Health and Wellbeing Factsheet

This page provides statistical information about a range of social and wellbeing related themes in the City of Whitehorse.  The main data sources for this page are the 2017 Victorian Population Health Survey, the Department of Health and Human Services 2015 Local Government Area Profiles and the VicHealth 2015 Indicators Survey.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy at birth for male residents in Whitehorse was estimated at 81 years and 85 years for females.  This is 7th and 9th highest of the 79 Local Government Areas in Victoria (DHHS, 2015).  The Victorian equivalents were 80 and 84 years respectively.  Whitehorse has experienced higher life expectancy than the State average since the Department of Human Services started collecting data in 1997.  Life expectancy has increased over this time.

Self Reported Health

Self-reported health was measured in the 2017 Victorian Population Health Survey.  Respondents were asked to rate their health as excellent/very good, good, fair or poor:

  • 40.6 per cent of persons living within Whitehorse reported that their health was either excellent or very good.  This is less than Victoria at 41.6 per cent.
  • 19.8 per cent of persons reported that their health was fair or poor which was similar to Victoria at 20.3 per cent and slightly higher than the Inner Eastern Melbourne Area at 18.3 per cent.

Mental Health

In 2017, 9.8 per cent of people in Whitehorse reported high or very high levels of psychological distress.  This is lower than the Inner Eastern Melbourne Area average of 11.6 per cent, and the Victorian average of 15.4 per cent.

The largest proportion of males with very high levels of psychological distress occurred among those who reported not completing high school; were unemployed or not in the labour force; and those who reported a total annual household income less than $40,000.

The largest proportion of females with very high levels of psychological distress occurred among those who reported not completing high school; were unemployed or not in the labour force; and those who reported a total annual household income less than $40,000.

Smoking 

Figure 1 Smoking Status
Figure 1: Smoking Status
Find out more about Council's role in protecting and promoting your health

The 2017 Victorian Population Health Survey found 6.2 per cent of people in Whitehorse identify as daily smokers.  This is slightly lower than the Inner Eastern Melbourne Area average of 6.8 per cent and the Victorian average of 12.4 per cent.  Figure 1 depicts smoking status for residents in Whitehorse as compared to Victoria.

Alcohol Consumption

The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol specify the risks of alcohol related harm by level of alcohol consumption. Lifetime risk of alcohol-related harm attempts to measure the risk associated with developing an illness such as cirrhosis of the liver, cognitive problems, various cancers and alcohol dependence.  In Whitehorse, 55.3 per cent of adults have an increased lifetime risk of alcohol-related harm, similar to the Inner Eastern Melbourne Area (55.2 per cent) and less than the Victorian average (59.5 per cent).

Obesity
 

Figure 2 Percentage of Overweight and Obese Adults
Figure 2: Percentage of Overweight and Obese Adults

Being overweight (pre-obese) or obese is an important risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, certain cancers, sleep apnoea and osteoarthritis.  It is typically measured by calculating a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) which is their weight in relation to their height.  In 2017, 30.8 per cent of adults in Whitehorse were overweight or pre-obese and 16 per cent of adults were obese. This is lower than the Victorian averages of 31.5 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

In 2017, 3.5 per cent of adults in Whitehorse met the 2013 Australian fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines.  This is very similar to the Victorian average (3.6 per cent).  A total of 48.7 per cent of people did not meet either the fruit or vegetable consumption guidelines (47.8 per cent in Victoria).

Table 1 – Adults Who Met the Fruit and Vegetable Guidelines, Whitehorse and Victoria, 2017
Met Guidelines
Fruit % Vegetable % Fruit & Vegetable %

Whitehorse

42.6

Victoria

43.2

Whitehorse

5.3

Victoria

5.4

Whitehorse

3.5

Victoria

3.6

Food Security

The 2011-12 Victorian Population Health Survey measures the percentage of people who ran out of food and could not afford to buy.  This figure was 3.4 per cent for Whitehorse, compared with 4.6 per cent for Victoria.

Physical Activity

Physical activity status was measured in the Victorian Population Health Survey 2017 by identifying adults who are sedentary, undertake insufficient physical activity (<150 min and/or <2 sessions per week), and sufficient physical activity (>150min and >2 sessions per week).  In Whitehorse, 48.8 per cent of people undertake sufficient physical activity, slightly less than the Victorian average of 50.9 per cent.

The proportion of adults who spent eight or more hours sitting on an average weekday (during the preceding week) is slightly higher in Whitehorse (23.3 per cent) compared with all Victorian adults (22.0 per cent).

Gambling

As at 30th June 2019, Whitehorse has 431 Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) in six venues across the municipality (refer Table 2).  In 2018/19 the net expenditure (i.e. losses) on EGMs in the City of Whitehorse was $52.8 million or $377 per adult.

EGM Venues, Venue Type and Expenditure, City of Whitehorse
Venue Suburb EGMs Venue Type Expenditure 2018-2019
Blackburn Hotel Blackburn 66 Hotel $7,892,748.55
Box Hill Golf Box Hill 39 Club $3,160,061.15
Box Hill RSL Box Hill 103 Club $8,987,499.03
Burvale Hotel Nunawading 73 Hotel $10,596,157.07
Mitcham Hotel Mitcham 60 Hotel $7,057,693.20
The Chase Hotel Forest Hill 90 Hotel $15,101,464.89

Source: Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (2019), ‘Monthly LGA EGM Statistics’

Subjective Wellbeing

Subjective wellbeing was measured in the 2015 VicHealth Indicators Survey using the Australian Unit Wellbeing Index (AUWBI).  Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with their lives on a number of domains resulting in an aggregated Personal Wellbeing Index ranging from 0-100.

The average Personal Wellbeing Index for Australians is approximately 75.  For Whitehorse residents it was 76.5.  This is slightly less than the Inner Metropolitan Region and State averages (at 77.4 and 77.3 respectively).  The Personal Wellbeing Index was the same for males and females (76.5).

Volunteering 

Volunteering was measured in the 2016 Census.  Respondents were asked if they had volunteered in the previous 12 months.  More than 1 in 5 persons in Whitehorse reported they had volunteered (22.4 per cent), compared with 19.2 per cent for Victoria.

Links 

For more information about health and wellbeing please refer to: