COMPARISONS WITH NON-INDIGENOUS POPULATION
The Indigenous population has a younger age structure than the non-Indigenous population, which can make direct comparisons misleading. While the Indigenous population aged 65 years and over accounted for 5% of the total Indigenous population aged 15 years and over in 2009, the corresponding proportion was 16% for the non-Indigenous population.
It is possible to remove the effect of the differences in age structures through age-standardisation. However, the estimates in this publication have not been age-standardised. For this reason caution should be used if a comparison of Indigenous and non-Indigenous estimates is made. This is especially relevant in comparisons of rates and ratios, such as the participation rate, of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.
Another reason for caution when comparing Indigenous and non-Indigenous estimates is the geographical distribution of the two populations. About one-quarter (22%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in Remote areas in 2009. In comparison only 2% of non-Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in Remote areas in 2009.