Social Health Atlas of Older people in Australia

Published: 2021

Introduction

The Older people in Australia: Social Health Atlas (version 1, published in 2020) presents data on a range of population characteristics, including demography, socioeconomic status, health status and risk factors, and use of health and welfare services. This second version, titled a Social Health Atlas of Older people in Australia, includes updates for a selection of the Topics and indicators under the broad headings of demographic, socioeconomic status, health status and use of health services. Data included in the first version for which updated data are not available (e.g., Population Census data) have been retained in this version: a list of Topics and Indicators showing their status as updated or not can be found here.

Key Findings

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups

  • A higher proportion of the 65+ years population were born in non-English speaking countries compared to those born in predominantly English speaking countries; this was also the case for the 75+ and 85+ years age groups.
  • The rates of poor proficiency in English was higher in the 75+ and 85+ age groups than in the 65+ age group.
  • The top 10 birthplace countries of people aged 65+ years born in non-English speaking countries are Italy, Greece, Germany, China, Netherlands, India, Malta, Vietnam, Croatia and Malaysia.

Housing and transport

  • One quarter (24.8%) of the 65+ years population in Australia were living alone. The proportion was highest in Tasmania (29%), followed by South Australia (27.6%) with the lowest in the Northern Territory (17.9%). Rates of living alone were higher in 75+ (32.1%) and 85+ age groups (43.4%).
  • About three quarters (76.9%) of the 65+ population in Australia were home owners. Those living in the Australian Capital Territory had higher rates of home ownership (80%), compared to those in the Northern Territory who had the lowest rates (60.6%).
  • Of the 65+ year population in Australia, just over one tenth were renters (12.2%). This pattern varied between 10.3% to 13.6% across all State and Territories, although at 21.5%, the proportion for those living in the Northern Territory were significantly higher.

Education

  • Just over half of the older population left school without completing Year 10, or did not go to school; however, this proportion was higher for those living outside the capital cities.

Low income

  • Rates of older people on low income were highest in South Australia and lowest in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Community strength

  • Rates of volunteering by the population aged 65+ years for an organisation or group were highest in South Australia, followed by Tasmania. Broadly, the proportion of older people who volunteered for an organisation or group was higher for those living outside of the capital cities.

Caring

  • About one-tenth (11.5%) of the 65+ years population provided (unpaid) child care to a child or children other than their own, this was more prevalent for those living in the capital cities.

Mortality

  • Deaths from circulatory system diseases were the leading causes of mortality for the 65+ year population: they include deaths from ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases among other causes. However, for premature deaths (deaths from 65 to 74 years), the number and rate of deaths from cancer were twice as high as from circulatory system diseases.
  • Death from cancer was also a significant cause of premature mortality for the 65+ year population, with lung cancer the main cancer type.

Hospital admissions

  • The leading principal diagnoses for hospital admissions for the 65+ year population were circulatory system diseases, injury, poisoning and other external causes, cancer and digestive system diseases.
  • Fibre optic colonoscopy excision and fibre optic colonoscopy were the two main procedures for admissions at these ages.

View the Social Health Atlas of Older people in Australia

Maps

Single maps

The Single Map presents all indicators for all areas allowing users to explore and understand patterns and trends for a range of datasets.

Aged Care Planning Regions (ACPR) map

Population Health Areas (PHA) map

Local Government Areas (LGA) map

Primary Health Networks with component PHAs map

Primary Health Networks with component LGAs map

Double maps

The Double Map enables users to select two different indicators to compare on two synchronised maps within the same view. The two indicators selected are also presented as a Scatterplot to assess potential correlations.

Aged Care Planning Regions (ACPR) map

Population Health Areas (PHA) map

Local Government Areas (LGA) map

Primary Health Networks with component PHAs map

Primary Health Networks with component LGAs map

Area profile maps

The Area profile Map presents the indicators in a single view using a spine chart. In this way users can readily see how the selected area compares with the national average percentage or rate for each indicator.

Aged Care Planning Regions (ACPR) map

Population Health Areas (PHA) map

Local Government Areas (LGA) map

Primary Health Networks with component PHAs map

Primary Health Networks with component LGAs map

*For the Area profile templates to show any data, you must select an area by highlighting it on the map. Learn more ...

Graphs

Monitoring inequality in Australia

The Inequality graphs present the Child and Youth Atlas Social Health Atlas of Australia indicators, where available, by Quintiles of Socioeconomic Disadvantage of Area, for Australia, States/ Territories, and the Capital cities and Rest of State/ Territory areas. For background information and an overview on interpreting the graphs, refer to the Inequality graphs: Introduction.

Graphs Australia NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas NT ACT

Monitoring inequality in Australia: Primary Health Networks (PHN)

The Inequality graphs present the Child and Youth Atlas Social Health Atlas of Australia indicators, where available, by Quintiles of Socioeconomic Disadvantage of Area within Primary Health Networks (PHN), for each State/ Territory. For background information and an overview on interpreting the graphs, refer to the Inequality graphs: Introduction.

Graphs NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas NT ACT

Remoteness

The Remoteness Graphs present the Child and Youth Atlas Social Health Atlas of Australia indicators, where available, by Remoteness Area, for Australia and the State/ Territory areas (excluding ACT). For information on the Remoteness classes or interpreting the graphs, refer to the Remoteness graphs: Introduction.

Graphs Australia NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas NT

View Notes on the data