One-in-five Aussies have a ‘mental or behavioural condition’

MORE Australians than ever are living with mental or behavioural conditions, it has been revealed.

According to new data* released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 4.8 million Australians – or 20 percent of the population – had a mental or behavioural condition in 2017-18.

That’s up from four million Australians – or 17.5 percent of the population – in 2014-15.


Mental and behavioural conditions include mood disorders such as depression, anxiety-related problems, organic mental problems such as dementia, and alcohol and drug problems.

ABS Director of Health, Louise Gates, said the 2017-18 National Health Survey showed the increase was due predominantly to a rise in the number of people with anxiety-related conditions or depression.

“Anxiety-related conditions were the most common mental or behavioural conditions with 13 per cent of Australians affected in 2017-18, up from 11 per cent in 2014-15″ Ms Gates said.

“One in ten people had depression (up from 9 per cent in 2014-15) and 6 per cent had both an anxiety-related condition and depression (up from 5 per cent in 2014-15).”

The data also revealed females were more likely to experience mental or behavioural conditions than males – 22 per cent compared with 18 per cent.

Ms Gates said unlike many other conditions, the proportion of people with a mental or behavioural condition does not increase with age.

The highest proportion of people affected was found in the 15-24 year age group where 30 per cent of females and 21 per cent of males had a mental or behavioural condition.

*The survey was conducted in all States and Territories from July 2017 to June 2018 and included around 21,000 people in over 16,000 private dwellings.