Australians Smoke Less But Weigh More: Abs

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10th December 2009, 02:33pm - Views: 1007

People Feature Australian Bureau Of Statistics 1 image

December 10, 2009

Embargoed 11.30 am AEDT


Australians smoke less but weigh more: ABS

Australians may be smoking less, but more people are obese according to the latest Australian Social

Trends, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) quarterly snapshot of society.

The ABS also found that more of us are living alone, and there has been a fall in the number of jobless


Smoking, risky drinking and obesity

The last two decades have seen fewer Australians taking up smoking and more quitting.  The largest fall in

smoking rates occurred in the 18–24 age group, with 23% now smoking compared with 36% in 1990.

However, obesity has increased with more than two thirds of Australian men and over half of all women now

considered overweight or obese; a 29% increase since 1995.

Levels of risky alcohol consumption remained unchanged over the last few years, with one in seven men and

one in nine women drinking alcohol at risky levels.

Living alone

More Australians are living alone, with around two million people (or 12% of the population) now living on

their own, up from 9% in the 1980s. When asked, the majority (71%) of people who lived alone did not have

any preference to socialise more.

For people aged 65 and over, more than one in ten did not spend any time at all with another person on a

typical day.

Jobless families

There are over half a million children who lived in a family where no-one has a job. However, there are fewer

jobless families now than there were ten years ago; the majority are still one-parent families, most often

headed by a mother with her youngest child under the age of ten.  

More details of these and articles on Patterns in work, Preschool attendance and International comparisons

are in the December quarter edition of Australian Social Trends, 2009 (cat. no. 4102.0), available for free

An ABS spokesperson is available at the Canberra Press Gallery from release time -

call Corporate Communications on 1300 175 070 to arrange an interview.

Statistical Clarification Mary Jackson (02) 6252 6163

Media note:

When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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