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3230.0 - Experimental Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, 1991 to 1996  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/1998   
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ESTIMATES OF THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION

INTRODUCTION

  • The estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population as at 30 June 1996 was 386,000, an increase of 40,700 since 30 June 1991. The average annual growth rate of the Indigenous population of Australia for the period 1991 to 1996 was 2.3%, higher than the rate for the total population of 1.2%.
  • The 30 June 1996 estimate of the Indigenous population represents 2.1% of the total population (18,310,700), an increase of 0.1 percentage points since 1991.
  • New South Wales had the largest Indigenous population at 30 June 1996, with 109,900, or 28.5% of the total Indigenous population, followed by Queensland with 27.2%.
  • The Indigenous population of the Northern Territory comprised 28.5% (51,900) of the total Northern Territory population at 30 June 1996. This is the highest proportion of any State or Territory. The lowest was 0.5% (22,600) for Victoria.

ESTIMATED RESIDENT INDIGENOUS POPULATION, 30 JUNE 1996

Indigenous
population
Proportion of
Indigenous
population
Proportion of
total State
population
'000
%
%

New South Wales
109.9
28.5
1.8
Victoria
22.6
5.9
0.5
Queensland
104.8
27.2
3.1
South Australia
22.1
5.7
1.5
Western Australia
56.2
14.6
3.2
Tasmania
15.3
4.0
3.2
Northern Territory
51.9
13.4
28.5
Australian Capital Territory
3.1
0.8
1.0
Australia(a)
386.0
100.0
2.1
(a) Includes Jervis Bay Territory.

SEX RATIO

  • The ratio of males to females in the Indigenous population at 30 June 1996 was 97.4 (97.4 males to 100 females) compared to 99.0 for the total population. For most States and Territories the sex ratios of the Indigenous population were lower than for the total population. The sex ratio of the Indigenous population ranged from 99.2 in the Northern Territory to 96.2 in South Australia.

Sex ratios of the Indigenous and total population, 30 June 1996




A YOUNG INDIGENOUS POPULATION
  • At 30 June 1996, Australia's Indigenous population had a median age of 20.1 years, about 14 years younger than for the total population (34.0 years). The median age of the Indigenous population ranged from 19.0 years in Tasmania to 21.3 years in Victoria.
  • The median age of indigenous males at 30 June 1996 was 19.3 years and for Indigenous females 20.9 years. The median age for males was between one and two years lower than for females for all States and Territories except for the Australian Capital Territory where the median age for males was 0.7 years lower than for females.


Median ages of the indigenous and total population, 30 June 1996



A YOUNG INDIGENOUS POPULATION (Cont'd)

  • The age structure of the Indigenous population differed greatly from that of the total Australian population. The proportion of the population in each five-year age group is consistently higher for the Indigenous population in age groups less than 30 years and lower for higher age groups. This reflects the relatively high mortality and high fertility of the Indigenous population.
  • The life expectancy of persons of Indigenous origin born in the 1991-96 period was 57 years for males and 62 years for females. This compares to the life expectancy of total Australian males and females of 75 years and 81 years respectively for persons born in the 1994-96 period.
  • The proportion of the Indigenous population under 15 years of age was 40.0% compared with 21.4% for the total population. Persons aged 65 years and over comprise 2.6% of the indigenous population and 12.0% of the total population.
  • The age structure of the male Indigenous population is similar to that of the female Indigenous population.


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