Australian Bureau of Statistics
4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2010 Final
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05/04/2013 Note: 2002 and 2008 NATSISS alcohol data by risk level have been revised. For more information, see the Information Paper (Catalogue No. 4714.0.55.005).
People who identify or are identified as being of Aboriginal origin. May also include people identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household
A household in an occupied private dwelling with at least one resident who has been identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. Other residents of the household may have been identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, non-Indigenous, or have Indigenous status unknown. See also Household and Other household.
Acute risky/high risk alcohol consumption
In the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey NATSISS, acute (or short-term) alcohol consumption risk was based on the largest quantity of alcohol consumed in a single day during the fortnight prior to interview. Relative acute risk levels as defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2001 are as follows:
A rate for a specific age group. The numerator and the denominator relate to the same age group.
Age-specific death rate
Age-specific death rates are calculated by dividing the number of deaths in a particular age group, by the estimated resident population for that age group.
A method of removing the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. Where appropriate, estimates in this publication are age standardised to the age composition of the total estimated resident population of Australia as at 30 June 2001. The age standardised rate is that which would have prevailed if the studied population had the standard age composition. Because age standardised estimates do not represent any real population parameters, they should not be used to quantify the difference between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the non-Indigenous populations. They should be used as an indication of difference only.
Age-standardised death rate
An age-standardised death rate is calculated by first multiplying the age-specific death rate for each age group by the number of people in that age group in the standard population, which are then added together. The standardised rate is then calculated by dividing this aggregated number of deaths by the total standard population and multiplying by 100,000. Standardised death rates are calculated using the total persons in the Australian population at 30 June 2001 as the standard population.
Alcohol consumption risk level
Two measures of alcohol consumption risk were derived from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey:
Apparent retention rates are the percentage of full-time students of a given cohort group who continue from the first year of secondary schooling to a specified year level. Care should be taken in interpreting apparent retention rates, as they do not account for students repeating a year of school or migrating into or out of the Australian school student population. Ungraded secondary students and those enrolled in alternative secondary programs are also not included in retention calculations. For more information, see Schools, Australia (cat. no. 4221.0).
Attended a cultural event
Participation in traditional or contemporary Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural activities and events in the 12 months prior to 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey interview. Events include: Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ceremonies; NAIDOC week activities; sports carnivals; festivals or carnivals involving arts, craft, music or dance; funerals/sorry business; and involvement with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisations.
Australian Indigenous Language
An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language in the Australian Indigenous Languages group of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages. Excludes Oceanian Pidgins and Creoles and ‘Aboriginal English’. See also Main language spoken at home.
A common term used to describe acute risky/high risk alcohol consumption. See also Alcohol consumption risk level, Acute risky/high risk alcohol consumption and Chronic risky/high risk alcohol consumption.
Bullying at school
Behaviour that includes, but is not limited to: name calling; put downs; threats; sexual harassment; did physical violence; stealing or damaging property; spreading rumours; intimidation; and manipulation. Refers only to those situations in which the child was bullied because of their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.
Canadian National Occupancy Standard for housing appropriateness
A standard measure of housing utilisation that is sensitive to both household size and composition. Based on the following criteria used to assess bedroom requirements, households requiring at least one additional bedroom are considered to be overcrowded:
A census is a count of a whole population. The Census of Population and Housing measures the number of people in Australia and their key characteristics, at a given point in time. The ABS conducts the Census every five years; the last was in August 2006. In this publication the word ‘Census’ refers to the ABS Census of Population and Housing.
Child mortality is defined as the death of a child aged between one and four years.
Child mortality rate
A group of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who share a common language and/or clan or tribal membership.
Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program
The CDEP program enables participants (usually members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities) to exchange unemployment benefits for opportunities to undertake work and training in activities which are managed by a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community organisation. Participants in the program are classified as employed.
Crude death rate
Crude death rates are calculated by dividing the number of deaths in a particular reference period by the relevant estimated resident population (ERP).
Current daily smoker
A person who was smoking one or more cigarettes (or cigars or pipes) per day, on average, at the time of interview. See also Smoker status.
Disability or long-term health condition
A limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder, that has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more, and restricts everyday activities.
