• 1 in 6

    adults are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes

  • 1.4 million

    Australians have diabetes

  • 311

    Australians develop diabetes every day

  • 1 person

    every 5 minutes will develop diabetes

  • Every year

    around 8,000 South Australians are diagnosed with diabetes

  • 180,000

    South Australians are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes which is largely preventable

  • Type 2

    diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in Australia (87% of all people with diabetes)

  • Over 1.2 million

    people in Australia have type 2 diabetes


What would you like to know more about?


1.4 million Australians have diabetes

311 Australians develop diabetes every day

1 person every 5 minutes will develop diabetes

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic health condition in the world, including Australia. Diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal. There are three main types of diabetes; type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body is unable to produce insulin; type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and can't make enough insulin; gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy and often resolves once the woman has given birth. The number of people newly diagnosed every day are; 181 with type 2 diabetes, 116 with gestational diabetes, 10 with type 1 diabetes and 3 with "other" forms of diabetes. Managing diabetes is essential to prevent diabetes-related complications. Your healthcare team can support you to manage your diabetes.


The impact of diabetes is higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in lower socio-economic areas, and remote areas

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times more likely to develop diabetes than non-Indigenous Australians.

The prevalence of diabetes amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is 8%. It is 11 times higher for those aged 55 years and older than those aged 25 to 34 years. Diabetes rates are higher for those living in remote areas (12%) than in non-remote areas (7%). The prevalence of diabetes increases as the level of remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage increases. The impact of diabetes in remote areas is affected by access to healthcare, medication, education, fresh fruit and vegetables, and unemployment rates. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote areas, these barriers are further affected by increased poverty rates, overcrowded living arrangements, and limited access to transport. Diabetes is the second leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Compared to non-Indigenous Australians, diabetes-related hospitalisations for Aboriginal and Torrens Strait Islanders are 2.6 times higher in our major cities, and 9.2 times higher in our regional and remote areas.


The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) spends more than $582 million a year on subsidising medications to help people living with diabetes

In 2017–18, 302.6 million prescriptions were filled under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (RPBS) — an increase of 1.5% on 2016–17.

The PBS and RPBS are part of the Australian Government National Medicines Policy, that provides a list of all medicines available to patients at a Government-subsidised price. In 2017–18, the Australian Government recorded $11.9 billion in spending on all PBS and RPBS medicines, and of that $582 million was spent on medications for diabetes. In 2020, the Government announced new medicines were being added to the PBS list to help people manage diabetes. This resulted in people being able to access reliable and affordable medicines more easily. Without the PBS subsidy, a person could pay hundreds of dollars per script for some diabetes medications. Understanding the safe use of medications is essential for the best management of your diabetes. Information about medications is available from your GP, pharmacist, and healthcare professional.


In 2018, diabetes contributed to 16,500 Australian deaths, and more than half were related to type 2 diabetes

Death rates for diabetes have remained stable over the last 20 to 30 years. However, the number of deaths due to diabetes is known to be under-reported in the national mortality statistics.

Rather than diabetes being the major factor contributing to death, the complications of diabetes tend to be the direct cause. For example, when people with diabetes have a heart attack, the heart attack will be listed as the cause of death even though a person with diabetes has up to 4-times more chance of having a heart attack or stroke than someone without diabetes. Death rates for diabetes increase with remoteness, socio-economic disadvantage, and age. Death rates are also higher for men than women across all age groups. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have rates of death four times higher than non-Indigenous Australians. Just over one in ten Australian deaths in 2018 had diabetes as an underlying and/or associated cause of death, with 56% due to type 2 diabetes.

Previous Next

Are you at risk? Take the test