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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Annual Data Explorer provides a snapshot of the health of New Zealanders through the publication of key indicators on health behaviours, health status and access to health care for both adults and children.

The Annual Data Explorer shows 2019/20 results from the continuous New Zealand Health Survey, with comparisons to earlier surveys. Results are available by gender, age group, ethnic group and neighbourhood deprivation. For the first time, the New Zealand Health Survey results are also available by disability status.

It is important to note that data was collected for three-quarters of the survey year only. On 19 March 2020 the interviewing for the New Zealand Health Survey was suspended to reduce any risks of transmitting COVID-19 between interviewers and respondents.

Published data can be downloaded from the New Zealand Health Survey Annual Data Explorer as a .csv file, or as a PDF using the ‘print view’ function.

If you have any queries please email [email protected].

Please ensure you use the latest and most comprehensive annual results. We have made changes to previously published data, including correcting errors in child body size data for years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2018/19. The errors are described in the latest Methodology Report.

Overview of key findings

Health behaviours and risk factors

Current smoking

  • About 13.4 percent of respondents, or an estimated 535,000 adults, were current smokers (defined as smoking at least monthly). Current tobacco smoking rates have decreased from 16.6 percent in 2014/15 and 18.2 percent in 2011/12.
  • Current smoking was lowest among those aged 15–17 (3.3 percent), 65–74 (7.3 percent) and 75+ (3.9 percent). Current smoking rates have not moved significantly in 15–17-year olds since 2016/17.
  • The rate of smoking among Māori adults has not changed significantly for the last three years with Māori adults having higher rates of smoking than any other ethnic group since the NZHS began. 31.4 percent of Māori adults were current smokers in 2019/20, down from 38.1 percent in 2014/15. Māori were 2.8 times as likely to be current smokers, and Māori men were 2.1 times as likely to be current smokers than their non-Māori counterparts, after adjusting for age and gender.
  • Amongst Pacific adults, 22.4 percent were current smokers in 2019/20, which was not a statistically significant change from previous years, including 2011/12 when it was 25.9 percent. Pacific adults were 1.7 times as likely to be current smokers as non-Pacific adults, after adjusting for age and gender.
  • After adjusting for age, gender and ethnic differences, adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 4.5 times as likely to be current smokers as adults in the least deprived areas.

Hazardous drinking

  • One in five adults (20.9 percent) were hazardous drinkers in 2019/20, with no significant change since the time series began in 2015/16. (Note: while data on alcohol consumption was collected in earlier years a change in question format in 2015/16 means it is no longer comparable).
  • The prevalence of hazardous drinking among men was 28.7 percent, whereas it was 13.6 percent in women. Men were 2.1 times more likely to be hazardous drinkers than women, after adjusting for age.
  • The highest prevalence of hazardous drinking was among those aged 18–24 years, at 32.4 percent. The prevalence of hazardous drinking was also high in those aged 25–34 (23.8 percent), 35–44 (21.5 percent) and 45–54 (27.7 percent). Of those aged 15–17 years, 11.6 percent had engaged in hazardous drinking over the year before taking part in the survey; this is an increase on last year, when it was 6.3 percent. From age 55 and over, the rate decreases with increasing age.
  • Of Māori adults, 36.1 percent were hazardous drinkers in 2019/20. Māori adults were 1.8 times as likely as non-Māori adults to be hazardous drinkers, after adjusting for age and gender. In contrast, Asian adults were much less likely than non-Asian adults to be hazardous drinkers, after adjusting for age and gender.

