What is the cost of dying?

Like everything else, the cost of dying is increasing as much as the rising cost of living.  A study commissioned by Australian Seniors and CoreData in August 2023, The Cost of Death Report 2.0 found that estimated funeral costs have increased by more than 20% for burials and cremations since 2019. In 2023, the average burial costs $11,039, compared to $9,055 in 2019. Similarly, the average cremation now costs $8,045, compared to $6,334 in 2019.

The study revealed that we are paying up to $18,652 for a basic burial funeral, and up to $5,953 for a basic cremation funeral. This is due to the rising costs of funeral services – including embalming, viewing, transportation, and professional fees – along with the cost of coffins and burial plots to name a few.

A third of the responders who recently helped pay for a funeral experienced some form of financial hardship. Two-thirds of those who experienced financial hardship said that it took months to financially recover.

Saying goodbye to those we hold dear should be a time of love and unity. Regrettably, this is not always the case.  It’s no secret that funerals can exact a heavy financial toll, but they can also create tension between family and friends. Unfortunately, more than a third of responders encountered arguments with loved ones over funeral finances, adding weight to an already heavy situation.

Further, the study suggests that a trend is emerging where families are pressuring us to spend more on funerals than initially planned, a trend which has more than doubled since 2019.

Consequently, it seems our funeral preferences are changing. Many of us are now opting for simpler services (26%), being more cost-conscious (24%), and choosing cremations or cheaper alternatives to traditional burials (22%). Some of us are even getting creative and considering a DIY funeral (9%).

Tradition is taking a back seat as we focus less on mourning and more on celebrating life. In fact, most (83%) of us now prefer the celebratory approach. We want a funeral that reflects us – who we are and what makes us, us. An example of this are our changing music preferences, moving away from conventional funeral songs. Instead, iconic artists like Elvis Presley, Queen, Frank Sinatra, and Elton John emerged as the most common choices.

On the other hand, many of us are yet to discuss our wishes with loved ones. In fact, only 1 in 2 (53%) of us have made our families aware of our funeral preferences. For those of us who are yet to have this conversation, it’s important that we communicate our funeral wishes to our nearest and dearest to ensure we receive the farewell we desire.

Australian Seniors:  The Cost of Death 2.0 Report, November 2023, https://www.seniors.com.au/documents/australian-seniors-series-cost-of-death-report-2023-whitepaper.pdf

 

Against the trend – grey divorce is rising

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has released its research into the rate of Australian divorces. While the rate of divorces for all age groups has remained constant, if not, actually decreasing slightly, the rate of divorce for older couples (over 65 years) and long-term marriages (over 20 years) is steadily increasing.

Divorces

The crude divorce rate (divorces per 1,000 Australian residents) was 2.2 divorces per 1,000 residents in 2021, up from 1.9 in 2020. The total number of divorces granted in 2021 was 56,244, the highest number of divorces recorded since 1976. However, this high number (and therefore also the crude divorce rate) was affected by administrative changes that have enabled divorces to be finalised in a reduced time frame. For this reason, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) cautions about comparing the 2021 divorce statistics to those of earlier years.1

Since the 1990s the crude divorce rate has trended downward, reaching a low of 1.9 per 1,000 residents in 2016, 2019 and 2020. The higher 2021 figure disrupts the trend over recent years, although, as noted above, the break in series may be due to changes in administrative arrangements.

After very low rates in the first half of the twentieth century, the crude divorce rate rose in the 1960s and 1970s. It peaked at 4.6 per 1,000 resident population after the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which came into operation in January 1976 and allowed no-fault divorce. As some long-term separations were formalised and some divorces that had been filed in the previous years were brought forward, this contributed to the steep rise in the number of divorces in 1976.

Between 1986 and 1996, age-specific divorce rates increased across all age groups for both men and women.

From 1996 to 2016, while the divorce rate overall declined, the trends in divorce rates differed between younger and older age groups: falling for men under 45 years and women under 40 years increasing for men aged 50 years and older and women aged 45 years and older.

Between 2016 and 2021, the age-specific divorce rate increased for all age groups of men and women but, as noted above, this may simply indicate that the administrative changes affected the processing of divorces across all age groups.

