7.7.1 Self-perceived health among Indigenous youth aged 15 to 24 years, by Indigenous identity, Canada, 2012

First Nations Métis Inuit
Excellent 29.7 31.1 23.2
Very good 28 31.8 27.6
Good 27.8 23.8 33.3
Fair or poor 9.9 9.3 8.1

Note: Excludes persons living on Indian reserves or settlements.

Source: CICH graphic created using data from Statistics Canada. Table 577-0001 – Aboriginal Peoples Survey, perceived general health, by Aboriginal identity, age group and sex, population aged 6 years and over, Canada, provinces and territories, occasional.

In 2012, 63% of Métis youth aged 15 to 24 years reported that their self-perceived health was excellent or very good.

This compares to 58% of First Nations and 51% of Inuit youth.

Self-rated health status is a subjective assessment of health status used in the public health field to rate one’s perceived health on a scale ranging from excellent to poor. It is considered to be consistent with objective health status and an adequate global measure of health status in the general population because of its relationship to prevalence of diagnosed diseases and health-related factors regarded as risks.1 However, because the measure is subjective and different ethnic groups and cultures may assess self-rated health status differently,,2 some people may perceive their health in positive terms and over-estimate their health due to other personal and environmental factors. In Indigenous populations, health is not necessarily perceived of in terms of the absence of illness, but rather holistically as maintaining a balance between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual/cultural dimensions.3

1Wu, S., Wang, R., Zhao, Y., Ma, X., Wu, M., Yan, X., & He, J. (2013). (2013). The relationship between self-rated health and objective health status: A population-based study. BMC Public Health, 13, 320.
2Bombak, A.E., & Bruce, S.G. (2012). Self-rated health and ethnicity: Focus on Indigenous populations. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 71, 10.3402/ijch.v71i0.18538.
3Loiselle, M., & McKenzie, L. (2006). The wellness wheel: An Aboriginal contribution to social work. Waterloo, ON: Paper presented at Breaking barriers and creating common ground through a holistic approach: The Medicine Wheel, the First North-American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work, May 27. Retrieved October 10, 2017 from http://www.reseaudialog.qc.ca/Docspdf/LoiselleMcKenzie.pdf.