Geographic variation

Figure 3 shows the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks by four different geographic classifications—state/territory, remoteness area, Primary Health Network (PHN), and Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s). 

This analysis is based on the postcode of the patient’s given mailing address. As a result, the data may not reflect where the person actually lived—particularly for people who use PO Boxes. This is likely to impact some areas more than others, and will also have a greater impact on the SA3 data than the larger geographic classifications. See Data sources and notes for information on areas most likely to be affected.

In 2017–18:

  • across states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest rate of Indigenous-specific health checks (with 38% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population receiving an Indigenous health check), followed by Queensland (37%). Tasmania had the lowest rate (13%).
  • across PHNs, the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks ranged from 4% (in Northern Sydney) to 42% (in Western Queensland). 

Figure 3 Alternative text. Download data tables.

Across the 5 remoteness areas, the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks in 2017–18 was generally higher in more remote areas—increasing from 23% in Major cities to 41% in Remote areas. Very remote areas were the exception to this general pattern, with a rate of 29%. This may be partly due to the use of mailing address to derive these rates—in particular, where a person lives in a Very remote area, but has mail delivered to a PO Box in a less remote location, the health check will be counted in the less remote location.

Across SA3s, the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks ranged from 3% to 59% (Figure 3; analysis relates to 328 areas for which rates could be reported).

On average, the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks was higher in SA3s with larger Indigenous populations. For example, the rate of health checks, when averaged across the SA3s, was:

  • 15% in SA3s with fewer than 1,000 Indigenous Australians (120 SA3s)
  • 25% in SA3s with between 1,000 and 4,999 Indigenous Australians (169 SA3s)
  • 31% in SA3s with between 5,000 and 9,999 Indigenous Australians (29 SA3s)
  • 37% in SA3s with 10,000 or more Indigenous Australians (10 SA3s).

In 2017–18, about 7 in 10 SA3s (71%, or 233 areas) had a rate below the national average (that is, a rate lower than 28.8%). This is because SA3s with larger populations—which tended to have higher rates of health checks—contribute more to the national rate than the smaller SA3s.