The trends in divorce discussed above apply only to married couples and do not capture the extent to which people in cohabiting relationships separate over time. Research indicates that cohabiting relationships are more likely than marriages to end in separation, particularly when cohabitating couples have not otherwise gone on to marry (Hewitt & Baxter, 2015; Qu, Weston, & de Vaus, 2009).

At what age are couples divorcing?

The median age of men and women rose between the early 1980s and recent years, which is largely attributed to trends in people marrying later as well as more divorces involving longer marriages (see the discussion on marriage duration below).

The upward trend in the median age of divorce has stalled since 2018. In 2021 the median age at divorce was 45.9 for males and 43.0 for females, similar to the median ages in 2018 and 2019 (45.9 for males and 43.1 for females for both the years).

Median age at divorce in 2021 – Overall, the median age at divorce has been rising since the 1980s; 43.0 years for females and 45.9 years for males.

Duration of marriage to divorce

The largest proportion of couples separating and then divorcing were married for nine years or less. In 2021, 56% of separations and 41% of divorces were couples in this category. This showed little change from 2020.

Couples who had been married for 20 or more years made up more than one-quarter of divorces in 2021. In the 1980s and 1990s these couples made up a smaller proportion, at around one in five divorces.

The median duration of marriage to divorce for divorcing couples over the last decade (2011–21) was between 12 and 12.2 years, and the median duration of marriage to final separation was 8.3 to 8.7 years. In other words, it took 3–4 years from separation for divorcing couples to finalise their divorce.

What about the children?

The proportion of divorces involving children under 18 years has fallen since the 1970s, from 68% in 1975 to 47% in 2014. It has remained at around this percentage in recent years, shifting slightly higher, to 48%, in 2021. The general declining trend is partly due to the rise in divorces of long-term marriages where children are already grown up. An overall decline in the fertility rate and a rise in childlessness may also contribute to the fall in the proportion of divorces involving children.

It is also important to note that divorce statistics do not include separations of cohabiting couples with or without children. Research suggests that cohabiting couples with children were more likely than married couples with children to separate (Qu & Weston, 2012).

Divorces of same-sex marriages

Same-sex marriages were included in the marriages data for the first time in 2018, following the Amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 that allowed same-sex couples to legally marry in Australia and came into effect on 9 December 2017. Divorces of same-sex couples were recorded for the first time in 2021.

There were 473 divorces granted for same-sex couples, representing 2.5% of all same-sex marriages registered between 2018 and 2021.

There were 306 divorces of female same-sex couples and 167 divorces of male same-sex couples between 2018 and 2021, representing 2.9% of female same-sex marriages and 2.3% of male same-sex marriages registered in that period.

To read the entire article, go to: https://aifs.gov.au/research/facts-and-figures/divorces-australia-2023.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (various years). Divorces Australia (Catalogue No. 3307.0, 3307.0.55.001). Canberra: ABS.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (various years). Marriages and Divorces Australia. Canberra: ABS.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1980). Social Indicators 1980 (Catalogue No. 4101.0). Canberra: ABS.
Hewitt, B., & Baxter, J. (2015). Relationship dissolution. In G. Heard & D. Arunachalam (Eds.), Family formation in 21st Century Australia. Dordrecht: Springer.
Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2012). Parental social marital status and children’s wellbeing. (Occasional Paper No. 46). Canberra: Department of Social Services.
Qu, L., Weston, R., & de Vaus, D. (2009). Cohabitation and beyond: The contribution of each partner’s relationship satisfaction and fertility aspirations to pathways of cohabiting couples. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 40(4), 585–601.
1 ABS (2021) stated: ‘The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have advised that the high number of divorces finalised in 2021 is in part related to administrative changes to increase finalisations and reduce time frames. These changes enabled the finalisation of more applications for divorce than previous years and allowed the court to reduce backlogs by finalising more divorce applications in the year than were received. This constitutes a break in time series and any comparison with earlier years should be made with caution.’

Are you prepared for ageing?

A recent survey says there are three resources you need to better navigate getting older.

