FEATURE ARTICLE 2: ADVICE ON THE USE OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION ESTIMATES AND PROJECTIONS
The count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people increased by 20.5 percent between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses. This resulted in larger than expected estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and the Post Enumeration Survey (PES) results, when compared with the corresponding 2006 estimates.
Preliminary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates as at 30 June 2011 were published in the March release of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), on 27 September 2012. Final 2011 population estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians will be released in August 2013.
The ABS appreciates that the large increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates and the associated changes in rates/indicators produced using these population estimates as denominators present a challenge for data users, particularly those who are assessing change over time, and that supporting advice is required.
ADVICE FOR REPORTING
The advice given in this article should be considered in relation to the specific requirements of data users and the appropriateness of the advice for their needs.
Until the final 2011 population estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are released in August 2013, the ABS recommends that preliminary 2011 estimates should not be used for reporting any indicators which make any single point-in-time measure, rather, data users should continue to use ABS population estimates based on the 2006 Census (Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 (cat. no. 3238.0)).
Until the 2011 Census-based backcasted estimates and projections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are released in the first half of 2014 (i.e. by June 2014), the ABS advises that all indicators which make time series comparisons, or involve combined years measures, using ABS population estimates continue to use the projected population estimates based on the 2006 Census, to ensure that comparisons are meaningful (Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 (cat. no. 3238.0)).
ABS advises that the use of a combination of 2006-based estimates and 2011-based estimates will result in misleading analysis, given the two sets of population estimates describe different populations.
The ABS will produce life tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for the period 2010-12 based on the Census Data Enhancement Indigenous Mortality Study. Life expectancy estimates will be available for reporting purposes in November 2013.