Fun factoids on health in Canberra

ACT Chief Health Officers

The ACT’s Chief Health Officer has released their report for 2014 and there are some interesting tidbits along the way, bearing in mind the data finally released is from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2012 so we’re looking in the rear-view mirror here:

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the ACT in 2011 was 5,185, accounting for 1.5% of the total ACT population.
  • Although the ACT had an overall high socio-economic status, it had 6 census collection districts falling within the bottom 10% of Australian rankings for relative social disadvantage, with one of these ranking in the bottom 2% and one in the bottom 4%. Using individual socio-economic index calculations, 40,400 residents fell into the most disadvantaged 20% of all Australians.
  • Life expectancy continues to be high in the ACT and is expected to increase slightly over the next 10 years. The Territory has the highest life expectancy of all jurisdictions (males 81.2 years; females 85.1 years in 2012).
  • In 2012, the leading underlying causes of mortality for ACT residents were: cancer (29%), cardiovascular diseases (28%), respiratory diseases (9%), accident and injury (7%) and dementia (4%).
  • In 2011-12, 11.0% of ACT adults aged 18 years and over reported eating sufficient vegetables on a daily basis (9.9% in 2009-10); and less than half (49.4%) reported eating sufficient fruit, a significant decrease from 2009-10 (57.1%). Males were less likely to comply than females.
  • In 2011-12, 63.0% of the ACT adult population was overweight or obese (males: 70.8%, females: 54.7%), with 25.5% being obese (males: 25.9%, females: 25.1%).
  • In 2011-12, 21.0% of ACT adults drank alcohol at risky/high risk levels (Australia: 19.5%)
  • There was a downward trend in sun protective behaviour in both children and adults.
  • Results from the Canberra Gay Community Periodic Survey show that there has been an increase in unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners from 2000 to 2011.
  • The most common cancer-related deaths for males were prostate, lung, and colorectal and for females, lung, breast and colorectal.
  • In 2011-12, 15.5% of the ACT population had mental and behavioural problems, the highest proportion of all states and territories (Australia:13.4%) and an increase from previous years.
  • The ACT maintained or increased childhood immunisation coverage rates for all age groups and consistently had higher coverage rates than national rates during the reporting period.
  • The most commonly notified communicable disease was chlamydia (33% of all notifications), followed by pertussis (16%), campylobacter (13%), influenza (12%), and salmonella (5%).
  • There were 28 notifications of HIV infections in the ACT in the two years 2011 and 2012. This is a significant increase from previous years (average: 10.8 cases per year in 2007-11).
  • With the exception of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the percentage of women who smoked tobacco during pregnancy was significantly lower in the ACT than nationally.
  • The ACT had the lowest number of bulk-billed GP attendances of all states and territories, due to the low availability of these services.
  • 63% of ACT people with disabilities were in the labour force, which was a higher participation rate than those for other states and territories (Australia: 52.8%).
  • In 2012, the ACT continued to have the highest proportion of private health insurance holders in the country.
  • ACT residents were more likely to be victims of assault in the previous 12 months (ACT: 7.0%, Australia: 5.6%) and were more likely to be victims of an actual or attempted break-in (ACT: 4.1%, Australia: 2.8%). Unlike Australia, the ACT rates increased from 2010.


2 Responses to “Fun factoids on health in Canberra”

  1. John Moulis
    June 20, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Any stats on gym membership? I was under the impression that Canberra had the highest gym membership in Australia and that we are swimming against the national tide in having more and more young people involved in sport and fitness.

    • John Griffiths
      John Griffiths
      June 20, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      There’s a link to the report there John, share with us what you find!

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