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. (AIHW 2012)
1-3-1. Income and households
At the 2011 Census, selected median income measures for South Australia were below those for Australia as a whole. Income measures for Aboriginal people/households in South Australia are significantly below the state and national benchmarks.
As at the 2011 Census, 10.8% of South Australians aged between 15 and 64 years were living alone. This is higher than the national average of 8.8% and ranks South Australia second highest of the states and territories. Also, 29.7% of South Australians aged 65 years and over were living alone. Again, this is above the national average of 27.3%, and ranks this state second highest when compared to all states and territories.
|Median total personal income||$534 per week||$348 per week||$577 per week|
|Median total household income||$1,044 per week||$842 per week||$1,234 per week|
|Median mortgage repayment*||$375 per week||$326 per week||$450 per week|
|Median rent||$220 per week||$165 per week||$285 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.
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 2011 the SEIFA IRSD score for South Australia was 983, indicating that the economic and social conditions of people and households within this state are below the national average.
At the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) geographic level, IRSD scores range from 1111 in Coromandel Valley in the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, down to 593 in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in outback South Australia.
|Local Health Network||IRSD score|
|Max. IRSD score|
(ABS SA2 level)
|Min. IRSD score|
(ABS SA2 level)
|Northern Adelaide||949||1087 (One Tree Hill)||720 (Elizabeth)|
|Central Adelaide||1004||1095 (Glenside-Beaumont)||847 (The Parks)|
|Southern Adelaide||1013||1111 (Coromandel Valley)||856 (Hackham W.-Huntfield H.)|
|Metropolitan Adelaide||989||1111 (Coromandel Valley)||720 (Elizabeth)|
|Country Health SA||969||1100 (Aldgate-Stirling)||593 (APY Lands)|
|SOUTH AUSTRALIA||983||1111 (Coromandel Valley)||593 (APY Lands)|
|AUSTRALIA||1000||1148 (Forrest-ACT)||441 (Yarrabah-QLD)|
1-3-3. Education attainment
As at the 2011 Census, less than half (48.4%) 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 was lower than the national average of 53.8%.
Just over a quarter, or 25.2%, 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.
1-3-4. Level of private health insurance
At 31 March 2016, 46.0% of the South Australian population were insured with private hospital treatment cover, slightly below the Australia-wide rate of 47.2%. Insurance with private general treatment (ancillary) cover was more common with 59.3% of South Australians covered, above the national rate of 55.8%. Coverage rates were almost unchanged compared to a year earlier.
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 $51.17, well below the Australia-wide average gap payment of $136.29. Medical gap payments varied according to specialty, both in amount and in proportion to the overall charge. Figures by specialty are not available by state, but nationally the plastic/reconstructive specialty had the highest average gap at $368 and also the largest percentage gap at 37% of charge; orthopaedic had the second largest average gap at $345, representing 26% of charge, although ENT was second largest in percentage terms at 27% gap of charge.
- AIHW 2012, Australia's health 2012, Australia's health series no.13., cat. no. AUS 156, Canberra, viewed 28 May 2015.
- Based on ABS 2011, 'Basic Community Profile, South Australia', 2011 Census of Population and Housing, cat. no. 2001.0, viewed 28 May 2015.
- Based on ABS 2011, 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Indigenous) Profile, South Australia', 2011 Census of Population and Housing, cat. no. 2002.0, viewed 28 May 2015.
- Based on ABS 2011, 'Basic Community Profile, Australia', 2011 Census of Population and Housing, cat. no. 2001.0, viewed 28 May 2015.
- Based on Australian Prudential Regulation Authority 2016, Private Health Insurance Quarterly Statistics March 2016, Canberra, viewed 30 May 2016.