New data shows Australia has ranked well health-wise, within the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) countries.

A new tool released earlier this month by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) helps compare Australian health against that of other OECD nations by synthesising data sets.

The results

The data showed Australian men had the second highest rate of cancer of all OECD nations, while Australian women ranked seventh.

The AIHW have since said Australia’s high cancer rate may be “in part to Australia’s high-quality and virtually complete cancer incidence data”.

“Across OECD countries, the quality and completeness of cancer registry data may vary, in turn affecting the cancer incidence rates provided to the OECD and presented here,” AIHW spokesperson Claire Sparke said.

“The [overall] data shows that Australia performs relatively well across most of the indicators.”

Below is a breakdown of the data, including positive and negative results across Australia.

Negative results

  • Australia ranked ninth on obesity, with an alarming 63 per cent of individuals over the age of 15 considered overweight or obese. The average of all OECD nations was 58 per cent
  • Men had the third highest rate of being overweight or obese, behind the United States and Chile.

Positive results

  • Life expectancy for Australians is currently 82.5 years – above the OECD average of 80.6 years
  • Australia had the fifth lowest rate of infant mortality, with 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births
  • Australians are the sixth least likely to smoke of those in the OECD nations
  • Australians are much less likely to be injured in a road accident
  • Australians take an average of 7.3 days off sick each year – less than the average of 8.3 days.