This chapter presents information on the income of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as reported in the 2006 Census. It provides indicators of the level and distribution of income for individuals and households. Individual income data is provided for people aged 15 years and over. Household income is presented on an equivalised basis and is calculated based on the individual incomes of residents of occupied private dwellings, excluding visitors. It is only relevant for households in which there were no temporarily absent adults and all incomes were fully stated.
Household income is regarded as the most useful indicator of people's command over economic resources since income is usually pooled and shared by members of a household. Household income is equivalised to allow households of different size and composition to be compared. The equivalised income estimate for a household represents the amount of income that a single person household would require to maintain the same standard of living as that household.
For information on income data collected in the Census, and the calculation of equivalised household income, see paragraphs 57-60 of the Explanatory Notes.
Care should be taken when interpreting income data. Income data collected on the Census form may differ from that reported in a survey specifically designed to collect information on this topic. Further, some people did not answer the Census question on income, which affects the individual income data as well as the household income calculations. In the 2006 Census, 12% of the Indigenous population and 4% of the non-Indigenous population did not provide a response to the question on income. The characteristics of people who did not answer the income question may differ from those who did.
Proportions presented in this chapter exclude not stated responses, and are therefore calculated using only known responses. Where possible, the numbers of unknown responses are noted in the tables, allowing further analysis if required.