Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia

Diabetes is a chronic condition marked by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This is caused by the body being unable to produce insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas to control blood glucose levels) or to use insulin effectively, or both.

An estimated 1 in 20 (4.9% or 1.2 million) Australians had diabetes in 2017–18, based on self-reported data (ABS 2019).

All people with type 1 diabetes, and some with type 2, gestational or other forms of diabetes will require insulin replacement therapy to manage their condition.

This web report presents the latest available data on new cases of insulin-treated diabetes, with a focus on type 1 diabetes and insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, in Australia. Data are from the 2018 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR).

New cases of insulin-treated diabetes in 2018

In 2018, about 31,300 people registered on the NDR began using insulin to treat their diabetes. Of these:

  • just over 2,800 (9.0%) people were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and began using insulin to treat it
  • 17,000 (54%) people began using insulin to treat type 2 diabetes
  • 10,800 (34%) females began using insulin to treat gestational diabetes
  • about 600 (2.0%) people began using insulin to treat other forms of diabetes.

Proportions were calculated excluding those for whom diabetes type was unknown (143 cases or 0.5% of total insulin-treated diabetes).

Due to rounding, percentages do not sum to 100.


ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4324.0.55.001. Findings based on detailed microdata file analysis. Canberra: ABS.