Population health statistics

This webpage contains reports and fact sheets that:

  • describe the health status of the Western Australian community
  • identify health disparities of various population sub-groups
  • provide geo-spatial distributions of specific health outcomes and determinants
  • monitor trends in health status and health care delivery
  • evaluate the impact of intervention programs relating to disease and risk factors.

We collect data from various sources, providing important information that helps identify and address critical and emerging health issues. Through collaboration with health service planners, policy makers and research groups we provide information that is used to design and evaluate health programs.

The Epidemiology branch

The Epidemiology branch is responsible for the collection and analysis of a wide range of population health data. Requests for specific population-based information can also be submitted to the Epidemiology branch.

Burden of Disease

Results are not comparable across years due to methodology differences.

Western Australia Burden of Disease Fact Sheets

The Western Australia (WA) burden of disease factsheet series presents WA findings from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 on the impact of 200 diseases and nearly 30 risk factors.

View our fact sheets:

Burden of Disease: The burden of disease and injury attributed to preventable risks to health in Western Australia, 2006 (April 2010)

This report quantifies the burden of disease and injury in Western Australia in 2006 that could have been prevented if nine preventable health risk factors were reduced to a level that is considered a theoretical minimum. The risk factors chosen were limited to public health priority areas, namely tobacco, alcohol, physical inactivity, illicit drugs, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, unsafe sex, high body mass, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

Read the Burden of Disease report (PDF 302KB).

Drug and alcohol related harm reports

The Epidemiology Branch has developed the Western Australia specific alcohol-related aetiological fractions that can be used to determine alcohol-related hospitalisations and deaths in populations of WA.

Methodology for Developing Western Australia Specific Alcohol-related Aetiological Fractions (May 2017) (PDF 4MB)

Health overviews

Lessons of Location Report

While the rate of admission to hospitals in Western Australia has stabilised in recent years, it remains high and unsustainable. To reduce this, strategies are required to prevent the occurrence of disease and to deliver more care in community-based services, when appropriate.

Read the Lessons of Location report.

Priorities and Preferences for Cancer Control in Western Australia, 2016

A new report by the Department of Health's Chief Health Officer has revealed that while respondents to a statewide survey on cancer prevention were knowledgeable about many aspects of cancer, a third were unaware that much could be done to prevent the disease.

Almost 12,000 Western Australians are diagnosed with cancer every year and about 4,000 lose their lives to the disease. However, recent studies have shown that about 30 to 40 per cent of these cancers could be prevented.

View all the survey findings on the Healthy WA website (external site).

Read Priorities and Preferences for Cancer Control in Western Australia (PDF 1.47MB).

Chief Health Officer's Report 2010

The inaugural Chief Health Officer's Report 2010 provides an in-depth examination of the health status of the WA population and examines trends over the past 150 years.

The report demonstrates the vital role both public health interventions and the delivery of modern clinical care services play in containing the impact of disease and improving health outcomes.

Read the Chief Health Officer's Report 2010.

Health surveys

The WA Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System (HWSS) is a continuous data collection that was developed to monitor the health and wellbeing of Western Australians. Each month, more than 550 people throughout Western Australia are interviewed.

Nutrition Monitoring Survey Series has been conducted in Western Australia (WA) since 1995 to investigate knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of West Australians relating to food, nutrition and the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The surveys include assessments of dietary change as well as barriers and promoters of dietary change.


Epidemiology of injury in Western Australia, 2000-2008

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the epidemiology of injury in Western Australia from 2000 to 2008. Its purpose is to describe the magnitude of the injury problem; trends; characteristics of the population at risk, including socioeconomic and environmental factors; and the impact of injury on health service use. It continues and expands upon the previous “Epidemiology of Injury in Western Australia 1989 to 2000” and the national reports produced by the National Injury Surveillance Unit and will inform government and non-government programs, policies and services to address this major public health problem.

Health determinants

The cost of excess body mass to the acute hospital system in Western Australia 2011

A cost of illness study was performed using 18 harms that are attributable in part, or wholly, to excess body mass. A proportion attributable to excess body weight was calculated for each harm to determine the cost from inpatient separations and emergency department presentations.

Read The cost of excess body mass to the acute hospital system in Western Australia report 2011.

Specific health studies

Review of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CaLD)Data Collection Practices in the WA Health System

This study reviews the current data collection practices to identify the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) population within the seven large core data sets held by the WA Department of Health (relating to health events such as emergency department presentations, hospital admissions, births and deaths). It makes preliminary recommendations on ways to improve the identification of the CaLD population in the core datasets.

Read the Review of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CaLD)Data Collection.

Bellevue Health Surveillance Register: Follow-up study

In 2001 a fire occurred at a hazardous waste and solvent recycling facility in Bellevue. It was estimated that the facility had up to 500,000 litres of chemicals and toxic solvents in storage. Fire and emergency services responded to the fire and over 50 local residents were evacuated.

An inquiry following the fire recommended that the Department of Health establish a register to monitor the health of those exposed to detect any long term health effects which might arise from the fire.

Read the Bellevue Health Surveillance Register: Follow-up study.

Impact of Phenol-based Cleaners and Royal Perth Hospital

Staff at both the Wellington Street and Shenton Park campuses of Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) reported that phenol-based cleaners caused a range of symptoms. Of greater concern, is the belief that there is an increase in cancer incidence among these staff.

An occupational cohort analysis was conducted to determine if an excess of cancer cases or deaths occurred among Patient Support Services (PSS) staff at RPH compared to the Perth Metropolitan population from 1983 to 2008.

Read the Impact of Phenol-based Cleaners at Royal Perth Hospital Report.

More information

While this page has been designed to provide easy access to a wide range of health data, we welcome constructive comments about our site in order to continually improve our online services. Please send them to epi@health.wa.gov.au

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Public Health