  1. Housing security, income security and quality care are essential enablers for later life planning.

    2. Good information. Having access to quality information about ageing preparedness is essential.  It assists people to know what to expect from their ageing bodies, what lifestyle changes they may need to consider as they age and negotiating social support systems.

    3. Emotional resilience. Developing a positive attitude to ageing better equips people from the effects of future health shocks, finance shocks, dependency, or decline.  

    In our youth-oriented culture, ageing is associated with inevitable decline and burdensome dependency. These powerful negative stereotypes are internalised throughout our lives, which results in many of us being unwilling to think about being an older person or planning for such an undesirable future.

    The 2022 National Seniors Social Survey asked its members and associated network members over 50 years about their ageing-related preparedness.   About 68 percent of the 3,412 respondents felt they were prepared to some extent to deal with the ageing process.  Most of these respondents reported there were some positive aspects to ageing, but people experiencing poor health were 30 percent less likely to feel prepared.   

    • People who felt there are positive aspects to ageing were 3.4 times (or 340%) more likely to feel prepared.
    • People with concerns about ageing were 60% more likely to feel unprepared or neutral (neither prepared nor unprepared).
    • Those who expected their quality of life to get worse over the next 5-10 years were 20% less likely to feel prepared.

    Both individual characteristics and societal supports were relevant to how people prepared for getting older.  People who had experienced health changes in family members were far more likely to be interested and better informed about how ageing might affect them personally.  While poverty and disadvantage were more likely to impact people’s access to resources such as healthy food or appropriate medical care that assisted better ageing. 

    Domains of preparedness were:

    Preparing for changes in health and bodily abilities:  respondents varied between acceptance of physical decline and being able to manage that decline, and fear of decline. 

    Preparing accommodation:  most respondents acknowledged the possible actions needed to remain at home with age, while fear of residential aged care underpinned the second most prevalent views.  Renters were most concerned about their future.

    Preparing finances:  while some respondents linked their feeling of financial security to having worked hard during their life, the second most prevalent view expressed concern about money, with some consequently being unable to prepare adequately for ageing.

    Those feeling prepared for ageing frequently had very positive life-scripts reflecting acceptance, empowerment and capacity to manage ageing-related health changes. Not surprisingly, unpreparedness was represented by life-scripts focused on sudden or unexpected health declines or lack of resources and support. 

    To access the detailed survey, visit National Seniors, https://nationalseniors.com.au/uploads/NSA-Ageing-Preparation-report-FINAL.pdf

    Can you predict a happy retirement?

    Have you ever wondered whether you will be happier in retirement than when you are still working?

    A long-term research study has considered seven aspects of personal life which may determine whether you will feel satisfied in your retirement years.  The seven aspects of personal life are:  standard of living, health, achieving in life, personal relationships, safety, community connectedness, and future security. 

    Known as the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), the PWI determines the average level of individual satisfaction compared to the National Wellbeing Index (NWI). 

    The research was conducted to create the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index (AUWI) as a barometer of Australians’ subjective wellbeing (SWB). Thirty-five cross-sectional surveys of 50,060 Australians were conducted over a period of 17 years, from March 2002 to April 2018. The same core index questions, forming the PWI and NWI were asked within each survey.

    Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) in ageing and retirement is a topic of growing relevance, with more than 1 in 7 Australians aged 65 years or above, and more people in this age group choosing to remain in the workforce for longer periods.

    As individuals age, it is apparent that SWB becomes increasingly influential on health and longevity.  Identifying factors that predict wellbeing in retirement may offer important insights that inform health policy advances to promote wellbeing in older Australians.

    Key findings

    Differences in wellbeing between retirees and non-retirees:

    • Retirees as an aggregate group (2003-2018) reported scores above the Australian normative range on Global Life Satisfaction (GLS), overall Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), and on the individual domains of standard of living, achieving in life, personal relationships and future security.
    • Compared to non-retirees, participants who were retired reported higher scores on the individual domains of standard of living, achieving in life, personal relationships, community connectedness and future security. However, retirees reported lower scores on the domain of health compared to non-retirees.

    SWB was measured using two indexes. One is the single-item, Global Life Satisfaction (GLS), which askes “How satisfied are you with your life as a whole?

