Australian Bureau of Statistics. Schools, Australia. Catalogue number 4221.0. Canberra: ABS, latest available year. Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.
The apparent school retention rate is the number of full-time students who are enrolled in Year 12 in a given year expressed as a percentage of their cohort group at the commencement of secondary schooling.
• Social factors such as income, socioeconomic status, employment status, educational attainment and crime rates are associated with inequalities in health.
• In 2016, four of the five most socioeconomically disadvantaged local government areas of NSW were in remote or very remote parts of the state (Brewarrina, Central Darling, Walgett and Coonamble). Fairfield Local Government Area, also one of the five most disadvantaged areas, is in south-western Sydney. The five least disadvantaged local government areas were all in metropolitan Sydney: Ku-ring-ai, Mosman, Lane Cove, Woollahra and North Sydney.
• The unemployment rate had remained relatively steady between 2000 and 2019. In 2020 there has been a sharp increase in unemployment rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community lock-downs and the associated impacts on employment. In the April-June 2020 quarter, the unemployment rate was 6.5% for males and 6.6% for females. While female participation in the labour force is still lower than that of males, it had been steadily increasing over time while male participation rates have been relatively stable. However, in April-June 2018 there has been a decline in participation rates. The rate of female participation in the labour force was 57.7% while for males it was 68.2%.
• In NSW in 2016, 13.8% of the NSW population aged 15 years and over had gross weekly income of less than $150, while 8.8% had income of more than $2000. Males tended to have greater individual weekly income than females in NSW. Majority of persons aged 65 years and over (57.2%) reported earning between $150 and $649 per week.
• The Northern Sydney Local Health District had the smallest proportion of persons with weekly income of less than $600 (37.6%) and the Far West had the greatest proportion (54.8%) in 2016. In the same year, the Northern Sydney Local Health District also had the greatest proportion of persons with gross weekly income of $2,000 and more (6.0%) while the Mid North Coast Local Health Districts had the lowest (3.0%).
Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions under which people live, which determine their health. The conditions most frequently regarded as social determinants of health are: individual and household income and income distribution in the society; employment and working conditions; education and literacy, including health literacy; housing; health and social services, including early childhood development support; and social cohesion. These factors are resources that a society makes available to its members to enable them to stay healthy, and, in broader terms, to equip them with the physical, social, and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment.
The World Health Organisation defines the social determnants of health in the following way:The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.
While Australia ranks among the most advanced nations in the world, the health burden in the Australian population attributable to relative socioeconomic disadvantage is large and much of this burden is potentially avoidable. Many indicators in HealthStats NSW show that socioeconomically disadvantaged groups experience more ill health, and are more likely to engage in behaviours or have a risk factor profile consistent with their poorer health status. These inequalities are important from both social justice and economic perspectives – they are ‘unfair’, preventable and have high direct and indirect impact on the health system.
The World Health Organisation has devleoped areas for action to reduce health inequities – in collaboration with civil society, United Nations and development organizations, academia, donors and the private sector – in five priority areas (as specified by the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health): enhancing health policies and decision-making, widening participation in policy-making and implementation, improving health care and services, strengthening international cooperation, and monitoring impact and progress.
World Health Organisation. Taking action to improve health equity. https://www.who.int/social_determinants/action_sdh/en/
Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at http://www.aihw.gov.au
Healthdirect at http://www.healthdirect.gov.au
World Health Organization. Social determinants of health. Available at: http://www.who.int/social_determinants/en/