Australia’s health 2022 is AIHW’s 18th biennial flagship report on health. It explores topical health issues and brings together multiple data sources to serve as a report card on the health of Australians. The report considers health to be much more than the presence or absence of disease – health reflects the complex interactions of a person’s genetics, lifestyle and environment, and is fundamental to an individual’s wellbeing.

Australia’s health 2022 continues the series’ recent departure from a single large print book to a more accessible multi-product release that has a greater web presence and leaner print publications.

Australia’s health 2022 is comprised of 3 main products

Australia’s health 2022: data insights is a collection of 10 in-depth articles on selected health topics, including a focus on the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the evolution of the health system over the last 100 years, and the importance of a strong evidence base for supporting the health of Australians. Available to download as a PDF or you can purchase a hardcopy.

Australia’s health: topic summaries present key information and statistics on the health system, health of Australians and factors that can influence our health across 63 web pages. Available online as web pages (some updated when new data are available).

Australia’s health 2022: in brief presents key findings and concepts from the topic summaries and data insights to provide a holistic picture of health in Australia. Available to download as a PDF or you can purchase a hardcopy.

COVID-19 coverage in Australia’s health 2022

Australia’s health 2022 is released at a difficult time. In 2022, no health issue stands above or has had as wide reaching an effect on our population as COVID-19. Compared with many countries through 2020 and most of 2021, case numbers in Australia remained low. But fast-forward to mid-2022 and our daily COVID-19 experience since late-2021 – at least in terms of case numbers and deaths – resembles that of many countries. Its impact in Australia has been – and continues to be – considerable, touching nearly all people and aspects of life.

Australia’s health 2022 presents an overview of health in Australia and looks back at the impacts of COVID-19 through a long-term lens. Three articles in Australia’s health 2022: data insights focus on COVID-19. They describe the pandemic’s direct health impact on the population, the changes in the overall health of Australians during COVID-19, and how COVID-19 has affected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s use of health services.

While the AIHW has endeavoured to report up-to-date data in this report, some topics will have data covering only part of the pandemic, or data preceding the pandemic. Some aspects of life during the pandemic change quickly, while others may not change that much or change may not be immediately apparent. It remains too early to know how some of these longer-term impacts will develop. Each section of the report clearly states the data it uses and the time period covered by the data.

Health data

High quality information in many areas of health enables us to better understand and improve health, heath behaviours, health care and outcomes and is useful for policy formulation, implementation and service delivery, and evaluation.

The AIHW manages a number of national health information assets, and works with state and territory governments, the ABS, other independent bodies and the non-government sector, to ensure the data included in Australia’s health 2022 are comprehensive, accurate and informative. Although there have been many improvements to national health data over recent years, many gaps remain – these gaps, along with other limitations, are highlighted in Australia’s health 2022: data insights.

The AIHW’s flagship reports, Australia’s health and Australia’s welfare, are highly regarded as sources of authoritative and accessible information.