The sweeping survey that paints Australia’s wellbeing by numbers

The federal authorities’s launch of a nationwide wellbeing framework has revealed Australians are more and more residing with persistent sickness and ready for GP and specialist appointments, whereas the pure setting struggles underneath the burden of human influence.

Federal Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers mentioned the framework “helps us put individuals and progress, equity and alternative on the very core of our fascinated with our financial system and our society, now and into the long run”.

“We’ve chosen 50 completely different indicators to assist us higher perceive how we’re faring as we pursue a extra wholesome, safe, sustainable, cohesive and affluent Australia,” he mentioned within the framework’s foreword.

“These measures are along with, not as a substitute of, all the opposite
conventional methods we measure our financial system, like GDP and employment.”

But it surely isn’t all dangerous information. Presently, it reveals blended progress throughout 50 completely different indicators, with 20 enhancing, 12 deteriorating and the remaining displaying little change over earlier a long time.

Warwick Smith, program director on the Centre for Coverage Improvement, mentioned it’s a nice begin to measuring success in numerous areas.

“A number of the knowledge is a little bit old-fashioned, and so they’re but to say how they’re going to make use of it in decision-making,” he mentioned.

“It’s a reasonably blended story, Australia is a very privileged nation and is doing nicely comparatively, in comparison with most different international locations on the planet throughout most metrics.”

Utilizing knowledge from the ABS’s Normal Social Survey, the wellbeing framework discovered that Australians’ total life satisfaction has fallen barely between 2014 and 2020.

Well being

The framework determines how wholesome a society is by measuring entry to care and assist providers, entry to well being providers, life expectancy, psychological well being and prevalence of persistent situations.

Australians’ entry to healthcare was measured by the proportion of people that delayed or didn’t see a GP or a specialist when wanted as a result of price, and the proportion of people that waited longer than they thought was acceptable to see a GP or a specialist.

The variety of individuals ready for GP or specialist appointments elevated in 2021 in comparison with the earlier 9 years, with individuals in regional areas reporting longer wait instances than these in cities.

The prevalence of persistent situations is rising in Australia, based on the federal government’s knowledge.

“This pattern is related to a variety of elements, together with the prevalence of modifiable threat elements, the truth that persons are residing longer and that enhancements within the therapy and administration of persistent situations have prolonged life expectations,” it mentioned.

“In 2020-21, practically half of Australians of all ages (46.6 per cent) had a number of persistent situations, and nearly one in 5 (18.6 per cent) had two or extra persistent situations – a state of well being generally known as multi-morbidity.”

Sadly, a lot of the information on psychological well being, utilizing the proportion of adults who skilled excessive or very excessive ranges of psychological misery, doesn’t cowl the COVID-19 pandemic years.

The psychological well being knowledge within the wellbeing framework doesn’t cowl the years through the COVID-19 pandemic. Photograph: Getty


The framework measures Australia’s safety by entry to justice, childhood expertise of abuse, the expertise of violence, feeling security, homelessness, housing serviceability, making ends meet, nationwide security and on-line security indicators.

The indications discovered the speed of individuals experiencing bodily violence every year has improved since 2005, declining from 10.4 per cent for males and 6.1 per cent for girls in 2005 to six.1 per cent and a couple of.9 per cent respectively in 2022.

Proportional knowledge for family revenue to mortgage prices for 2022 and 2023, when rates of interest began rising, isn’t at the moment accessible on the dashboard.


Australia’s threatened and near-threatened species are persevering with to say no at an alarming charge.

Mr Smith mentioned Australia has the ignoble honour as one of many worst locations for species loss on the planet.

“There are a collection of issues which can be on a downward slope and biodiversity loss is one in every of them,” he mentioned.

“The concept we’re enhancing on local weather motion is true, however are we doing sufficient?”

Since 1985, birds, mammals and vegetation have continued to drop in numbers, revealing a stark image of environmental harm all through the nation.

Australia’s emissions per capita are above the OECD common.

In line with the information – and other than a spike through the Black Summer time bushfires – the air in Australia was cleaner in 2021-22 than in 2017-18.

“Substantial additional progress must be made to succeed in Australia’s legislated dedication to cut back emissions by 43 per cent by 2030,” Treasury mentioned.

“Electrical energy generated from renewable power has elevated from 7.7 per cent in 2001‑02 to 30.9 per cent in 2021‑22.”

science suppression
Australia’s threatened and near-threatened species are persevering with to say no at an alarming charge. Photograph: AAP

The portion of landmass protected by conservation has grown considerably since 1997 and a big portion is managed by First Nations teams.

Some 45 per cent of Australia’s oceans are actually marine-protected areas, up from lower than 10 per cent in 2005.


The framework measures the cohesiveness of society by a bunch of indicators, spanning from acceptance of range to belief within the authorities.

By measuring the proportion of people that use a language apart from English at dwelling and the proportion of people that agree with accepting immigrants makes Australia stronger, the framework discovered Australia is now extra accepting of range.

“In 2022, 78 per cent of Australians agreed that accepting immigrants from many alternative international locations makes Australia stronger, up from 63 per cent in 2018,” it mentioned.

There was a lower in individuals experiencing discrimination in Australia, with 13.3 per cent reporting some type of discrimination prior to now 12 months in 2020, down from 18.7 per cent in 2014.

People who find themselves homosexual, lesbian or bisexual reported being extra more likely to be discriminated towards than heterosexual individuals at a charge of 30.1 per cent in comparison with 12.5 per cent.

The information reveals extra Australians felt lonely in 2020 in comparison with 2015. Nevertheless, it was nonetheless decrease than the highs of the early 2000s.


The prosperity of Australia is measured within the wellbeing framework by entry to work, childhood growth, revenue inequality, job alternatives and satisfaction, literacy and numeracy abilities, entry to training and different conventional financial indicators like wages and productiveness.

The information confirmed the gender pay hole between women and men had fallen solely 2.9 per cent in 28 years, to 13.3 per cent in November 2022.

Throughout this time, 75 per cent of ladies aged over 15 had been employed, up from 63 per cent in 2005.