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2034.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Australia, 1996  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/09/1998   
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September 24, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

1996 Census: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People publication released

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released the final publication in a series that provides details about Australia's indigenous population based on results from 1996 Census of Population and Housing.

The publication 1996 Census of Population and Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Australia (Cat. No. 2034.0), builds on earlier publications about the 1996 Census. It provides detailed information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia, including State and Territory figures.

The publication says that:
  • Between the 1991 and 1996 Censuses the number of people who identified as being of Indigenous origin increased from 265,371 to 352,970. As a proportion of the total Australian population, this represents an increase from 1.6 per cent to 2.0 per cent.
  • Indigenous families tended to be larger, with 12.9 per cent having four or more children. Indigenous households had an average of 3.7 persons, compared to 2.7 for the rest of the population.
  • the proportion of lone-parent families in the Indigenous population in Australia was 29.6 per cent, more than double the proportion in the rest of the population.
  • Home ownership was lower in the Indigenous population, with 30.8 per cent of homes either owned or being purchased, compared to 70.7 per cent for the rest of the population.
  • The unemployment rate at the time of the 1996 Census for the Indigenous population was 22.7 per cent. New South Wales had the highest rate of unemployment for Indigenous males at 29.3 per cent, while the Northern Territory recorded the lowest at 19.1 per cent. More than half of employed Indigenous people worked in the private sector, while just over a quarter were employed in the government sector.
  • The median weekly personal income for all adult Indigenous Australians on Census night 1996 was $218 compared to $294 for the total population. The median weekly personal income for employed Indigenous people on Census night 1996 was $366. This was 25.6 per cent lower than the median income of the total employed population.
  • The proportion of the Indigenous population attending an educational institution in 1996 was 34.4 per cent, compared to 33 per cent recorded in the 1986 Census.
  • English was spoken at home by nearly 80 per cent of Australia's Indigenous population; however, in the Northern Territory this was the case for only 32 per cent of the Indigenous population.

Further details are contained in the publication, which is available from ABS Bookshops.

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