Tasmanians are the unhealthiest, oldest, worst educated, most underemployed and most dependent on government benefits in Australia - the statement doesn't paint a pretty picture:.
But it's at the crux of issues plaguing the state when it comes to opportunities for employment, personal fulfilment and community engagement. This according to the latest Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry report, at least, which shows there is a clear gap between our state and the rest of the country when it comes to key indicators. While our economy might be booming, our population, in many respects has hit a rut - particularly when it comes to health and education. As Tasmanian Council of Social Services chief executive Kym Goodes pointed out, it appears a strong economy doesn't always equal a good life.
The divide between those prospering off the state's new-found economic success and those being left behind is growing. And the message from key stakeholders seems to be clear - without investment in the right areas - mainly preventative strategies - those who are vulnerable will continue to fall behind. And this will impact everyone.
Without wanting to be too glass half empty, the report wasn't all negatives. There is a lot Tasmania should feel proud of. We have more tourists visiting than ever before. Our education outcomes are lifting and Tasmania has experienced a drop in smoking rates - a risk factor linked to some of the state's most crippling chronic conditions.
But overall the not-so-positive TCCI results aren't that surprising. They join a growing list of expert opinions and reports that all come back to one thing - a need for greater investment. But now the question is where? Doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. While there has been a lot of discussion on what is spent on health and education, there's been less on what Tasmania's poor health and education outcomes are costing us. This isn't just about ensuring Tasmania has a strong economy, but ensuring people are healthy enough to work, learn and more broadly - contribute to society.