Last updated on 12/12/2018

The incidence of asthma in Australia is continuing to increase shows the National Health Survey data released today.

Asthma is now impacting approximately 2.7 million Australians or 11.2% of the population compared to 2.5 million or 10.8% in 2014/15.

South Australians have more asthma than any other state or territory jumping from 10.6% up to 13%.  Queenslanders are also experiencing markedly more asthma with an increase from 10.6% up to 11.9%.

The new data highlights the need for continued investment into asthma support services, education and research to better support the millions of Australians affected.

“As a developed nation with a great health care system, we have the means at our disposal to tackle this worrying trend,” said Michele Goldman, CEO of Asthma Australia.

“Unless we put what we know into practice, we can’t expect to change outcomes for people with asthma.

“We need more investment into preventive measures to ensure people with asthma live well and stay out of hospital.

“We’re actively working with governments and key industry partners to adopt a more systemic approach to address asthma with all the levers at our disposal.

“We must look to research to better understand what’s happening in Australia and to one day find a cure,” Ms Goldman said.

Asthma Australia is the health peak body representing people with asthma, people can seek support and information about asthma by calling the 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) to speak to an Asthma Educator for free, or by visiting


Statistical Information

Prevalence of asthma (%) by state and territory
State/Territory Prevalence (%) 2014-15 Prevalence (%) 2017-18
ACT 11.5 12.1
NSW 10.4 10.7
QLD 10.6 11.9
SA 10.6 13.0
NT 8.2 7.4
WA 9.6 9.6
Victoria 11.9 11.4
Tasmania 12.6 12.9
Australia 10.8 11.2%

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018; National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18. ABS Cat no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

Global Asthma Network 2018, Global asthma report. Auckland, New Zealand: Global Asthma Network