4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/04/2016   
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POPULATION CONTEXT


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise approximately 3% of the total Australian population. In 2014–15, there were an estimated 686,800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in private dwellings, of whom 90% identified as Aboriginal only, 6% identified as Torres Strait Islander only, and 4% identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

Geography

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population continues to become increasingly urbanised. In 2014–15, 79% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lived in non-remote areas, an increase from 76% in 2008. This was largely driven by the proportion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in major cities, which has increased from 32% in 2008 to 35% in 2014–15.

More than half of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lived in either New South Wales (31%) or Queensland (29%), where large majorities of the population lived in non-remote areas (95% and 81% respectively). The only state or territory with a majority of the population living in remote areas (79%) was the Northern Territory.

Age structure

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is relatively young. In 2014–15, almost two-thirds (63%) of the population was aged under 30 years. Those aged under 20 years comprised 46% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The population did age somewhat between 2008 and 2014–15, with an increased proportion in 2014–15 of people in older age groups from 45 years and over (Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, by age group — 2008 and 2014–15
Graph Image for Figure 2.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, by age groups

Source(s): 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey