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3238.0 - Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/09/2009   
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Contents >> Summary of findings >> Australia

AUSTRALIA

The estimated resident Indigenous population of Australia at 30 June 1991 was 351,000 people. In 2006, there were 517,000 people, representing 2.5% of the total Australian population. Between 1991 and 2006 the Indigenous population increased by 2.6% per year on average, compared with 1.2% for the total Australian population.

The population of Indigenous Australians is projected to increase to between 713,300 and 721,100 people in 2021, at an average growth rate of 2.2% per year. In comparison, the average growth rate of the total Australian population is projected to be between 1.2% and 1.7% per year over the same period (Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101, cat. no. 3222.0).

Estimated and Projected Indigenous Population, Australia - 1991-2021
Graph: 6.1 Estimated and Projected Indigenous Population, Australia—1991–2021


The Indigenous population is projected to increase across all age groups between 2006 and 2021. The number of Indigenous children (0-14 years) is projected to increase from 194,200 in 2006 to between 242,600 and 243,400 in 2021. This equates to an increase of 25% over the period. The number of young adults (15-24 years) increases by a similar proportion (29%), from 99,700 people to between 128,600 and 128,800 people.

The number of Indigenous people aged 25-54 years is projected to increase from 183,000 in 2006 to between 260,100 and 260,300 in 2021. This equates to an increase of between 42% and 43% over the period.

The number of older Indigenous people (55 years and over) is projected to more than double over the period, from 40,000 in 2006 to between 82,000 and 86,600 in 2021.

Estimated and projected Indigenous population, At 30 June

Age group (years)
1991
2006
2021 (Series A)
2021 (Series B)

NUMBER

0-14
137,749
194,249
242,587
243,429
15-24
73,355
99,722
128,604
128,781
25-34
59,091
73,149
117,006
117,515
35-44
38,742
65,011
77,933
78,599
45-54
20,431
44,885
65,179
66,190
55-64
11,831
24,112
47,739
49,027
65-74
6,706
10,768
25,168
26,704
75 and over
3,080
5,147
9,090
10,819
Total
350,985
517,043
713,306
721,064

PROPORTION (%)

0-14
39.2
37.6
34.0
33.8
15-24
20.9
19.3
18.0
17.9
25-34
16.8
14.1
16.4
16.3
35-44
11.0
12.6
10.9
10.9
45-54
5.8
8.7
9.1
9.2
55-64
3.4
4.7
6.7
6.8
65-74
1.9
2.1
3.5
3.7
75 and over
0.9
1.0
1.3
1.5
Total
100
100
100
100




Population structure

The Indigenous population has a relatively young age structure. Between 1991 and 2006 the median age of the Indigenous population is estimated to have increased from 20.1 to 21.0 years, and is projected to increase to between 23.9 and 24.1 years in 2021.

The proportion of Indigenous children aged 0-14 years decreased from 39% in 1991 to 38% in 2006, and is projected to decrease to 34% in 2021. The proportion of Indigenous people aged 55 years and over increased from 6% in 1991 to 8% in 2006, and is projected to increase to between 11% and 12% in 2021. The proportion of Indigenous people aged 25-54 years is projected to increase marginally, from 35% in 2006 to 36% in 2021.

Estimated and projected Indigenous population, Australia, Series B - at 30 June
Diagram: 6.3 Estimated and projected Indigenous population, Australia, Series B—at 30 June



Natural increase

At the Australia level, any growth in the Indigenous population is entirely due to natural increase (that is, the excess of births over deaths), as net overseas migration is assumed to be zero.

Although decreasing fertility rates are assumed, the number of births of Indigenous children is projected to increase over the projection period. This is due to the age structure of the Indigenous population, which has large numbers of people moving into peak child-bearing ages over the projection period, as well as due to the assumption of increasing paternity rates. As a result, the number of births of Indigenous children is projected to increase from 13,600 in 2007, to between 19,000 and 19,100 in 2021.

In Series A, which assumes constant life expectancy at birth, the number of deaths of Indigenous people is projected to increase from 2,600 in 2007 to 4,200 in 2021. In comparison, in Series B, which incorporates an increasing life expectancy at birth assumption, the number of deaths is projected to increase to 3,100 in 2021, 1,100 (26%) fewer than in Series A.

As the number of births is considerably larger than the number of deaths, natural increase remains consistently high, reaching between 14,900 and 16,100 people (Series A and B respectively) in 2021.

Projected Natural Increase of Indigenous Population, Australia - 2007-2021
Graph: 6.4 Projected Natural Increase of Indigenous Population, Australia—2007–2021






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