Australian Bureau of Statistics
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS)
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) between August 2002 and April 2003. The 2008 NATSIS was conducted between August 2008 and April 2009. The survey provides information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations of Australia for a wide range of areas of social concern including health, education, culture and labour force participation. The 2008 NATSISS included for the first time children aged under 15. The NATSISS will be conducted every 6 years to enable changes over time to be monitored.
The NATSISS builds on past ABS surveys and complements these collections, notably the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey (NATSIS) and 2002 and 2006 General Social Survey (GSS). It was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders such as Commonwealth and State/Territory government bodies, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), Land Councils and research agencies. Individuals in both non-remote and remote areas were involved in focus groups and field testing to ensure the questions were relevant and culturally appropriate.
Information was collected by personal interview from approximately 10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over throughout Australia, including those living in remote areas. Up to three randomly selected Indigenous people were chosen from selected households to participate in the survey. Trained ABS interviewers conducted the survey using face-to-face interviews. In non-remote areas interviewers used a notebook computer to record responses, while in remote areas a paper questionnaire was used. Interviewers obtained the consent of a parent or guardian before interviewing those aged 15 to 17 years.
The ABS has recognised that there is a user need for a range of statistics to monitor the well-being of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Throughout 1998 and 1999, ABS conducted extensive consultation with a range of users in developing the Indigenous Survey Strategy. Based on this consultation, a broad survey strategy has been developed to deliver a variety of statistics to inform public policy and programs in areas such as health, housing, education, employment and social and cultural well-being. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) is a central focus of this strategy and was conducted in conjunction with the General Social Survey (GSS) of all Australians.
The NATSISS collects a broad range of information in one survey, which provides a better picture of many aspects of the well-being of Indigenous Australians. This will assist both the Indigenous and the wider community in policy analysis and program development aimed at providing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The objectives of the NATSISS were to collect data that:
The survey includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who are usual residents in selected private dwellings. Visitors to private dwellings were excluded, as were persons in institutions (such as hospitals and nursing homes) and special dwellings (such as hotels and boarding houses). The 2008 NATSISS included children aged under 15 years.
The following persons were excluded from the scope of the survey:
The NATSISS was conducted in urban, rural and remote areas across Australia.
Most NATSISS data is available at the person level for persons aged 15 years and over and in the 2008 NATSISS children aged under 15. Some items are also available at the household level. Timeseries data will be available for most items when the 2008 NATSISS has been output. Some items may be compared with similar data collected from NATSIS 1994, GSS 2002 and other ABS household surveys.
Data available from the survey include:
The NATSISS uses standard ABS data items and classifications where appropriate. Major classifications included are:
Other concepts (summary)
Comments and/or Other Regions
The sample was drawn from urban, rural and remote areas in all States and Territories. The sample was distributed among States/Territories in a way intended to allow the production of reliable State/Territory estimates.
Subject to data quality considerations, national-level data may be made available for each of the five Accessibility and Remoteness Index for Australia (ARIA) categories.
Data for 8 of the 36 ATSIC regions and synthetic estimates for other ATSIC regions may be available, subject to data quality considerations.
While the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey was conducted for the first time in 2002, some of the information collected in the NATSISS has been collected in a range of other ABS collections including:
Data availability comments
Results from the NATSISS are available in the national level publication National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2002 (Cat. no. 4714.0), which was released in June 2004. Authorised users can also access microdata using the Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) (refer to Cat. no. 4720.0).
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This page last updated 28 June 2010