Situations and/or places in which a person was treated unfairly. Includes, but is not limited to: being treated rudely, as if they are inferior or with disrespect; ignored, insulted, harassed, stereotyped or discriminated against; or unfair assumptions are made about them. Refers only to those situations and/or places in which the person was treated unfairly because of their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.
The highest level of education attained. Includes both primary and secondary school and non-school qualifications. See also Highest year of school completed and Non-school qualification.
Persons aged 15 years or over who had a job or business, or who undertook work without pay in a family business, for a minimum of one hour, in the previous week. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business and CDEP participants. See also Labour force status.
Persons who usually work 35 hours or more per week.
Persons who usually work at least one hour, but less than 35 hours per week.
Estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
The estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is based on the Census count and adjusted for instances in which Indigenous status is unknown and for net undercount. These adjustments are necessary because of the volatility of counts of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population between censuses. The estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is compiled for 30 June each census year, and is not updated between censuses. However, experimental Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates have been produced for the period 1986 to 2006 and experimental Aboriginal and Torers Strait Islander population projections for the period 2007 to 2021.
Estimated resident population (ERP)
The official ABS estimate of the Australian population, based on the Census count (on a usual residence basis). The estimated resident population is compiled at 30 June each census year, and is updated quarterly between censuses. These intercensal estimates of the resident population are revised each time a population census is taken. See also Estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
Equivalised gross household income
A standardised income measure which enables analysis of the relative wellbeing of households of different size and composition. Equivalence scales are used to adjust the actual incomes of households in a way that accounts for differences in the needs of individuals within those households and the economies of scale achieved by people living together. The adjustment recognises the greater level of income required by larger households compared with smaller households, and also that the resource needs of adults are normally greater than those of children. For example, it would be expected that a household comprising two people would normally need more income than a lone person household if the two households are to enjoy the same standard of living. One way of adjusting for this difference in household size might be simply to divide the income of the household by the number of people within the household so that all income is presented on a per capita basis. However, such a simple adjustment assumes that all individuals have the same needs if they are to enjoy the same standard of living and that there are no economies derived from sharing resources. When household income is adjusted according to an equivalence scale, equivalised household income can be viewed as an indicator of the economic resources available to each individual in a household.
In the 2008 NATSISS, a 'modified OECD' equivalence scale has been used; the scale widely accepted among Australian analysts of income distribution. This scale allocates 1.0 point for the first adult (aged 15 years or over) in a household; 0.5 for each additional adult; and 0.3 for each child. Equivalised household income is derived by dividing total household income by the sum of the equivalence points allocated to household members. For example, if a household received combined gross income of $2,100 per week and comprised two adults and two children (combined household equivalence points of 2.1), the equivalised gross household income for each household member would be calculated as $1,000 per week.
Equivalised gross household income — quintiles
Groupings of 20% of the total population of Australia when ranked in ascending order according to equivalised gross household income. The population used for this purpose includes all Indigenous people living in private dwellings, including children. Households in which income was not reported or only partially reported have been excluded.
See Total fertility rate.
In this report, 'financial stress' is defined as the inability of a household to obtain $2000 within a week for something important.
Formal child care
See Self-assessed health status.
Highest year of school completed
The highest year of primary or secondary school completed, irrespective of the type of educational institution attended, or where that education was undertaken. In this release, the population of interest excludes people aged less than 15 years and those who were still attending a secondary school.
An area of land with which Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people have ancestral and/or cultural links.
See Owner without a mortgage and Owner with a mortgage.
A household is defined as a group of two or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling, who regard themselves as a household, and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living; or a person living in a dwelling who makes provisions for his/her own food and other essentials for living, without combining with any other person (i.e. a lone-person household). See also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household and Other household.
Illicit substance use
The use of substances for non-medical purposes. Substances covered in the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey included analgesics, tranquillisers, amphetamines, marijuana, heroin, methadone, cocaine, hallucinogens (both synthetic and naturally occurring), ecstasy or other designer drugs, petrol and other inhalants, and kava. Information on substance use was collected for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years or over in non-remote areas via a self-completion form, and in remote areas via Computer Assisted Interviewing.
The number of prisoners per 100,000 adult population.
