Cervical screening participation

Participation data helps us to know the extent to which target groups are being reached and are usually measured over a longer period than activity data.

Participation in the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP)refers to the proportion of people aged 25–74 who screened in a 5-year period.

From 1 December 2017, the NCSP changed to 5-yearly cervical screening, for those aged 25–74. Participation is therefore measured over 5 calendar years to align with the recommended screening interval.

Participation in the new 5-year program cannot be properly reported until there are 5 years of data available. In the interim, preliminary estimates have been calculated. The latest of these is a 3-year estimate of participation for 2018–2020.

Explore the latest data in the visualisations below.

Participation in cervical screening

In 2018–2020:

  • 3.8 million people aged 25–74 had a cervical screening test
  • this was an estimated 3-year participation rate of 56%.

Participation by age

In 2018–2020:

  • people aged 45–49 had the highest estimated participation rate (61%)  
  • people aged 70–74 had the lowest estimated participation rate (27%).

Note that lower participation rates are expected among people aged 70–74 as they have re-entered the target age group under the renewed NCSP after having left the previous program after age 69.

Participation by state/territory

In 2018–2020:

  • the estimated participation rate among people aged 25–74 was the highest in South Australia (59%).
  • after adjusting for difference in population age structure across the states and territories, the estimated participation rate in South Australia was 7% higher than the national participation rate (60% and 56% respectively).

 

This data visualisation shows participation data for the National Cervical Screening Program for 2018 and 2018–2020. The bar graph shows participation by age group and can be filtered by state/territory and year. A second tab second shows participation rate for Australia and the States and Territories for people aged 25–74 filtered by rate type: crude or age-standardised rate. A third tab shows the participation data in a table form and can be filtered by measure and state/territory.

Visualisation not available for printing

Geographical variation in cervical screening participation

Participation by Primary Health Network

Primary Health Network (PHN) areas are 31 areas covering Australia, as defined by the Department of Health.

In 2018–2020:

  • Northern Sydney (New South Wales) had the highest estimated participation rate among PHN areas (61%)
  • Murrumbidgee (New South Wales) had the lowest estimated participation rate (48%).

 

This data visualisation shows participation data for the National Cervical Screening Program, by Primary Health Network. The map can be filtered by state/territory and year, and uses shaded areas of colour to show participation rates. The bar graph on the second tab can be filtered by age group and year and shows the participation rate of each Primary Health Network for the selected period. A third tab shows the participation data by Primary Health Network in a table form and can be filtered by measure (number of participants, eligible population and participation rate), state/territory and age group.

Visualisation not available for printing

Participation by Statistical Area Level 3

Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3) consists of 333 geographical areas covering Australia, defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2018–2020:

  • Barwon – West (Victoria) had the highest participation rate among SA3 areas (71%)
  • East Pilbara (Western Australia) had the lowest participation rate (40%).

 

This data visualisation shows participation data for the National Cervical Screening Program, by Statistical Area Level 3. The map can be filtered by state/territory, year and age group, and uses shaded areas of colour to show participation rates. The bar graph on the second tab can be filtered by state/territory, age group and year and shows the participation rate of each Statistical Area Level 3 for the selected period. A third tab shows the participation data by Statistical Area Level 3 in a table form and can be filtered by measure (number of participants, eligible population and participation rate), state/territory and age group.

Visualisation not available for printing