Annual Update of Key Results 2017/18: New Zealand Health Survey

Published online: 
05 April 2019

Thumbnail of Data Explorer.

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 2017/18 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.

If you have any queries please email hdi@health.govt.nz

Please ensure to use the latest and most comprehensive annual results. We have made changes to previously published data. The errors are described in the latest Methodology Report.

Overview of key findings

Health behaviours and risk factors

Current smoking

  • About 581,000 adults (15%) were current smokers, down from 20% in 2006/07.
  • 33% of Māori adults were current smokers, down from 42% in 2006/07.
  • 23% of Pacific adults were current smokers (not a significant change from previous years – 27% in 2006/07).
  • The most substantial reduction in the current smoking rate since 2006/07 was for those aged 15-17 years, with 3.6% smoking in 2017/18, compared with 16% in 2006/07.
  • Adults living in the most socio-economically deprived areas were three times as likely to be current smokers as people living in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnic differences.

Hazardous drinking

  • One in five adults (20%) drank alcohol in a way that could harm themselves or others (hazardous drinking).
  • Hazardous drinking rates were higher in men (27%) than women (13%).
  • Despite fewer people in the most deprived areas (compared to those in the least deprived areas) having drunk alcohol in the past year, adults in the most deprived areas were 1.3 times as likely to be hazardous drinkers as adults in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnic differences.

Obesity

  • About 101,000 children aged 2–14 years (12.4%) were obese. The child obesity rate has not changed significantly since 2011/12 (when it was 10.7%), although it has increased since 2006/07 (8.4%).
  • 1.26 million adults (32%) were obese, up from 27% in 2006/07.
  • Children living in the most socio-economically deprived areas were 2.1 times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnic differences.

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

Health status

Self-rated health

  • 88% of adults reported their health to be ‘good, very good or excellent, down from 90% in 2006/07.
  • 98% of parents rated their child’s health as ‘good, very good or excellent’. This result has not changed significantly since 2006/07.

Psychological distress

  • 8.6% of adults reported experiencing psychological distress in the past four weeks, up from 7.6% in 2016/17 and from 6.6% in 2006/07.
  • Adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas were 2.5 times as likely to experience psychological distress as adults living 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 GPs due to cost

  • 15% of adults reported not visiting a GP due to cost in the past year, which is not significantly different from 2011/12.
  • Only 2.0% of children did not visit a GP due to cost in the past year, down from 4.7% in 2011/12.
  • The Ministry of Health provides additional funding to encourage free GP consultations for children under 13 years of age (the Zero Fees for Under-6s initiative started in January 2008 and was extended to Zero Fees for Under-13s in July 2015). Rates of unmet need for GP services due to cost were low for children aged 6–12 years (1.6%), a decrease from 2015/16 (5.8%).

Unfilled prescription due to cost

  • About 28,000 children (3.0%) had a prescription that was not collected due to cost in the past year, down from 6.6% in 2011/12.
  • About 257,000 adults (6.6%) reported not collecting a prescription due to cost in the past year.
  • Māori and Pacific adults and children were more than twice as likely to not have collected a prescription due to cost as non-Pacific and non-Māori adults and children respectively, after adjusting for age and gender differences.

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

Oral health

  • 80% of adults reported their oral health to be ‘good, very good or excellent’.
  • 94% of parents rated their child’s oral health as ‘good, very good or excellent’.
  • Most children (83%) visited a dental health care worker in the past year, up from 76% in 2006/07.
  • Nearly half of adults (47%) with natural teeth visited a dental health care worker in the past year, down from 52% in 2006/07.

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

Reports from previous years

Data from previous years has been incorporated into the latest version of the data explorer. To access the reports from previous years, see our Library Catalogue.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    05 April 2019
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2019. Annual Data Explorer 2017/18: New Zealand Health Survey [Data File]. URL: https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2017-18-annual-data-explorer
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:
    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.
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