Department of Health

About the survey

The Victorian Population Health Survey (VPHS) is the cornerstone of population health surveillance in Victoria.

The survey is conducted at the state, regional and local government area levels about the health and wellbeing of adult Victorians aged 18 years or older. It collects information on the determinants of health and wellbeing—including the social determinants of health and health behaviours.

Since 2008, the sample size has been approximately 34,000 participants to enable estimates to be reported at the local government area (LGA) level. This larger survey is currently conducted every three years. In the intervening two years the survey is conducted with a smaller sample size of 7,500 participants.

    What information is collected

    Information is collected on:

    • mental health and wellbeing status
    • chronic diseases
    • dental health
    • lifestyle risk factors (poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia
    • other health risk factors (psychological distress, obesity, food insecurity, discrimination and racism, and family violence)
    • social determinants of health (socioeconomic status, stress, social exclusion, work, unemployment, loneliness and social support).

    How information is collected

    Information is collected via computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI).

    Adults who reside in private dwellings across Victoria are randomly selected and one adult per household is invited to participate.

    Interviews are also conducted in the major non-English languages in Victoria to ensure people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are included.

    Prior to the 2015 VPHS, only landline telephones were called. In 2015, the survey methodology was updated to include mobile telephones.

    The survey findings are used to:

    • inform evidence-based planning and policy development in multiple program areas across the Victorian government
    • inform evidence-based planning and program development in non-governmental organisations
    • inform local priorities for municipal public health and wellbeing plans
    • measure and monitor trends over time.

    Victorian Population Health Survey

    Reviewed 02 January 2024


    Contact us

    Population Health Insight Unit Victorian Agency for Health Information

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