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Health conditions

Injury and poisoning

Injury and poisoning are large contributors to ill health among Indigenous Australians.

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians:

  • Injury and poisoning was the second main cause of hospitalisation, accounting for 7% of all hospitalisations—a rate of 45 hospitalisations per 1,000 population (37,460 hospitalisations).
  • The hospitalisation rate for injury and poisoning was highest for those aged 65 and over (68 per 1,000 or 2,735 hospitalisations), followed by those aged 35–44 (64 per 1,000 or 5,674 hospitalisations).
  • Except for those aged 65 and over, the rate of hospitalisation for injury and poisoning was higher for Indigenous males than for Indigenous females (Figure HC 15a).

Based on self-reported data, 19% (120,648) of Indigenous Australians said they had an accident, hurt themselves, or had been hurt by someone or something else in the last 4 weeks. The rate of injuries was highest among children aged under 15 (23% or 53,142) (Figure HC 15b).


Among Indigenous Australians in 2018–19, the age-standardised rate of hospitalisations:

  • Due to assault was 13 times as high as for non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Due to intentional-self harm was 3 times as high as for non-Indigenous Australians (Figure HC 16).