Indigenous community housing
Dwellings targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are managed by Indigenous Housing Organisations.
Indigenous Housing Organisation
Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation which is responsible for managing housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This includes community organisations, such as Resources Agencies and Land Councils, that have a range of functions, provided that they manage housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
People who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Also see Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous Regions (IREGs) are the highest level of the Australian Indigenous Geographic Classification (AIGC). The AIGC provides a geographical standard for the publication of Census data about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia. In 2001, the highest level of the AIGC was Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) Region, which reflected the legal ATSIC Region boundaries defined under the ATSIC Act (1989). When ATSIC ceased operations in 2005, the legal requirement for these boundaries also ceased to exist. IREGs are based on the former ATSIC Region boundaries but reflect recent changes in local government areas. Changes in government administrative arrangements were also taken into account in defining the IREGs. Where possible and appropriate, the 2001 boundaries were maintained to allow the characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within a Region to be compared across Censuses. For more information, see Maps and Census Profiles, Australian Indigenous Geographic Classification, 2006 (cat. no. 4706.0.30.001).
Infant mortality is defined as the death of a child under one year of age.
Infant mortality rate
Infant mortality rates are calculated as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births.
Informal child care
Informal child care is non-regulated care arranged by a child's parent/guardian, either in the child's home or elsewhere. It comprises care by (step) brothers or sisters, care by grandparents, care by other relatives, and care by other people such as friends, neighbours, nannies, or babysitters. It may be paid or unpaid. Also see Formal child care.
Involvement in sporting, social or community activities
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale
The modified five-level version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K5) is used to measure non-specific psychological distress of an individual. A high score indicates that the person may be experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression on a regular basis, whereas a low score indicates that the person is experiencing these feelings less frequently or not at all. For more information, see the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report Measuring the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Labour force participation rate
The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. employed plus unemployed) expressed as a percentage of the population. Both the numerator and denominator may be restricted to derive labour force participation rates for particular age groups, e.g. persons aged 18–64 years. Persons who did not report their labour force status are excluded when calculating the participation rate. See also Employed, Labour force status, and Unemployed.
Labour force status
Identifies whether a person is employed, unemployed or not in the labour force. See also Employed, Not in the labour force and Unemployed.
Life expectancy refers to how long, on average, a person could expect to live if current mortality rates remained the same across their life span.
A life table is a statistical model used to show the life expectancy and hence levels of mortality at different ages. It depicts the mortality experience of a hypothetical group of newborn babies throughout their lifetimes. Life tables may be complete or abridged, depending on the age interval used in their compilation. Complete life tables such as those for the Australian population contain data by single years of age, while abridged life tables, such as those for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, contain data for five year age groups. Life tables are presented separately for males and females.
Main language spoken at home
The language a person most commonly uses at home.
Geographical areas within the 'Major cities of Australia' category of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area.
The midpoint of a distribution of values. Half the values occur above this point and half below.
The median age is the age at which half of a given population is younger and half is older.
A person’s perception of crime and other problems in their neighbourhood. Problems include: theft; prowlers or loiterers; damage to property; dangerous or noisy driving; alcohol and illegal drugs; family violence; assault; sexual assault; problems with neighbours; youth-related problems; and a perceived lack of personal safety.
Geographical areas within the 'Major cities of Australia', 'Inner regional Australia' and 'Outer regional Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area.
Non-school educational institution
An educational institution, other than a secondary school. This includes higher education establishments, colleges of technical and further education, public and private colleges, etc. Institutions excluded are those whose primary role is not education.
A non-school qualification is awarded for post-school educational attainment. Includes Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor degrees, Graduate certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Postgraduate degrees. In this publication, the population of interest for non-school qualification is people aged 25–64 years. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications. Responses have been coded according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).
Not in the labour force
Persons who are retired; no longer working; do not intend to work in the future; permanently unable to work; or who have never worked and never intend to work. See also Labour force status.
'Other Australians' include non-Indigenous people and those for whom Indigenous status was not stated.
A household in an occupied private dwelling not identified as an Indigenous household because no residents were identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. These households may include residents whose Indigenous status was unknown. See also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household and Household .
