daily smokers in 2022, this rate has steadily declined from 22.4% in 2001
  • Nearly three in five (58.3%) adults have never smoked
  • One in seven (14.4%) adults have used e-cigarette or vaping devices.

See Smoking and vaping for more information.

Waist circumference and BMI

Key statistics

  • More than two in three (67.9%) adults had measured waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of disease in 2022
  • Almost two thirds (65.8%) of adults were overweight or obese.

See Waist circumference and BMI for more information.

Data downloads

National Health Survey 2022

Data files


  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, ‘Risk factors’,; accessed 15/11/2023.




  • 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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