1-3. Determinants of Health
Health status within a population typically follows a gradient, with overall health tending to improve with each step up the socioeconomic ladder. This is commonly known as the socio-economic gradient of health, or the social gradient of health, and is a global phenomenon seen in low, middle and high income countries.1
1-3-1. Income and households
At the 2016 Census, selected median income measures for South Australia are below those for Australia as a whole. Income measures for Aboriginal people/households in South Australia are significantly below the state and national benchmarks.2
|Median total personal income||$600 per week||$413 per week||$662 per week|
|Median total household income||$1,206 per week||$1,014 per week||$1,438 per week|
|Median mortgage repayment*||$373 per week||$347 per week||$439 per week|
|Median rent||$260 per week||$220 per week||$335 per week|
|Average household size||2.4 persons||3.0 persons||2.6 persons|
* The HPC has estimated median weekly mortgage repayments here for comparison purposes by dividing monthly figures in the source data by four.
Data source: ABS 2017
1-3-2. Socio-economic status
A commonly used measure of socio-economic status in Australia is the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Socio-economic Index for Areas (SEIFA), Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD)...
The IRSD is a general socio-economic index that summarises a range of information about the economic and social conditions of people and households within an area. The IRSD is standardised so that the Australian mean is 1000, and individual regions are compared against that benchmark. That is, an area with economic and social indicators equal to the national average will receive a score of 1000.
- A lower score indicates relatively greater disadvantage in general. For example, an area could have a lower score if there are (among other things) more households with low income, many people with no qualifications, or an over-representation of people in low skill occupations.
- Conversely, a higher score indicates a relative lack of disadvantage in general.
It is important to remember that the scores are an ordinal measure, so care should be taken when comparing scores. For example, an area with a score of 500 is not twice as disadvantaged as an area with a score of 1000, it just had more markers of relative disadvantage.
Overall, in 2016 the SEIFA IRSD score for South Australia was 977, indicating that the economic and social conditions of people and households within this state are below the national average (1000).3
At the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) geographic level, IRSD scores range from 1099 in Coromandel Valley, Belair and Aldgate-Stirling in the Southern Adelaide and Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network, down to 588 in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in outback South Australia.3
|Local Health Network||IRSD score
|Max. IRSD score
(ABS SA2 level)
|Min. IRSD score
(ABS SA2 level)
|Northern Adelaide||934||1079 (One Tree Hill)||686 (Elizabeth)|
|Central Adelaide||1005||1094 (Glenside-Beaumont)||843 (The Parks)|
|Southern Adelaide||1008||1099 (Belair, Coromandel Valley)||849 (Hackham W.-Huntfield H.)|
|Metropolitan Adelaide||983||1099 (Belair, Coromandel Valley)||686 (Elizabeth)|
|Barossa Hills Fleurieu||1010||1099 (Aldgate – Stirling)||951 (Mallala)|
|Yorke & Northern||931||1005 (Clare)||865 (Port Pirie)|
|Eyre and Far North||943||1000 (Kimba - Cleve - Franklin Harbour)||588 (APY Lands)|
|Flinders and Upper North||900||1039 (Roxby Downs)||879 (Whyalla)|
|South East||954||1039 (Naracoorte Region)||905 (Millicent)|
|Riverland Mallee Coorong||917||990 (Murray Bridge Region)||849 (Renmark)|
|Country Health SA||962||1099 (Aldgate-Stirling)||588 (APY Lands)|
|SOUTH AUSTRALIA||977||1099 (Aldgate-Stirling, Belair, Coromandel Valley)||588 (APY Lands)|
|AUSTRALIA||1000||1183 (Duntroon)||420 (Thamarrurr)|
Data source: ABS 2018
1-3-3. Education attainment
As at the 2016 Census, more than half (53.4%)2 of persons aged 15 years and over who were no longer attending primary or secondary school had completed Year 12 or equivalent as their highest year of school attainment. This percentage excludes people who did not state their highest year of school completed. The South Australian rate is lower than the national average of 59.0%.4
Approximately a third, or 32.2%, of Aboriginal people in South Australia aged 15 years and over who are no longer attending primary or secondary school have completed Year 12 or equivalent as their highest year of school attainment. Again, this excludes those who did not state their highest year of school completed.2
1-3-4. Level of private health insurance
At 30 June 2017, 45.5% of the South Australian population were insured with private hospital treatment cover, slightly below the Australia-wide rate of 46.0%.
Fig A. Private hospital treatment cover
Data source: APRA 2018
Note: Introduction of 30% Rebate from 1 January 1999
Insurance with private general treatment (ancillary) cover was more common with 59.3% of South Australians covered, above the national rate of 54.9%. Coverage rates were almost unchanged compared to a year earlier.4
Fig B. Private general treatment (GT) cover (ie. ancillary or extras cover)
Data source: APRA 2018
Note 1: Introduction of Life Time Health Cover on 1 July 2000.
Note 2: The introduction of the PHI Act 2007 caused an artificial increase in General Treatment and decrease in Hospital Treatment Only as a result of changes in definitions and reclassification of policies.
Where an out-of-pocket (‘gap’) payment was payable for an episode of hospital care or a medical service, the average amount of the gap in South Australia was $73.30, well below the Australia-wide average gap payment of $155.72. Medical gap payments varied according to specialty, both in amount and in proportion to the overall charge.4
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW 2018), Australia's health 2018, Australia's health series no.16, cat. no. AUS 221, Canberra, viewed 10 August 2018.
- Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2017), 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Profile', 2016 Census of Population and Housing, cat. no. 2002.0, viewed 10 August 2018.
- Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2018), 'Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, 2016', 2016 Census of Population and Housing, cat. no. 2033.0.55.001, viewed 10 August 2018.
- Based on Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA 2018), Private Health Insurance Annual Survey, December 2017, viewed 6 August 2018.