Latest available health data

In March 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released results from the 2020–21 National Health Survey (NHS). Like previous years, the 2020–21 NHS results, are based on information self-reported by the participants, and are for ‘all persons’ at the national level.

Impact of COVID on data collection

Previous versions of the NHS have primarily been administered by trained ABS interviewers and were conducted face-to-face. The 2020–21 NHS was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. To maintain the safety of survey respondents and ABS Interviewers, the survey was collected via online, self-completed forms.

Non-response is usually reduced through Interviewer follow up of households who have not responded. As this was not possible during lockdown periods, there were lower response rates than previous NHS cycles, which impacted sample representativeness for some sub-populations. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns might also have had direct or indirect impacts on people’s usual behaviour over the 2020–21 period.

Due to these changes, comparisons to previous NHS data over time are not recommended when using the 2020–21 NHS results.

Future analyses

Detailed analysis on the 2020–21 NHS data has not been able to be conducted in the time available leading to the publication of this report. Future analysis of the 2020–21 NHS data will explore ADF service and DVA client breakdowns by demographic information such as sex and age, like the information presented from the 2017–18 NHS.