Differences between groups

The interactive graphs below allow you to explore the prevalence of overweight and obesity in different geographical areas and among different population groups.

Remoteness area

In 2017–18, children and adolescents aged 2–17 living in Outer regional and remote or Inner regional areas were more likely to be overweight or obese than those living in Major cities—about 1 in 3 (27% and 29% respectively) were overweight or obese compared with 1 in 4 (23%) of those living in Major cities.

Among boys, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 28% for those living in Outer regional and remote areas, 24% for those living in Major cities, and highest for those living in Inner regional areas (30%). Among girls, it was 26% for those living in Outer regional and remote areas, 23% for those living in Major cities, and 28% for those in Inner regional areas.

In 2017–18, Australians aged 18 or over living in Outer regional and remote and Inner regional areas were more likely to be overweight or obese than those living in Major cities—70% of those living in Outer regional and remote areas and 71% in Inner regional were overweight or obese compared with 65% of those living in Major cities.

Among men, there was no difference in the prevalence of overweight and obesity by remoteness—75% for those living in Outer regional and remote areas, 78% in Inner regional areas, and 73% for those living in Major cities. However, among women, those living in regional areas were more likely to be overweight and obese than those in Major cities—65% for those living in Outer regional and remote areas, 64% in Inner regional areas, and 57% for those living in Major cities.

Socioeconomic areas

In 2017–18, rates of overweight and obesity for children were similar across socioeconomic areas, with 28% of children and adolescents aged 2–17 in the lowest socioeconomic areas overweight or obese, and 21% of those in the highest socioeconomic areas.

Rates for overweight but not obese were similar across socioeconomic areas, however rates of obesity were 2.4 times as high among those in the lowest socioeconomic areas (10.7%) compared with the highest (4.4%).

In 2017–18, Australians aged 18 or over in the lowest socioeconomic areas were more likely to be overweight or obese than those in the highest socioeconomic areas—72% compared with 62%.

Among men, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 77% for those in the lowest socioeconomic areas and 73% for those in the highest socioeconomic areas.

There was a greater difference in overweight and obesity between the lowest socioeconomic areas and the highest among women—66% for those in the lowest socioeconomic areas and 50% for those in the highest socioeconomic areas.

For both men and women, rates of obesity were the underlying reason for difference by socioeconomic areas. Among men, the prevalence of obesity was 37% in the lowest socioeconomic areas, compared with 26% in the highest areas. Among women 38% were obese in the lowest areas, compared with 22% in the highest areas.

Primary Health Network

In 2017–18, of measured Primary Health Network (PHN) areas, the Western New South Wales PHN area had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity, with 4 in 5 adults overweight or obese (83%). The Gold Coast PHN area had the lowest prevalence, with just over half of the adult population overweight or obese (59%).

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2018. National Health Survey: first results, 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

ABS 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4324.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. AIHW customised data request