    The second is the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), which reflects the average level of satisfaction across seven life domains – standard of living, health, achieving in life, relationships, safety, community connectedness, and future security.

    Differences in SWB among retirees over time:

    Group comparisons between retirees in 2003 and 2018 identified lower SWB among retirees in 2018 on overall PWI scores, and the domains of standard of living, health, achieving in life and personal relationships. This suggests that SWB has decreased somewhat over time among retirees in Australia.

    Group comparisons across each survey timepoint also largely supported these findings.

    • GLS, PWI, and the domains of standard of living, personal health, achieving in life, personal relationships and future security decreased over time but were still within the normative range for GLS, overall PWI, standard of living, achieving in life and personal relationships.

    For health, average scores fell from within the normative range to below the normative range:

    • Decreasing scores on GLS and personal relationships were similar
      between retirees and non-retirees.

    • Average scores on PWI, standard of living, health, achieving in life and future security were found to decrease at a somewhat faster rate among retirees compared to non-retirees.

    • Two domains showed increasing SWB over time: personal safety and community
      connectedness; however, these changes were similar for both retirees and non-retirees.

    Predictors of wellbeing over time by retirement status:

    Notably, the transition into retirement period was characterised by the highest levels of SWB, self-esteem, optimism, coping and resilience, as well as the lowest levels of depression.

    The predictors of SWB differed for the three retirement groups. Specifically, overall PWI in 2018 was predicted by the following factors (assessed in 2013):
    For those who transitioned into retirement, higher levels of satisfaction with achieving in life, personal relationships and personal safety.

    • For those who remained non-retired, higher levels of satisfaction with personal health and community connectedness.
    • For those who remained retired, higher levels of satisfaction with personal health, personal safety and community connectedness.
    • Additionally, for those who remained retired, higher levels of optimism in 2013 were predictive of smaller decreases in PWI scores.

    Notably, the effects sizes for these relationships were small, which suggests that there are likely to be a range of factors that contribute to SWB among Australian adults around the period of retirement.

    https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1618700446/view


    Retirees face increased cost of living driven by global factors, but superannuation is buffering the impact, says ASFA

    As skyrocketing inflation pressurises household budgets worldwide, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says Australian retirees stand in stark contrast to their overseas counterparts who do not have the safety net provided by compulsory superannuation.

    ASFA Deputy CEO, Glen McCrea says despite the current pressure on household budgets, Australian retirees are in a stronger retirement position than their global peers because of Australia’s robust superannuation system and retirement pillar settings.

    “In contrast, the age pension remains affordable for the government in Australia where, in aggregate, retirees on average have larger private retirement savings balances than in most countries in the world. This helps cover costs during tougher times, providing a brighter outlook for Australian retirees than is the case for their international counterparts,” said Mr McCrea.

    While the major categories of expenditure including food, transport and energy have all increased over the past quarter, analysis of those increases reveals that the causes lie mainly outside Australia. 

    The ASFA Retirement Standard September Quarter 2022 figures have risen in lockstep with quarterly inflation. Couples aged around 65 living a comfortable retirement now need to spend $68,014 per year and singles $48,266, both up by 1.9 per cent on the previous quarter.  The ASFA Comfortable budget assumes one major trip overseas every seven years.

    Over the year to September 2022, the amount needed for a single person to fund a comfortable retirement has risen by 6.7 per cent and for a couple by 6.6 per cent, slightly lower than the current CPI of 7.3 per cent.

    Strong price rises were recorded across all food and non-food grocery products in the September quarter. These increases reflected a range of price pressures including supply chain disruptions, weather-related events, such as flooding, and increased transport and input costs.

    In the 12 months to the September quarter fruit and vegetables prices rose 16.2% and dairy products increased 12.1%. Dairy and related products rose 6.8% due to higher milk prices.

    Over the year to the September quarter, imported inflation saw oils and fats up 19.3%, coffee up 10.7% and gas 16.6% and automotive fuel 18.0%. These prices are set to remain high while geopolitical concerns persist.

    Increased demand, high fuel prices and capacity constraints saw domestic travel and accommodation up 10.8% over the year and international travel and accommodation up 25.3%.

