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2015.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia, 2001  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/06/2002  Reissue
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Census records an increase in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

In results from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, 410,003 people (or 2.2% of the Australian population) are reported as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, up 16% since the 1996 Census.

Natural increase (births and deaths) accounted for a 12% increase in the Indigenous population, with a further 4% increase due primarily to people who were not identified as Indigenous in the 1996 Census but are now identifying, or being identified as Indigenous in the 2001 Census.

In 2001 there were 366,429 people identified as being of Aboriginal origin only (89%), 26,046 (6%) people identified as being of Torres Strait Islander origin only, and 17,528 identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

The Indigenous population is relatively young compared to the non-Indigenous population, with more than half (58%) aged under 25 years, and only 11,437 people (3%) aged 65 or over. In contrast, the Australian population had a much higher proportion of older people (13% aged 65 or over), with only about one-third (35%) aged under 25 years.

Most Indigenous Australians reported English as the language spoken in their home (327,042 or 80%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were recorded by 49,764 Indigenous Australians, and the majority (73%) of these were also proficient English speakers.

Of the 108,069 Indigenous children aged 5 to 14 years in 2001, 87% were recorded as attending school, compared with 92% of all children in this age group. For young people aged 15-19 years, 46% of Indigenous youth were recorded as attending school compared with 70% of all Australians in this age group. This disparity in rates of attendance at secondary school is also reflected in the relatively low percentage of Indigenous Australians who had completed Year 12 (10%) compared with the rate for Year 12 completion in the total population (30%).

Despite both computer usage being generally more prevalent amongst younger age groups, and the Indigenous population being younger than the non-Indigenous population, Indigenous Australians were less likely to use a computer at home than Australians in general (18% compared with 42%),

Media please note:

State, capital city, suburban and regional media - comparisons and rankings for your area are available in the Census publication Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia (Cat. No. 2015.0). For those unable to attend the national launch or State/Territory events, a copy is available by emailing

This site also has a vast array of 2001 Census data. The website contains a narrative snapshot series, plus basic community profile tables from the local to the national level.

Ethnic media - a special language profile for over 70 different languages has been developed for media and is available by facsimile. To receive a profile for your particular language, forward your details (including language of interest, telephone and facsimile numbers) to facsimile (02) 6252 8002 .

Indigenous media - Details are available in 2001 Census Community Profile Series: Indigenous Profile (Cat No. 2002.0). Indigenous profiles are available from the ABS website free of charge for the geographic levels of Australia, States/ Territories, ATSIC Regions and Indigenous Areas. These and other Census products can be found on this site.

2001 Census news file footage - of census processing and census form destruction has been distributed to major metropolitian and regional TV Newsrooms.

Stills images - are available at under the 2001 Census category.

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Commonwealth of Australia 2015

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