Obesity

  • The prevalence of obesity among adults aged 15+ was 30.9 percent, which corresponds to an estimated 1.24 million adults. This overall prevalence has remained relatively stable since 2012/13, however there was an increase between 2011/12 and 2019/20 for adults aged 45–54 years and 55–64 years.
  • The prevalence of obesity among adults varied by ethnic group, with the highest prevalence amongst Pacific (63.4 percent), followed by Māori (47.9 percent), European/Other (29.3 percent) and Asian adults (15.9 percent). These percentages represent about 168,000 Pacific People; 242,000 Māori; 890,000 European/Other and 93,000 Asian adults who were obese in 2019/20. After adjusting for age and gender differences, Pacific and Māori adults were 2.3 and 1.8 times as likely to be obese as non-Pacific and non-Māori adults, respectively.
  • After adjusting for age, gender and ethnic differences, adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 1.8 times as likely to be obese as adults living in the least deprived areas.
  • Nearly one in ten children aged 2–14 years (9.4 percent) were obese. The child obesity rate has decreased since 2018/19, and while this has decreased since last year, it is too early to report a trend.
  • The prevalence of obesity amongst children varied by ethnicity as follows: Pacific (29.1 percent), Māori (13.2 percent), Asian (3.4 percent) and European/Other (7.2 percent). Pacific children were 4.7 times as likely, and Māori children 1.6 times as likely, to be obese than non-Pacific and non-Māori children respectively, after adjusting for age and gender. Asian children were less likely to be obese than non-Asian children, after adjusting for age and gender.
  • After adjusting for age, gender and ethnic differences, children living in the most socio-economically deprived areas were 2.7 times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas.

Go to Improving the health of New Zealanders to find out what’s being done to reduce smoking, hazardous drinking and obesity rates.

Health status

Self-rated health

  • Most adults (87.2 percent) reported that they were in good health in 2019/20, which is an increase since 2018/19 (86.2 percent). There was no difference in the prevalence of self-rated good health between men and women.
  • Adults aged 25–64 showed a decrease in good health between 2013/14 and 2019/20.
  • In 2019/20, Māori and Pacific adults were less likely to report being in good health than non-Māori adults and non-Pacific adults, respectively, after adjusting for age and gender.
  • Adults living in the most deprived areas were less likely to report being in good health than those living in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.
  • According to their parents, 97.4 percent of children were in good health.
  • Parent-rated child ‘good-health’ status was similar between girls and boys, and across all age groups and ethnicities, and this has been consistent since 2011/12.
  • However, Māori boys were 2.7 times as likely as non-Māori boys to be rated as having ‘fair or poor’ health by their parents, after adjusting for age and gender.

Psychological distress

  • In 2019/20, men were less likely than women to have experienced psychological distress in the past four weeks, after adjusting for age (the unadjusted rates were 6.3 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively).
  • In 2019/20, 13.6 percent of Māori, 9.7 percent of Pacific, 7.5 percent of European/Other and 3.9 percent of Asian adults had experienced psychological distress in the four weeks prior to taking part in the survey. Māori adults were 1.9 times as likely to have experienced psychological distress as non-Māori adults after adjusting for age and gender.
  • The prevalence of psychological distress has increased since 2011/12 in both Māori and European/Other adults (from 7.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively). In contrast, the prevalence of psychological distress amongst Asian and Pacific people has not changed significantly over time.
  • Adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 3.7 times as likely to have experienced psychological distress as those in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.

Go to Improving the health of New Zealanders to find out what’s being done to improve mental health.