    Meals out and take away foods rose 2.9% due to rising input costs and ongoing supply and labour shortages. Alcohol rose 1.4% due to the increase in the bi-annual excise tax for alcohol on 1 August.

    Details for the various updated budgets follow.

    Table 1: Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 65 (September quarter 2022, national)

    Household typeSingle ModestCouple ModestSingle ComfortableCouple Comfortable
    Housing – ongoing only$109.24$122.66$128.37$133.94
    Energy$35.05$47.08$44.41$55.07
    Food$104.04$192.89$134.52$233.80
    Clothing$20.86$39.64$27.86$51.88
    Household goods and services$37.12$43.51$82.45$101.52
    Health$53.33$103.11$109.02$204.32
    Transport$103.93$110.70$169.82$183.93
    Leisure$104.30$163.73$205.69$309.20
    Communications$17.99$20.27$22.50$29.29
    Total per week$585.86$843.57$924.64$1,302.95
    Total per year$30,582$44,034$48,266$68,014

    Table 2: Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 85 (September quarter 2022, national)

    Household typeSingle ModestCouple ModestSingle ComfortableCouple Comfortable
    Housing – ongoing only$109.24$122.66$128.37$133.94
    Energy$35.05$47.08$44.41$55.07
    Food$104.04$192.89$134.52$233.80
    Clothing$20.86$39.64$27.86$51.88
    Household goods and services$54.05$77.78$160.70$192.51
    Health$93.02$129.74$153.58$241.95
    Transport$41.68$52.09$46.88$57.30
    Leisure$67.46$96.70$140.39$196.53
    Communications$17.99$20.27$22.50$29.29
    Total per week$543.65$778.84$859.21$1,192.28
    Total per year$28,379$40,656$44,851$62,237
    The figures in each case assume that the retiree/s own their own home and relate to expenditure by the household. This can be greater than household income after income tax where there is a drawdown on capital over the period of retirement. All calculations are weekly, unless otherwise stated. Annual figure is 52.2 times the weekly figure.

    More information

    Costs and summary figures can be accessed via the ASFA website, https://www.superannuation.asn.au/media/media-releases/2022/media-release-17-november-2022

    Law Council calls for more action on elder abuse

    The Law Council of Australia has continued to call for measures that will better protect older Australians.

    “Elder abuse is insidious and more prevalent than I think any of us would like to believe,” Law Council of Australia President, Mr Tass Liveris said.

    “Incidents of abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

    “What makes it most devastating is that the perpetrator is often someone the older person trusts and relies on, such as a family member, friend or carer.

    “We must stamp out elder abuse and protect vulnerable members of our community.”

    The Law Council is calling for:
    • Appropriate, sustained and increased funding for specialist legal assistance and aged care advocacy services, government agencies, and relevant State and Territory tribunals that work towards reducing elder abuse.
    • Implementation of outstanding priorities identified in the Australian Law Reform Commission and Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Royal Commission) reports and the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Persons 2019-2023, including:
    • developing a new Aged Care Act which is consistent with the recommendations of the Royal Commission report by 1 July 2023; and
    • ensuring that those in residential aged care facilities have legal redress to protect them from abuse, whether perpetrated by care providers (including in the use of restrictive practices) or fellow residents.

    At the end of last year, the Law Council of Australia welcomed the decision by Commonwealth, State and Territory Attorneys-General to prioritise enduring power of attorney (EPOA) law reform to reduce the risk of older Australians being subject to financial abuse and looks forward to this work coming to fruition.

    EPOA arrangements are intended to ensure a person’s interests are protected when they lose capacity to make decisions for themselves. However, in the absence of adequate legal safeguards, financial elder abuse by appointed decision-makers may be facilitated by such arrangements.

    Law Council of Australia, 15/06/2022, https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/media/media-releases/australia-must-address-elder-abuse

    Let’s talk about women and retirement

    Why is retirement different for women? Women retire with about 60% of the superannuation funds that men have. They live 5 years longer and they are far more reliant on the aged pension. On the plus side – women are more likely to retain their friendship networks, more likely to be the principal carer for their partner, their parents and their grandchildren, as well being more likely to volunteer to help others.
    Listen to my wide-ranging discussion with community radio 2RDJ broadcaster, Neil Lithgow about women and retirement. Listen here:

    FIRST NATIONAL STUDY FINDS MORE ELDER ABUSE

    In the year prior to the first national survey conducted into elder abuse, one in six older Australians reported they had experienced abuse most often committed by family members.

