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4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
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Contents >> A Population Overview >> Population size and age structure


A POPULATION OVERVIEW: POPULATION SIZE AND AGE STRUCTURE

This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.


Note: In this section 'children' refers to people aged 0–14 years. The terms 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS Experimental Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2006 (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001).

KEY MESSAGES

In 2006:
  • there were an estimated 517,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia (2.5% of the total Australian population)
  • there were an estimated 294,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Australia (4.2% of all Australian children and young people)
  • children and youth represented more than half (57%) of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • 10% of children and youth identified as being Torres Strait Islander or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

POPULATION SIZE

In 2006, there were an estimated 517,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, comprising 2.5% of the total Australian population.

Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population there were an estimated 294,000 children and young people, representing 4.2% of the total Australian population aged 0–24 years.

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in 2006:
  • 90% (263,700) identified as Aboriginal
  • 6% (17,300) identified as Torres Strait Islander
  • 4% (13,000) identified as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

AGE STRUCTURE

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is relatively young and quite different in age structure compared with the non-Indigenous population.

At 30 June 2006:
  • children comprised 38% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, compared with 19% of the non-Indigenous population.
  • young people comprised 19% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, compared with 14% of the non-Indigenous population.
Overall in 2006, the median age of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (21 years) was much lower than the median age of non-Indigenous people (37 years). The relatively young age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is mainly due to higher fertility and mortality rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Endnote 1).

1.1 ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AND NON-INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS—30 June 2006
Diagram: Age Pyramid - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Populations - 30 June 2006


ENDNOTES

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010, The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010, cat. no. 4704.0, ABS, Canberra, <www.abs.gov.au>.

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