Other tenure type
Comprises persons in dwellings being purchased under a rent/buy scheme, occupied rent-free, under a life tenure scheme, or other tenure type. See also Tenure type.
See Canadian National Occupancy Standard for housing appropriateness.
Owner of dwelling
A household where the reference person owns the dwelling where other household members usually reside. Includes owners with a mortgage, owners without a mortgage, and participants of rent/buy schemes. See also Tenure type, Owner with a mortgage and Owner without a mortgage.
Owner with a mortgage
A household where the reference person's outstanding mortgage or loan amount secured against the dwelling is greater than zero. Persons who have an outstanding mortgage amount but who are not making any payments are included in this category. See also Tenure type.
Owner without a mortgage
A household where the reference person has no outstanding mortgage or loan amount secured against the dwelling. Persons who have repaid a mortgage or loan but have not formally discharged the associated mortgage are included in this category. See also Tenure type.
A derived measure which broadly defines parent-child relationships in households. It includes only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who are the assumed parents or guardians of one or more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the same household. In some cases, the person identified as being a parent or guardian will be an actual parent of the child, but if the child does not live with their parents then the parent relationship assigned may relate to a guardian, grandparent or other relative living in the household. The assumed parent or guardian population excludes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with non-Indigenous parents, guardians or carers and Indigenous parents under 15 years.
Positive wellbeing module
The NATSISS positive wellbeing module was based on the Short Form 36 (SF-36), which is an international survey instrument containing questions which provide an indication of general health status. The SF-36 measures a range of concepts, including vitality (energy/fatigue) and mental health. Four questions from the SF-36 were included in the 2008 NATSISS; respondents aged 15 years and over were asked how often in the last four weeks they: felt calm and peaceful; had been a happy person; felt full of life; and had a lot of energy. For each question an answer was provided using the following response scale: all of the time; most of the time; some of the time; a little of the time; or none of the time.
Pregnancy risk factors
Alcohol consumption, smoking and illicit substance use in pregnancy are thought to be associated with health-related conditions for both the mother and child. In the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, questions were asked of the child's birth-mother only (not of the proxy) about whether, during the pregnancy, she drank any alcohol, smoked any cigarettes or chewed any tobacco and used any other substances (e.g. smoked marijuana, drank Kava, sniffed petrol or took any illicit drugs.
Private and other renters
Comprises renters from a real estate agent, relative or other person not in same household, residential park (includes caravan parks and marinas), government or other employer, and landlord not stated. See also Tenure type.
Profound or core activity limitation
A specified condition for which a person requires help or supervision in performing one or more core activities such as self-care, mobility or communication. See also, disability or long-term health condition.
See Kessler Psychological Distress Scale.
Indigenous to non-Indigenous rate ratios are calculated by dividing the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a particular characteristic by the proportion of non-Indigenous people with the same characteristic. If the characteristic of interest is highly correlated with age (e.g. need for assistance with core activities), age standardised proportions are used to calculate Indigenous to non-Indigenous rate ratios. A rate ratio of 1.0 indicates that the prevalence of the characteristic is the same in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Rate ratios of greater than 1.0 indicate higher prevalence in the Indigenous population and rate ratios less than 1.0 indicate higher prevalence in the non-Indigenous population.
Geographical areas within the 'Inner Regional Australia' and 'Outer Regional Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area.
Relatively high income households
Are defined as those households with an equivalised gross household income in the third quintile or above.
Relatively low income households
Are defined as those households with an equivalised gross household income in the first or second quintiles.
Geographical areas within the 'Remote Australia' and 'Very remote Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. This term has been abbreviated to 'Remote' in this publication. See also Remoteness Area.
Within the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), the Remoteness classification comprises five categories. Determined in the context of Australia as a whole, each of these identify an aggregation of non-contiguous geographical areas, being a grouping of Collection Districts (CDs), which share a particular degree of remoteness. The degrees of remoteness range from 'highly accessible' (i.e. major cities) to 'very remote'. The degree of remoteness of each CD was determined using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distances to the nearest Urban Centre in each of the five size classes. Therefore, not all Remoteness Areas are represented in each state or territory. There are six Remoteness Areas in this structure: Major Cities of Australia, Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia, Very Remote Australia and Migratory (composed of offshore, shipping and migratory CDs). For more information, see Statistical Geography Volume 1, Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2007 (cat. no. 1216.0).
