December 7, 2022

Census signals health issues in Campaspe

Census Results: Rochester community health statistics have suggested, in some cases, that the city is more than double the national average for people with long-term arthritis, heart disease and mental health problems. Photo by darren linton

Census figures show that the number of Campaspe Shire Council residents with arthritis, heart disease and mental health problems is well above the national average.

Figures from Kyabram suggest the region, which includes the communities of Tongala, Girgarre and Koyuga – but stops short of Stanhope and Merrigum – has 1,457 people with arthritis.

That’s 13.1%, more than 5% higher than the state average.

Although not as prevalent, the number of people in Kyabram with long-term asthma is two percent higher than the national average.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 census figures were released late last month.

There are nearly 5,000 people (4,932) in Campaspe County who suffer from long-term arthritis issues. This represents 12.7% of the 38,735 residents surveyed on census night.

The national average for arthritis is 8.5% and in Victoria it is even lower.

Mental health problems were found in 10.1% of the population (3,930 people), almost 2% more than the national average.

Heart disease, diabetes and cancer statistics also showed Campaspe’s averages to be higher than national figures.

Kyabram area household income is well below the state and national average, although rental costs in Kyabram are well below those same averages.

The median rent in Kyabram is $210, compared to a national figure of $370.

In terms of income, the average worker in Kyabram earns $650, which is $150 less than the national average.

Household income in Kyabram is $1,230, compared to $1,750 in Victoria.

Of the 59.6% of people who reported following a religion, 7% of the population reported on census night that they attended the United Church, double the national average.

Catholic education figures in the Kyabram area were also significantly higher than the national average – the presence of St Augustine’s College and St Patrick’s Primary School influencing these figures.

At the primary level, the region has 12% of its primary students attending a Catholic school, compared to 5% nationally. The figure is also double at the secondary level, with 10% of students attending a Catholic school in Kyabram.