The distance between us


men women population statistics health

Are men and women so different? How do health outcomes and risk factors differ between the sexes? The answer may surprise you

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has provided an update on the latest health statistics for both men and women.

As of 30 June 2016, there were nearly 12 million males living in Australia (49.7% of the total population)—which means there were 98.8 males for every 100 females.

Around 373,000 Australian males (3.1%) identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

At the same time, there were 12.1 million females living in Australia (50.3% of the total population), which means there were 101.2 females for every 100 males.

Around 372,000 Australian females (3.1%) identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

At a glance:

  • Men and women are equally active/sedentary.
  • Chronic disease rates are constant across sexes.
  • Slightly more men than women are overweight or obese.
  • Slightly more men than women have experienced a mental health issue, although these are extremely common across the board.
  • More men than women smoke daily.
  • More men than women are risky drinkers.
  • Half of all Australian men have experienced violence since they turned 15, compared to 41% of women. However among women, the perpetrator is more likely to be a partner.
  • Women are more likely to have been sexually harrassed than men (48% vs 18%).
  • Women are expected to live four years more than men, on average.

See below for more detail.

10 key statistics about men’s health

  1. One in two Australian men aged 18–64 get enough exercise. Exercise rates were highest among men aged 25–34 (56%) and lowest among men aged 45–54 (43%).
  2. Seven in 10 Australian men are overweight or obese.
  3. One in two Australian males have a chronic disease.
  4. Nearly one in two Australian males have experienced a mental health problem (48% or 3.8 million).
  5. Over one in two Australian men have experienced a sexual difficulty.
  6. Based on 2014–15 ABS data, 16.9% of men aged 18 or over and 3.9% of boys aged 15–17 years smoked daily.
  7. Based on 2014–15 ABS data, more than half of men aged 18 and over (57%) were exceeding the single occasion risk threshold, and one in four (26%) exceeded the lifetime risk guideline.
  8. One in two (49%) Australian men have experienced violence since they turned 15 (48% had experienced physical violence and 4.5% had experienced sexual violence). Of men aged 18 and over, 18% had experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime, while 5.3% had experienced partner violence since the age of 15.
  9. 16,665 estimated new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, the most common cancer among males.
  10. Males born in Australia in 2013–2015 can expect to live to the age of 80.4 years on average. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males born in 2010–2012, life expectancy was estimated to be 10.6 years lower than that of non-Indigenous males.

10 key statistics about women’s health

  1. One in two Australian women aged 18–64 get enough exercise. Exercise rates were highest among women aged 25–34 (51%) and lowest among women aged 55–64 (41%).
  2. Six in 10 Australian women are overweight or obese.
  3. One in two Australian females have a chronic disease.
  4. Nearly one in two Australian females have experienced a mental health problem (43% or 3.4 million).
  5. Based on 2014–15 ABS data, 12.1% of women aged 18 or over and 2.3% of girls aged 15–17 years smoked daily.
  6. Based on the ABS NHS, in 2014–15, almost a third of women aged 18 and over (32%) were exceeding the single occasion risk threshold, and 9.3% exceeded the lifetime risk guideline.
  7. Two in five (41%) Australian women have experienced violence since they turned 15. Of women aged 18 and over, 48% had experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime, while 17% had experienced partner violence since the age of 15.
  8. 17,586 estimated new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, the most common cancer among females.
  9. Females born in Australia in 2013–2015 can expect to live to the age of 84.5 years on average. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females born in 2010–2012, life expectancy was estimated to be 9.5 years lower than non-Indigenous females.
  10. Females account for 65% of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer disease

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