Aboriginal health in the community
Aboriginal people experience significant health disadvantages,
illustrated by a ten-year gap in average life expectancy compared
to non-Indigenous Australians – 11.5 years for males and 9.7 years
for females (AIHW
Indigenous people generally experience more risk
factors for ill-health than non-Indigenous Australians.
Contributing factors to the poor health status of many Indigenous
people are: social factors (such as dispossession, dislocation and
discrimination); educational factors (such as poor levels of
schooling); economic factors (such as income and employment); and
physical environmental factors (such as housing).
Often referred to as ‘social determinants of health’, these
factors often underlie health risks including alcohol and other
drug use, smoking, nutrition, obesity and physical inactivity. A
lack of access to good quality health care is often an additional
problem for Aboriginal communities.
Among Aboriginal communities the level of perinatal mortality
(miscarriage and infant death before the child’s first birthday) is
twice the national average, with a higher rate of low birth weights
than the non-Indigenous population.
Further information on Australian Indigenous health is available