What's tripping us up? How Kiwis are falling over


Released 19/02/2019

Data-heads rejoice! We're proactively publishing our 2018 statistics on injuries resulting from people falling over. 

Falls data on data.govt

Top trends

We sliced and diced the 2018 statistics and here are the top trends:

  • Falling over is the most common way of injuring yourself in New Zealand.
  • Injuries from falling represent a whopping 39% of all ACC claims and cost $1.1 billion.
  • 785,063 new fall-related claims were made in 2018, up slightly from 781,122 in 2017.

Keen for more titbits? Here are three more interesting points the statistics show.

1. The prize for 'most popular place to fall over' goes to... your own home

Home should be a safe zone. But last year it took the thorny crown for ‘Most Popular Fall Location’, with 388,310 people getting injured by falling over at home.

In an interesting twist, our data shows a slightly higher proportion of injuries are happening in homes in less urban regions. These include places like Tasman, Northland, Southland.

2. Women are slightly more likely to be injured by falling over

398,337 women had injuries caused from falling, compared with 386,725 men.

3. Age is the biggest risk

If you're under 19 years old, you're more likely to be injured through a fall, as 234,468 unfortunate young people could attest to in 2018. 

However, older people have more severe falls and therefore worse injuries on average. Every year, one in three people over 65 injures themselves in a fall. This rises to one in two once you reach 80.

A few more statistics on the 65-plus age group:

  • 193,954 older people had injuries from falling.
  • These injuries came at a cost of $267,275,845.
  • Falls accounted for two-thirds of all ACC claims in the 85+ age group.
  • A serious fall, resulting in a fracture can cost up to $120,000 to repair and rehabilitate

One way to reduce your risk of falling over, if you’re over 65, is to increase your core strength and your balance. Our Live Stronger for Longer community strength and balance classes are one way to do that. There are classes all over New Zealand. Check out the website to see a list of classes near you.

Live Stronger for Longer website

If you’re not able to get out of the house to attend community group strength and balance classes, in-home strength and balance may be another option.

Speak to your GP to find out more.

Keep an eye out for more injury statistics in future

We’ll be regularly publishing our injury statistics. Keep an eye out here and on the data.govt.nz website for regular data drops. 

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