Does overweight and obesity differ by population group?

Use the interactive graphs to explore the prevalence of overweight and obesity in different geographical areas and among different population groups.

Remoteness area

In 2014–15, children and adolescents aged 2–17 living in Outer regional/Remote areas were more likely to be overweight or obese than those living in Major cities—about 1 in 3 (36%) of those living in Outer regional/Remote areas were overweight or obese compared with 1 in 4 (25%) of those living in Major cities. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was lowest among children and adolescents living in Inner regional areas (22%).

Among boys, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 35% for those living in Outer regional/Remote areas, 27% for those living in Major cities, and lowest for those living in Inner regional areas (21%). Among girls, it was 36% for those living in Outer regional/Remote areas, 45% for those living in Major cities, and 23% for those in Inner regional areas.

In 2014–15, Australians aged 18 or over living in Outer regional/Remote and Inner regional areas were more likely to be overweight or obese than those living in Major cities—69% of those living in Outer regional/Remote areas and Inner regional were overweight or obese compared with 61% of those living in Major cities.

Among men, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 74% for those living in Outer regional/Remote areas, 75% in Inner regional areas, and 69% for those living in Major cities. Among women, it was 64% for those living in Outer regional/Remote areas, 63% in Inner regional areas, and 53% for those living in Major cities.

Socioeconomic group

In 2014–15, children and adolescents aged 2–17 in the lowest socioeconomic group were more likely to be overweight or obese than those in the highest socioeconomic group—35% of those in the lowest socioeconomic group were overweight or obese compared with 23% of those in the highest socioeconomic group.

Among boys, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 33% for those in the lowest socioeconomic group and 22% for those in the highest socioeconomic group. Among girls, it was 38% for those in the lowest socioeconomic group and 24% for those in the highest socioeconomic group.

In 2014–15, Australians aged 18 or over in the lowest socioeconomic group were more likely to be overweight or obese than those in the highest socioeconomic group—67% of those in the lowest socioeconomic group were overweight or obese compared with 58% of those in the highest socioeconomic group.

Among men, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 72% for those in the lowest socioeconomic group and 69% for those in the highest socioeconomic group. Among women, it was 61% for those in the lowest socioeconomic group and 48% for those in the highest socioeconomic group.

Primary Health Network

In 2014–15, of measured Primary Health Network (PHN) areas, the Country South Australia PHN area had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity, with almost three-quarters of adults overweight or obese (73%). The Northern Sydney PHN area had the lowest prevalence, with just over half of the adult population overweight or obese (53%). For more information, see Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2014–15.

International comparisons

More than half (57%) of people aged over 15 years are overweight or obese among 22 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, based on measured data from 2016 (or the closest available year). Australia’s obesity rate (28% of the population aged 15 and over) is the fifth highest among these countries.

For more information, see A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia.

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2014–15, expanded confidentialised unit record file, DataLab. ABS cat. no. 4324.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Findings based on use of ABS microdata.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2016. Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2014–15 (In Focus). Cat. no. HPF 2. Canberra: AIHW.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2017. OECD Health Statistics 2017. Paris: OECD. Viewed 22 August 2017, <http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm>.