    The National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study (NEAPS) survey, carried out between February and May 2020, showed that the most common subtype was psychological abuse (12%), followed by neglect (3%), financial abuse (2%), physical abuse (2%) and sexual abuse (1%). Some of the 7,000 participants aged over 65 years reported several types of abuse occurring, usually psychological abuse and neglect.

    Types of elder abuse

    Nearly one in five elder abuse perpetrators are children (18%), or their partners or grandchildren and about one in 10 elder abuse perpetrators are intimate partners. Children (most often, sons) are most likely to perpetrate financial abuse as well as friends and service providers.

    Children are also the largest group of perpetrators of psychological and physical abuse while friends, acquaintances and spouses were most likely to perpetrate sexual abuse.
    Children and intimate partners are both significant perpetrator groups (24-25% for each) of neglect. Professional carers (14%) and service providers (13%) are bigger perpetrator groups for neglect than for other abuse subtypes.

    Psychological abuse is not always recognized by either victims or perpetrators. It includes insulting, belittling or threatening behaviour towards a person. Family and friends are the best protection for a person experiencing abuse rather than the person who is unlikely to directly confront the perpetrator.

    Factors that increase risk of abuse

    While women were slightly more likely to be the subject of abuse than men, other factors increased the risk of experiencing abuse, namely, being poorer, being single, separated or divorced and living in rented housing or owning a house with a debt against it. Having poor physical or psychological health also increased the risk of experiencing abuse.

    The study did not include people living in aged care or suffering cognitive decline which could increase the identified prevalence of elder abuse in the community.
    The federal government has announced additional funding to build on the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older People. This announcement follows on from recommendations made by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to increase funding to home care packages and create new training places for aged care staff.

    AIFS, National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, https://aifs.gov.au/publications/national-elder-abuse-prevalence-study

    Australia’s health by socio-economic status

    However you describe it, being poor, disadvantaged, or living in a low socioeconomic area is more likely to make you more susceptible to preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

    Australia’s Health Tracker by Socioeconomic Status 2021 reports on the health status of Australians based on their socioeconomic standard which the study has found has a major impact on people’s health. Families and individuals with limited resources not only have more chronic disease, they are at greater risk of dying prematurely as a result of chronic health conditions. People living with mental ill-health are less likely to participate in employment, which in itself, is associated with an improvement in general mental health levels.

    The ten million people living in the 40% of communities with lower and lowest socioeconomic status have much higher rates of preventable cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases than others in the population. These communities also have the highest rates of suicide throughout the nation.

    Risk factors that are likely to contribute to this higher rate of illness and premature death include:
    • Physical inactivity
    • Lifetime alcohol consumption
    • Daily tobacco use
    • Unemployment as a result of mental health issues.

    These health disparities within the Australian population are persistent despite considerable policy reform and efforts to improve services in recent decades. The targets for a healthier Australia were developed by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration, a national network of leading health experts and organisations. The Collaboration has worked with the support of the Mitchell Institute, Victoria University since 2014 to influence public and policy awareness and action to reduce high rates of preventable chronic disease in the Australian population.

    The report sets health targets for medical conditions such as:
    Obesity – Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, back pain and some cancers.
    High cholesterol – High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol are a risk factor for heart disease. National data from 2011-12 is the most recent available data and indicated that close to one-third of all socioeconomic groups were estimated to have high cholesterol levels.
    High blood pressure – Rates of reported high blood pressure are relatively consistent across socioeconomic groups. High blood pressure is often caused by poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption. It is a risk factor for chronic conditions including stroke, heart diseases, and chronic kidney disease
    Diabetes – Hospitalisations and deaths related to diabetes are, respectively, 2 and 2.3 times as high in the lowest socioeconomic communities compared to the highest.

    Australia’s Health Tracker by Socioeconomic Status 2021 report, The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University. Australia’s Health Tracker by Socioeconomic Status 2021 report