2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Aug 1998  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/1998   
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Australia's Indigenous Population

New set of publications from the Census

The 1996 Census of Population and Housing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People series presents a range of detailed social and economic statistics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the 1996 Census.

The publications provide information which will be useful to Indigenous organisations and communities, government agencies and policy makers providing services to Indigenous people.

Publications for New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia are now available. The remaining publications - Queensland, South Australia and Australia - are due out in late August 1998.

The publications contain tables and summary text relating to population, families, households and dwellings, employment, income, education, religion and language. Each publication also contains a brief explanation of the differences between census counts, usual residence data and estimated resident population data, with tables illustrating these differences.

Census counts by Statistical Local Area for 1986, 1991 and 1996 are included as an Appendix to each publication. There are also 16 selected characteristics tables included for all ATSIC Regions.

New Geographical Classification - available soon

The Australian Indigenous Geographical Classification (AIGC) is a new geographical classification designed specifically for use with 1996 Census data about Indigenous Australians. Details of the AIGC are contained in Statistical Geography: Volume 2 - Census Geographic Areas Australia (cat. no. 2905.0).

The AIGC has been produced in map format on a CD-ROM. This provides a visual representation of each level of the classification, from Indigenous Locations, through Indigenous Areas to ATSIC Regions.

From the on-screen map of Australia, users are able to search for an area of interest to see AIGC boundaries for that area. This will enable them to be more specific when requesting Indigenous Profiles or customised tables from the ABS.

The CD-ROM is easy to use, requires no additional software and will be moderately priced.

Interpreting Indigenous Census Data

As a result of the large increase in Census counts of Indigenous people between 1991 and 1996, concerns have been expressed about the implications of such change, especially with respect to examining trends over time. As a result, a Working Group comprised of ABS and non-ABS members was convened, and a workshop on Establishing Guidelines for Interpreting Indigenous Census Data was held in Canberra on 26 February 1998.

A set of guidelines for users of Indigenous census data has been prepared by the Working Group. Wide distribution of the guidelines has been encouraged. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact The National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, located in our Darwin office.