As is the case internationally, Australia is undergoing a continuing trend toward urbanisation. In 2012 only 31% of the Australian population lived outside the capital cities (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1998). Reasons for people moving from the rural and regional areas into the urban centres include: the urbanisation of employment opportunities; education; and ageing and retirement.
Population mobility partly explains an increasing gap in health status whereby people living in the rural and regional areas have worse health on a range of indicators relative to their same-aged urban peers. In the report that follows we summarise a range of information on health trends outside of the urban centres and then examine potential strategies for advancing health in these areas.
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