Removal from natural family
A person that has been 'taken away' from their natural family as a child. This includes removal from family by welfare, as part of government policy, or taken away to a mission. Removal from natural family excludes people who were separated for reasons other than government policy, such as traditional adoption and family separation, as well as those removed from family for less than 6 months.
An aspect of lifestyle or behaviour, a health condition, an environmental exposure, or an inborn or inherited characteristic, known to be associated with health-related conditions that is considered important to prevent, e.g. smoking.
Self-assessed health status
A person’s general assessment of their own health against a five point scale which ranged from excellent through to poor.
The extent to which an adult was smoking at the time of the interview. In the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, smoker status was collected from persons aged 15 years or over and referred to regular smoking of tobacco, including manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but excludes chewing tobacco and smoking of non-tobacco products. Categories used to describe smoker status are as follows:
One or more selected events or circumstances which a person considers to have been a problem for themselves or someone close to them in the last 12 months. In the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, the specified stressors were: serious illness or disability; serious accident; death of a family member or close friend; divorce or separation; inability to obtain work; involuntary loss of a job; alcohol-related problems; drug-related problems; witnessing violence; being the victim of abuse or violent crime; trouble with the police; gambling problems; incarceration of self or a family member; overcrowding at home; and discrimination or racism.
Support in time of crisis
The existence of a support network outside a person’s household. Such support could be called on in a time of crisis and could take the form of emotional, physical and/or financial help.
Survivorship is a statistical measure from a Life table, indicating how many of an initial cohort of births would have survived to each age group, if current mortality rates remained the same across the life span of the cohort.
The nature of a household’s legal right to occupy the dwelling in which they usually reside. Includes home purchasing, renting, rent/buy or shared equity schemes and other tenure types. See also Other tenure type and Private and other renters.
Torres Strait Indigenous Region
The grouping of Census Collection Districts (CDs), comprising islands in the seas between Cape York and the coast of Papua New Guinea, which make up the 'Torres Strait Indigenous Region' according to the Australian Indigenous Geographical Classification (AIGC). The region's geographical area is equivalent to the former ATSIC classification 'Torres Strait Area'. See also Indigenous Region.
Torres Strait Islander people
People identified as being of Torres Strait Islander origin. May also include people identified as being of both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal origin. See also Aboriginal people and Indigenous people.
Total fertility rate
Estimate of the average number of children a woman would bear during her lifetime if she experienced current age-specific fertility rates throughout her reproductive life.
People aged 15 years and over who were not employed but were actively looking for work in the previous four weeks, and were available to start work in the previous week. See also Labour Force Status.
Unemployed people expressed as a proportion of the labour force (i.e. unemployed plus employed people).
Usual daily serves of fruit
Refers to the number of serves of fruit (excluding drinks and beverages) usually consumed each day, as reported by the respondent. A serve is approximately 150 grams of fresh fruit or 50 grams of dried fruit. The Australian guidelines for daily fruit consumption recommend: one serve of fruit for children aged 4–11 years and three serves of fruit for children aged from 12–18 years each day. In the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey information on usual daily serves of fruit was collected for children aged 1–14 years, excluding those in remote areas.
Usual daily serves of vegetables
Refers to the number of serves of vegetables (excluding drinks and beverages) usually consumed each day, as reported by the respondent. A serve is approximately half a cup of cooked vegetables or one cup of salad vegetables - equivalent to approximately 75 grams. The Australian guidelines for daily vegetable consumption recommend: two serves of vegetables and legumes for children aged 4–7 years, three serves of vegetables and legumes for children aged 8–11 years and four serves of vegetables and legumes for children aged from 12–18 years each day. Information on usual daily serves of vegetables was collected in the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, for children aged 1–14 years, excluding those in remote areas.
Refers to the place where a person has lived or intends to live for a total of six months or more.
Variability Bands represent a statement that the true value for the population lies within a given range of values at a specified level of confidence.
Victim of physical or threatened violence
A person who had physical force or violence used against them, or threatened to be used against them, in the 12 months prior to the survey. Includes violence or threats made by persons known to the respondent.
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This page last updated 4 April 2013