The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia was estimated to be 517,200 at 30 June 2006, or 2.5% of the total Australian population. The Indigenous population is relatively young, with a median age of 21 years, compared with a median age of 37 years in the non-Indigenous population.
At 30 June 2006, an estimated 32% of the Indigenous population were living in major cities, 43% in regional areas and one-quarter (25%) in remote areas. The jurisdictions with the largest estimated resident Indigenous populations were New South Wales (148,200 or 29% of the total Indigenous population) and Queensland (146,400 or 28% of the total Indigenous population). The Northern Territory had a higher proportion of Indigenous residents (32%) than any other state or territory.
Between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, there was an increase in the proportion of Indigenous people completing Year 12 (from 20% to 23%). Over the same period, there was also a decrease in the Indigenous unemployment rate from 20% to 16% and an increase in the amount of household income available to Indigenous people. In 2006, the median weekly equivalised gross household income for Indigenous people ($362) was equivalent to 56% of the corresponding income for non-Indigenous people ($642). Despite these improvements, the unemployment rate was still much higher for Indigenous people than non-Indigenous people (16% compared with 5%), and rates of home ownership for Indigenous households were half those of other households (34% compared with 69%).