Nav: Home

First Lancet global snapshot of indigenous peoples health released

April 21, 2016

A world-first University of Melbourne-led study into the health and wellbeing of more than 154 million Indigenous and tribal people globally reveals the extent of work that needs to be done if the United Nations is to meet its 2030 goals of ending poverty and inequality.

The Indigenous and tribal peoples' health (The Lancet-Lowitja Institute Global Collaboration): A Population Study, commissioned by Australia's Lowitja Institute, is the most comprehensive ever compiled by world health experts.

It brings together data from 28 indigenous and tribal groups across 23 countries - accounting for more than half of the world's native populations.

Lead author Professor Ian Anderson, Chair of Indigenous Education and Pro Vice Chancellor of Engagement at the University of Melbourne, said the key to the success of the report was in the international collaboration of 65 world-leading experts in Indigenous health.

"What was absolutely critical and unique to this project was being able to work with authors and contributors across the 23 countries," Prof Anderson said.

Romlie Mokak, chief executive of the Lowitja Institute, said the research represented an important milestone for the institute.

"The Lowitja Institute values the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and we extend that purpose to our international global Indigenous family," Mr Mokak said.

"The study highlights the importance of global networks that bring together Indigenous health experts, academics and policymakers to effect positive outcomes for First Peoples. Providing leadership in this area is very important."

The study responds to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development signed in September 2015 with the stated aim to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate changes, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The participating countries included Australia, United States, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, China, India, Thailand, Pakistan, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Myanmar, Kenya, Peru, Panama, Venezuela, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Researchers assessed data on basic population, life expectancy at birth, infant mortality, low and high birthweight, maternal mortality, nutritional status, educational attainment, poverty and economic status. They did not make cross-country comparisons.

Key findings and recommendations include:
  • Health and wellbeing is generally poorer for Indigenous and tribal peoples, although the level of disadvantage varies across nations.
  • Being Indigenous in a wealthy country does not necessarily lead to better outcomes
  • National governments need to develop targeted policy responses to Indigenous health, improving access to health services, and Indigenous data within national surveillance systems.
The Lowitja Institute is Australia's only research organisation focused solely on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For more information, visit

Access the paper here:

University of Melbourne

Related Poverty Articles:

Cities provide paths from poverty to sustainability
Understanding how cities develop at the neighborhood level is key to promoting equitable, sustainable urbanization.
Growing isolation of poor helps explain changes in concentrated poverty
Concentrated poverty -- neighborhoods where 40 percent of the population or more lives below the federal poverty level -- is back on the rise for all races in the United States, according to Penn State demographers.
Mobile phone and satellite data to map poverty
An international team has, for the first time, developed a way of combining anonymised data from mobile phones and satellite imagery data to create high resolution maps to measure poverty.
Childhood poverty can rob adults of psychological health
A large and growing body of research shows that poor kids grow up to have a host of physical problems as adults.
Out in the rural: A Mississippi health center and its war on poverty
Historian and Author Thomas J. Ward Jr. will be joined by Dr.
Predicting poverty by satellite with detailed accuracy
By combining satellite data and sophisticated machine learning, researchers have developed a technique to estimate household consumption and income.
Can energy access end poverty?
On June 15, 2016, an interactive debate,
Poverty marks a gene, predicting depression
A long line of research links poverty and depression. Now a study by Duke University scientists unveils some of the biology of depression in high-risk adolescents whose families are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Researchers find a fast road out of poverty
Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Toronto measured how households who owned property in the upgraded roads were also allowed to spend more on credit so they could buy items for the home or cars that made them better off.
Nearly half of American children living near poverty line
Nearly half of children in the US live dangerously close to the poverty line, according to new research from the National Center for Children in Poverty.

Related Poverty Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".