About Aboriginal health
In Victoria, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise 0.6 per cent of the population, which amounts to 6 per cent of the Australia-wide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Victoria’s Aboriginal population is highly dispersed and projected to grow from 33,517 in 2006 to as large as 48,233 by 2021.
Aboriginal Victorians experience poorer health outcomes than non-Aboriginal Victorians in almost every measure of health. Despite the efforts of government, non-government organisations and the Aboriginal community controlled health sector to address this, a significant gap in life expectancy remains.
The life expectancy for Aboriginal Australians is 67.2 for males and 72.9 for females compared with 78.7 and 83.5 for non-Aboriginal Australians respectively. This means that the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians is 11.5 years for men and 9.7 years for women.
There are many and varying factors that have contributed to the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Such factors include dispossession, discrimination, past policy and practice, as well as the impacts of the social determinants to health including housing, justice, employment, education and socioeconomic status.
The Department of Health is committed to working towards helping to close the health gap in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal community and key stakeholders.