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4714.8.55.001 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Australian Capital Territory, 2002  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2004   
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  • New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for the Australian Capital Territory (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

June 23, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
2004
New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for the Australian Capital Territory

The results of the second national social survey of Indigenous people were released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and point to some changes since the groundbreaking original survey in 1994.

Education:

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the proportion of Indigenous people (aged 15 and over) with a non-school qualification (e.g. from university, TAFE, etc.) has risen from 26% in 1994 to 43% in 2002.

Despite these improvements, in 2002 Indigenous people (aged 18 and over) were still less likely than non-Indigenous people to have a non-school qualification (51% compared with 63% respectively).

Work:
The unemployment rate for Indigenous people in the ACT (aged 15 and over) fell from 16% in 1994 to 8% in 2002. This change parallels the decline in the national unemployment rate (from 10% in June 1994 to 6% in December 2002).

Income:

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples' incomes remains. In 2002 in the ACT, Indigenous people (aged 18 and over) earned 73% of the income of non-Indigenous people ($631 per week compared to $865 per week after adjusting for household size and composition).

Health:

After adjusting for the different age structures of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, Indigenous people in the ACT were:

    • twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to report their health as "fair" or "poor"
    • two-thirds as likely to report "excellent" or "very good" health
    • one and a half times more likely to have a disability or long-term health condition than non-Indigenous people.

Culture:

Over the eight years since 1994, evidence highlights stability on selected cultural indicators. In the ACT in 2002:

    • more than two-thirds of Indigenous people reported attending Indigenous cultural events in the previous 12 months.
    • over two-thirds of Indigenous people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.

Family and community:

Indigenous people in the ACT in 2002 were almost one and a half times more likely to experience at least one life stressor (e.g. "death of family member or close friend", "serious illness or disability", or "inability to get a job") than non-Indigenous people (88% compared with 62% respectively).

Similar to the non-Indigenous community, the overwhelming majority of Indigenous people received support from someone outside the household (96% for Indigenous people compared with 97% for non-Indigenous people).

Law and justice:

Compared to 1994, Indigenous people in the ACT in 2002 were twice as likely to report that they had been a victim of physical or threatened violence in the previous 12 months (33% in 2002, up from 15% in 1994). These victimisation rates were highest among younger people (41% of those aged 15-24).

There has also been an increase in the proportion of Indigenous people in the ACT who reported having been arrested in the previous five years (from 8% in 1994 to 15% in 2002), in contrast to the national trend, where the proportion decreased (from 20% in 1994 to 16% in 2002).

Housing:

The proportion of Indigenous people in the ACT living in dwellings either owned or being purchased doubled (from 19% in 1994 to 42% in 2002).


More details are available in National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0). State/territory comparisons for selected indicators are available in Table 2 of the publication. Additonal state and territory data cube tables are available off the publication's main features page on the ABS web site or upon request.


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