Project background

Being healthy and well is more than being free from disease. It comprises all aspects of a person’s life that enables them to lead a happy, fulfilled and meaningful life.

Health and wellbeing is vital to a liveable city, and the City of Melbourne plays a crucial role in creating environments that support this.

Every four years, we conduct research on our city’s health and wellbeing and work with the community to identify the priority areas that need support

In 2020, we faced the biggest public health challenge we have ever experienced. The impact of this major public health crisis cannot be underestimated. The flow-on effects will be felt for many years to come.

The current situation

To inform our planning, we compiled our Health and Wellbeing Profile 2020 which identifies and analyses the health and wellbeing data of our municipality.

The profile looks at health status, lifestyle factors and examines the key conditions that either support or hinder our community to enjoy a good quality of life. It also examines the early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out our snapshot below for some of the key insights. For more details, you can read our factsheets on specific topics or dive deeper into the full profile.

​Key insights from our Health and Wellbeing Profile 2020​

Select image to enlarge

Infographic of key stats

Hot topics

What do you believe are the most important factors for health and wellbeing in our city?

We’ve identified 10 hot topics, which were open for public consultation from 2 March to 26 March. Read more about each topic below.

Climate change is a growing threat to community health and intensifies social inequality. Extreme weather events – such as flooding, heatwaves or bushfires – can cause trauma and affect people’s health directly or indirectly. Many people experience anxiety about the environment and what the future holds.

Everyone having reliable access to enough healthy, affordable and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences.

Housing stress and homelessness affects all age groups and can be a source of chronic stress, impacting mental health and social wellbeing.

Social connection and a sense of belonging to the community contribute to our health and wellbeing. Connecting digitally is also important. Many people do not have the skills or cannot access online technologies effectively. Community engagement and participation amongst residents has declined.

Addressing behavioural risk factors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, levels of physical activity and unhealthy diets are critical to tackling a variety of community health issues.

Employment, income and education are often associated with self-reported wellbeing. People who lose employment or are unemployed long-term tend to experience poorer physical and mental health.

Urban green and blue spaces provide places for exercise, relaxation and shade which can contribute to improved mental health and lower rates of chronic diseases. They enable social interaction, which builds and maintains community connection.

Mental health is not the absence of mental illness but about how people feel, think, behave and relate to others. It can significantly affect people’s ability to function effectively.

Work to prevent all forms of physical, emotional, sexual and finalncial abuse (family, women, elder) and to reduce discrimination, racism and gender inequality. Programs to improve community safety, reduce crime and promote social cohesion.

A comprehensive approach to public health that aims to improve access to health services for infectious and chronic illnesses, promote sexual health, provide immunisation programs, and manage noise levels.

Health and wellbeing in our city