Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey

This web report uses results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Health Survey (NHS) 2017–18, collected between July 2017 and June 2018.

The survey is the most recent in a series of Australia-wide health surveys conducted by the ABS. It was designed to collect a range of information about the health of Australians, including:

  • prevalence of long-term health conditions
  • health risk factors such as smoking, overweight and obesity, alcohol consumption and physical activity
  • use of health services such as consultations with health practitioners and actions people have recently taken for their health
  • demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

The 2017–18 NHS collected data on children and adults living in private dwellings. It excluded those living in non-private dwellings, Very remote areas and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

For more information, see ABS National Health Survey: First Results, 2017–18.

It can be difficult to assess the implications of remoteness for health due to:

  • interactions between remoteness, low socioeconomic position and the higher proportion of Indigenous Australians in many of these areas compared with Major cities.
  • variability in the distribution of disadvantage and of Indigenous Australians across all areas—for example, levels of disadvantage on the fringe of Major cities can be more akin to those in rural and remote areas than to inner-city areas.
  • gaps in the availability and coverage of health data in rural and remote areas, and in information available at local area level.

It is also difficult to measure if there is adequate supply of medical services because of the influence of factors such as:

  • varying health-seeking behaviours
  • professional scope of practice
  • health system efficiency across remoteness areas.

Data quality statement

For more information on the ABS 2017–18 National Health Survey see:

ABS cat. no. 4324.0.55.001 - Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017–18