Access to health care

Unmet need for GP due to cost

  • In 2019/20, experiencing cost as a barrier to visiting the GP was more common amongst women (15.9 percent) than men (10.6 percent).
  • Having a cost barrier to GP visits was considerably less common among older adults, with just 6.7 percent of those aged 65–74 years and 3.4 percent of those aged 75 and older reporting unmet need for this reason compared to between 10.5 percent and 19.2 percent of people under 65 years.
  • In 2019/20, more than one in five Māori adults (20.5 percent) had not visited a GP due to cost in the past year. Māori adults were 1.5 times as likely as non-Māori adults to not visit a GP due to cost, after adjusting for age and gender. In contrast, this barrier was less likely to affect Asian adults compared to non-Asian adults, after adjusting for age and gender.
  • Adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 1.6 times as likely as those living in the least deprived areas to not have visited a GP due to cost in the past year, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.
  • Amongst children aged 5–9 years, unmet need for GP due to cost has decreased from 7.7 percent in 2014/15 to 1.8 percent in 2019/20. For children aged 10–14 years, unmet need for GP due to cost has decreased from 9.3 percent in 2014/15 to 1.9 percent.
  • Of Māori children, 1.2 percent had not visited a GP due to cost in the 12 months before taking part in the 2019/20 survey, which is a decrease from 2.6 percent in 2018/19 and 7.7 percent in 2011/12. A similar pattern is seen in Pacific children; 2.3 percent in 2019/20, 5.3 percent in 2018/19 and 6.5 percent in 2011/12.

Unfilled prescription due to cost

  • Men were less likely than women to not have collected a prescription due to cost in the past 12 months, after adjusting for age (the rates were 6.7 percent and 3.5 percent respectively). Since 2014/15, the prevalence of unfilled prescription due to cost has decreased in men (from 4.8 percent) but not in women.
  • The percentage of adults who were unable to fill a prescription due to cost was much lower in those aged 65 and over, at 2.3 percent for those aged 65–74 and 1.3 percent for those 75+, compared to 4.9–7.3 percent amongst those aged 15–64 years.
  • Fourteen percent of Pacific adults and 12.7 percent of Māori adults had not collected a prescription due to cost in the year before taking part in the survey. Pacific and Māori adults were 2.7 and 2.8 times as likely as non-Pacific and non-Māori adults, respectively, to not have collected a prescription due to cost, after adjusting for age and gender. In contrast, just 2.7 percent of Asian adults were unable to collect a prescription due to cost at some point in the past 12 months.
  • Adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 6.0 times as likely to have been unable to collect a prescription due to cost as adults living in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.
  • In 2019/20, 1.9 percent of children, which is an estimated 18,000 children, had a prescription that was not collected due to cost. This is down from 6.6 percent in 2011/12.
  • Māori children were 2.4 times as likely, and Pacific children 3.1 times as likely to have an unfilled prescription due to cost as non-Māori and non-Pacific children respectively, after adjusting for age and gender. The rates were 3.3 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.

Go to Improving the health of New Zealanders to find out what’s being done to improve access to primary health care.

Disability status

  • Disabled adults were less likely to have reported ‘good’, ‘very good’, or ‘excellent’ health than non-disabled adults, after adjusting for age and gender. The rates were 56.0 percent and 89.9 percent, respectively.
  • In 2019/20, 12.9 percent of non-disabled adults were current smokers, while 19.1 percent of disabled adults smoked. After adjusting for age and gender, disabled adults were 1.9 times more likely to smoke than non-disabled adults.
  • Disabled adults were less likely to have drunk alcohol in the past year than non-disabled adults, after adjusting for age and gender. The rates were 71.2 percent and 82.3 percent, respectively.
  • Disabled adults were 1.6 times more likely to be obese than non-disabled adults, after adjusting for age and gender. The rates were 47.4 percent and 29.6 percent, respectively.
  • Around one in five (21.5 percent) disabled adults reported not visiting a GP due to cost, compared to 12.7 percent of non-disabled adults. Disabled adults are 2.3 times as likely to report this, after adjusting for age and gender.
  • Disabled adults were 3.8 times as likely than non-disabled to be unable to collect a prescription due to cost, after adjusting for age and gender. The rates were 13.0 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.
  • Twenty-seven percent of disabled adults experienced psychological distress in the four weeks prior to the survey, compared to 5.7 percent of non-disabled adults. After adjusting for age and gender differences, disabled adults were 6.1 times as likely as non-disabled adults to have experienced psychological distress.

Go to Improving the health of New Zealanders to find out what’s being done to improve the health of disabled people.

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