4727.0.55.001 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012-13  
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Contents >> Key Findings for Indigenous Regions

KEY FINDINGS FOR INDIGENOUS REGIONS

This publication contains information for Indigenous Regions from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) component (9,300 people) of the 2012-13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS). For more information on the structure of the AATSIHS, see Structure of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey.

The Indigenous Structure of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) provides a geography standard for the publication of statistics about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia. The 37 Indigenous Regions are the highest level of this structure and are loosely based on the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) boundaries. Two Indigenous Regions - Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory - are also jurisdictions.

The 2012-13 NATSIHS was designed to produce reliable estimates at the national level, by Remoteness Areas, and for each state and territory. Data that are further disaggregated into smaller regions will generally have increased sampling error which may make these data less reliable. These analyses highlight some of the statistically significant differences between national results and the results for Indigenous Regions. Users should be careful when interpreting these data and refer to the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002) for more information.


Long-term health conditions

  • In 2012–13, just over two-thirds (67.4%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a long-term health condition.
  • Just over one in five (20.9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported one long-term health condition, one in seven (13.6%) had two, and around one-third (32.8%) had three or more.
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting a long-term health condition were significantly smaller than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Nhulunbuy (32.7%), Apatula (35.4%), Tennant Creek (38.1%), Katherine (43.4%), Mount Isa (51.8%), Jabiru-Tiwi (53.2%), Kununurra (53.3%), Torres Strait (53.6%), Kalgoorlie (56.9%) and Townsville-Mackay (57.2%).
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting a long-term health condition were significantly larger than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of North-Western NSW (82.7%), Riverina-Orange (78.2%), Tasmania (76.8%), Australian Capital Territory (76.3%), Melbourne (75.8%), Adelaide (75.0%) and North-Eastern NSW (73.9%).

Disability
  • In 2012–13, just over one-third (35.7%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a disability or restrictive long-term health condition.
  • Disability rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were significantly lower than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Townsville-Mackay (24.1%) and Perth (27.3%).
  • Disability rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were significantly higher than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of South-Eastern NSW (49.9%), Kalgoorlie (46.5%), Australian Capital Territory (46.1%), Melbourne (44.4%) and Victoria (excluding Melbourne) (43.8%).
  • Disability rates were significantly lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males than females in the Indigenous Regions of Kalgoorlie (39.2% compared with 53.7%) and Melbourne (38.5% compared with 50.3%).

Psychological distress
  • In 2012–13, three in ten (30.1%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over had experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the four weeks before the survey (24.0% of men compared with 35.8% of women).
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting high/very high levels of psychological distress was significantly smaller than the national average in the Torres Strait Indigenous Region (20.3%).
  • A significantly larger proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women than men reported high/very high levels of psychological distress in the Indigenous Regions of Adelaide (41.4% compared with 23.2%) and Tasmania (32.4% compared with 20.3%).

Alcohol consumption - exceeded guidelines for lifetime risk
  • In 2012–13, around one in six (18.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had exceeded the 2009 NHMRC alcohol guidelines for lifetime risk.
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people exceeding the 2009 NHMRC guidelines for lifetime risk were significantly larger than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of South Hedland (34.8%) and West Kimberley (29.2%).

Alcohol consumption - exceeded guidelines for single occasion risk
  • In 2012–13, just over half (53.6%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had exceeded the 2009 NHMRC alcohol guidelines for single occasion risk.
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people exceeding the 2009 NHMRC guidelines for single occasion risk were significantly smaller than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Jabiru-Tiwi (34.4%), Katherine (37.2%), South-Eastern NSW (38.2%) and Port Augusta (39.3%).
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people exceeding the 2009 NHMRC guidelines for single occasion risk were significantly larger than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of South Hedland (75.0%), North-Western NSW (70.5%), Riverina-Orange (65.9%), Australian Capital Territory (65.7%) and South-Western WA (65.1%).

Illicit substance use
  • In 2012–13, just over one in five (22.3%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had used illicit substance(s) in the previous 12 months.
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting illicit substance use in the previous 12 months were significantly smaller than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Apatula (8.6%) and Port Augusta (14.7%).
  • In the Geraldton Indigenous Region, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting illicit substance use in the last 12 months was significantly larger than the national average (32.0%).
  • In 2012–13, just under half (45.4%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had used illicit substance(s) at some time in their life.
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had ever used illicit substance(s) were significantly smaller than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Toowoomba-Roma (34.8%) and Port Augusta (35.5%).
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had ever used illicit substance(s) were significantly larger than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Geraldton (57.2%), Australian Capital Territory (55.7%), Brisbane (53.4%) and Perth (52.9%).

Family stressors
  • In 2012–13, almost three-quarters (73.4%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported that they, their family or close friends had experienced one or more stressors in the previous 12 months (70.0% of males compared with 76.7% of females).
  • A significantly smaller proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males than females reported stressor(s) in the Brisbane Indigenous Region (69.1% compared with 84.6%).
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting at least one stressor was significantly smaller than the national average in the Katherine Indigenous Region (60.5%).
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting at least one stressor were significantly larger than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of West Kimberley (95.0%), Toowoomba-Roma (84.4%) and Melbourne (83.5%).
  • Just over one-third (35.3%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported one or two stressors, a further 38.1% reported three or more stressors, and just over one-quarter (26.2%) did not report any stressors.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting three or more stressors was significantly smaller than the national average in the North-Eastern NSW Indigenous Region (27.3%).
  • The proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting three or more stressors were significantly larger than the national average in the Indigenous Regions of Melbourne (49.8%), Riverina-Orange (49.7%) and Brisbane (46.3%).

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