Self-assessed health status is a commonly used measure of overall health which reflects a person's perception of his or her own health at a given point in time. It is a useful measure of a person's current health status and provides a broad picture of a population's overall health.
- In 2017-18, over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.7% reported being in fair or poor health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years.
- Around one in eight (13.0% or 2.4 million) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, an increase from 2014-15 (11.7% or 2.1 million).
How did Australians rate their health in 2017-18?
In 2017-18, over half (56.4%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.7% reported being in fair or poor health. This has remained constant over the last 10 years.
Younger Australians generally rated themselves as having better health than older people, with over two-thirds (67.6%) of 15-24 years olds rating their health as being excellent or very good, compared with over one-third (36.7%) of people aged 75 years and over. Males and females generally assessed their overall health similarly, with over half reporting their health as excellent or very good (56.5% and 56.4% respectively).
In 2017-18, almost two-thirds (64.9%) of people living in areas of least disadvantage (fifth quintile) rated their health as being excellent or very good, compared with less than half (45.1%) of people living in areas of most disadvantage (first quintile). This was similar to the pattern in 2014-15 (66.1% and 43.8% respectively). Conversely, those living in areas of most disadvantage were more than twice as likely as those living in areas of least disadvantage to assess their health as fair or poor (23.4% and 10.2% respectively).
a. 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 Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage in the Glossary.