Latest Statistics

The following statistics are sourced from Access Economics 2007 and also the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

  • 3.85 million Australians have arthritis, this is 18% of the population or 1 in 5 Australians.
  • 2.2 million Australians have Osteoporosis.
  • 28% of Australians have arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. That’s around 6.1 million people.
  • 14% of Australians (3.0 million) are affected by back problems, followed by 8% with osteoarthritis (1.8 million), 3% with osteoporosis (728,000) and 2% with rheumatoid arthritis (445,000) according to 2011-12 self-reported estimates.
  • 54% rise in total knee replacements for osteoarthritis from 2002-03 to 2011-12. There was a 20% rise in total hip replacements over the same period.
  • According to the Global Burden of Disease estimates, low back pain is ranked first in Australasia (including Australia and New Zealand), compared to sixth in the world. Neck pain is ranked 10th compared to 21st in the world, and osteoarthritis is ranked 23rd compared to 38th in the world.
  • By 2050, 7 million Australians will suffer from arthritis.
  • 1 to 4 in 1,000 children have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
  • 2.4 million Australians are of working age that have arthritis, which is 11% of the workforce.
  • There are over 120 different types of arthritis.
  • The total cost of arthritis to the Australian economy was estimated to be $23.9 billion by Access Economics in 2007.
  • The average cost of arthritis per person per year is $6200; 61% of arthritis costs are borne by the individuals themselves.
  • Research Australia’s Public Opinion Poll (2008) conducted by Crosby Textor, showed that Australians are more worried about developing arthritis than any other disease. Arthritis is seen as a very significant risk, with 43% of Australians rating their lifetime risk as 1 in 10 or more, and only 2% seeing themselves as having no risk.
  • Osteoarthritis is the leading source of health expenditure on arthritis, accounting for $2.03 billion or just under half of total allocated expenditure on arthritis in 2007.
  • Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are Australia’s fourth most expensive group of diseases. Health-care expenditure for arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions 2008-09, shows that in 2008-09, spending on these diseases totalled $5,690 million, accounting for 9% of total health-care spending.
  • Osteoarthritis accounted for 29%-or $1,637 million-of spending on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.
    This was followed by back problems (21% or $1,177 million), rheumatoid arthritis (6% or $355 million) and osteoporosis (5% or $306 million).
  • Osteoarthritis accounts for 63% of hospital inpatient expenditure and rheumatoid arthritis just 3.5%.
  • 30% of hospital outpatient expenditure is attributable to osteoarthritis, while 16.3% is attributable to rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis accounts for 75% of aged care expenditure, considerably above its prevalence share of 42%, but indicative of the greater impact it has on older Australians. (Access 2007, Pain Realities).
  • The direct costs associated with these fractures amount to an estimated 1.9 billion dollars each year in Australia.
  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases (M00-M99) were the underlying cause for 1,078 registered deaths in Australia in 2009.
  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases were identified as either an underlying cause or associated cause of death for 6,410 deaths registered in 2009.
  • The standardised death rate for arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases was 4.3 per 100,000 population in 2009. The standardised death rate for males in 2009 was 3.2 per 100,000, and 5.2 per 100,000 for females.
  • Of all deaths due to arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases in 2009, 761 or 70.6% were females, predominantly in the age group 75 to 94 years. Median age at death for deaths due to these diseases was 80.9 years for males, 84.0 years for females and 83.0 years overall.
  • Potential life lost due to deaths from these diseases was 1,898 years for males and 3,250 years for females.

Other Chronic Diseases

  • In 2004-05, 7million people in Australia had a chronic condition.
  • In 2007-08 3.4 million people had some form of Cardiovascular Disease.
  • In 2007-08, 4% (900,000) of the Australian population had diabetes.
  • 1 in 7 people over the age of 25 have chronic kidney disease.
  • 1 in 10 Australians have asthma.

Australian Population

  • Arthritic conditions are more prevalent among females, with over 2 million females (19.9% of Australian females) and 1.8 million males (17.1% of Australian males) estimated to have arthritis in 2007.
  • Obese people are 2.4 times more likely to have osteoarthritis (OA) than people of normal weight.

Percentage of age Australia

  • 78% of the people with arthritis reside in NSW , VIC and QLD. In NSW this is approximately 22.8% females and 18.7% males, giving a total of 41.5% of the Australian population.
  • The average weekly earnings for each respective age group, the annual cost of lost earnings due to workplace separation and early retirement due to arthritis is estimated as $3.7 billion in 2007.
  • In 2005, it is estimated that 224,000 Australians aged between 15 and 64 took time off work each year due to arthritis including 125,000 males and 99,000 females.
  • Access Economics estimated that in 2007, the total cost of absenteeism due to arthritis is $304 million.
  • For people age 15-64 with arthritis, the estimated annual cost due to lost productivity from premature death is $7.5 million in 2007.
  • Data from the 2003 ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) identified 55,200 carers who reported themselves as the primary carer of a person whose main condition was arthritis.
  • The total costs of arthritis for NSW in 2007 was close to $8 billion with productivity costs being around $1.4 billion in NSW. NSW bears nearly a third of the total cost of arthritis in Australia.