Australia's wealthiest postcodes are the healthiest postcodes



A new online health tool, Australia's Health Tracker by Area, has localised the state of our nation's health postcode by postcode by drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The tool has been developed by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University (VU) with the Public Health Information and Development Unit at Torrens University.  The aim of tracking localised data on specific risk factors (smoking, alcohol intake obesity and blood pressure) is to help reduce the rates of chronic diseases.

Summary of results

  • West Australians have relatively low rates of high blood pressure (9.3%)
  • Tasmania has the highest (12.1%).
  • The Northern Territory has the highest rates of diabetes (7.1%)
  • Queensland has highest rates of obesity (30.4%).

This confirms research that shows the existence of a social gradient when it comes to chronic disease and their risk factors with huge disparities between suburbs.

In Sydney:

  • affluent, or wealthier, regions, like Ku-Ring-Gai, are the healthiest in the nation.
  • the highest rates of obesity and overweight people were concentrated in pockets of Sydney's west. In St Marys and Colyton close to 70% of the adult population were obese or overweight.
  • the inner city area boasted the lowest age-standardised rate of overweight and obese people, with 44.3 per 100 population, followed by Chatswood, Homebush Bay, Cremorne, North Sydney and Mosman.

But the city's more affluent areas around Sydney Harbour and along the coastline have some of the state's highest rates of risky drinking. Cronulla, Kurnell and Bundeena topped the list of Sydney's biggest drinking suburbs, with an age-standardised rate of 28.4 per 100 people aged 15 and over drinking more than two standard drinks per day.

One in four people in Mosman were risky drinkers, while more than one in five people who lived in Manly, Balmain, Lilyfield, North Sydney, the inner Sydney and Bondi were risky drinkers.

The Redfern, Chippendale, Waterloo and Beaconsfield area recorded the highest rates of suicide in Sydney, with 18 suicide deaths per 100,000 people, followed by the inner city, Haymarket and The Rocks (15.8 per 100,000).

Homebush Bay's diabetes rate of 13.8% is the highest in Sydney.

Mount Druitt also had Sydney's highest recorded rate of deaths caused by cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease.