NACCHO Aboriginal Health : New #census release : Number of @IndigenousX has jumped by 18 per cent since 2011 to 649,171

The first results of the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represented 2.8 per cent of the population counted in the 2016 Census – up from 2.5 per cent in 2011, and 2.3 per cent in 2006.

Download this press release 2016 Census Press Release

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Of the 649,200 people who reported being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in 2016, 91 per cent were of Aboriginal origin, 5 per cent were of Torres Strait Islander origin, and 4.1 per cent reported being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

While the Northern Territory has Australia’s highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (25.5 per cent of the NT population), New South Wales is home to the highest number, with more than 216,000 people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

The Census also revealed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is younger than Australia’s overall population, with a median age 23 years in 2016. This is substantially younger than the median age for non-Indigenous Australians, who had a median age of 38 years in 2016.

There have been increases in income levels within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population since the 2011 Census, with median weekly household income increasing from $991 to $1,203.

One in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported speaking an Australian Indigenous language at home in the 2016 Census. A total of 150 Australian Indigenous languages were spoken in homes in 2016, reflecting the linguistic diversity of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch said Census data is high quality, thanks to the participation of Australians.

“The Independent Assurance Panel I established to provide extra assurance and transparency of Census data quality concluded that the 2016 Census data can be used with confidence,” Mr Kalisch said.

“The 2016 Census had a response rate of 95.1 per cent and a net undercount of 1.0 per cent. This is a quality result, comparable to both previous Australian Censuses and Censuses in other countries, such as New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 2

“Furthermore, 63 per cent of people completed the Census online, embracing the digital-first approach and contributing to faster data processing and data quality improvements.

“2016 Census data provides a detailed, accurate and fascinating picture of Australia, which will be used to inform critical policy, planning and service delivery decisions for our communities over the coming years,” he said.

Census data is available free online. Use one of our easy tools such as QuickStats and Community Profiles to access the latest data for your area or topic of interest.

For more information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, please see a data summary here.

You can also attend one of our free Seminars. To find out more about Census Data Seminar series, or to register, go to the ABS website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

2016

 

2011

Total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population 649,200 548,400
% of total Australian Population 2.8% 2.5%
Median age 23 21
Sex
Male 322,171 (49.6%) 270,333 (49.3%)
Female 326,996 (50.4%) 278,039 (50.7%)
State of residence
NSW 216,176 172,625
QLD 186,482 155,826
WA 75,978 69,664
NT 58,248 56,779
VIC 47,788 37,992
SA 34,184 30,432
TAS 23,572 19,625
ACT 6,508 5,184
Languages spoken at home (other than English) %
1. Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages 16.1% 18.2%
2. Torres Strait Island Languages 11.7% 11.0%
3. Western Desert Languages 11.1% 14.0%
4. Yolngu Matha 10.6% 11.2%
Median household income (weekly) $1,203 $991

NACCHO Aboriginal health news : Understanding the 21% Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Census Counts, 2006-2011

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Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Census Counts, 2006-2011

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the publication Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts, 2006-2011 (cat. no. 2077.0) on 17 September 2013.

You can view here

The key findings in this publication are as follows.

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Explaining the increase

  • Between 2006 and 2011, the increase in the Census counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was much larger than expected, rising by 21% (93,300 people).
  • The vast majority (90% or 83,100) of the increase occurred in non-remote areas, with just over two-thirds (67% or 62,400) of the increase occurring in New South Wales and Queensland.
  • More than two-thirds of the increase (65,500) can be explained by measurable demographic factors of population change (births, deaths, and migration).
  • The remainder of the increase (27,800) is due to a range of other factors. Analysis suggests the most significant other factor contributing to the increased count was a change in the way some people reported their Indigenous status between 2006 and 2011, resulting in them identifying themselves and (if they had children) their children as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in 2011 but not in 2006.
  • When demographic analysis is undertaken on population estimates (which are adjusted for the Census undercount), a similar conclusion about an increased propensity to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin can be made.  In other words, the non-demographic component of the increase in the Census counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (27,800) is not explained by significant changes in the Census undercount.

Family and age dynamics

  • The increase in the count of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged less than 15 years can be partly explained by an increased count of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander parents.
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children with mixed parentage (where one parent is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin and the other parent is not) accounted for half of the increase in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 5-9 years in 2011.

Changes in socio-economic characteristics

  • Comparisons of the Census counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2006 and 2011 suggest there has been little change in selected characteristics, such as the proportion of people living in each Remoteness Area, fertility rates and labour force outcomes.
  • The main differences between 2006 and 2011 were an increase in the proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over with a Year 12 or equivalent qualification (up from 20% to 25%) and in the proportion of those aged 25 years and over with a non-school qualification (up from 25% to 31%).
  • Since the count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was much larger in the 2011 Census than in the 2006 Census, any change in socio-economic characteristics should not be assumed to reflect an outcome for the population identified in 2006.
  • Because of the likely change in the propensity of people to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, caution should be exercised when comparing rates calculated using 2006 data and 2011 data (e.g. proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people with a Year 12 or equivalent qualification). Revised estimates of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander population (back to 2001) based on the 2011 Census results will be released by the ABS on 30 April 2014 and using those estimates for the denominator will provide a more consistent basis for rate calculations and comparisons.

Further analysis is expected to be undertaken in the future to investigate some of the key contributors to the increase in counts in more detail. The ABS Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset, due to be released in December 2013, will provide a new data source for analysing changes in the characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples between Censuses.

Please direct any questions about this publication to:

  • Julie Nankervis, Director, National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, ph 08 8943 2146, email Julie.nankervis@abs.gov.au, or
  • Bjorn Jarvis, Director, Demography, ph 02 6252 6411, email bjorn.jarvis@abs.gov.au.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

17 September 2013