3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/09/2017   
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FEATURE ARTICLE 1: ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION ESTIMATES, 2016 - PRELIMINARY


INTRODUCTION

This publication presents preliminary estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, non-Indigenous and total populations of Australia as at 30 June 2016. These estimates are based on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing and are disaggregated by age, sex and state and territory. Detailed data can be found in Tables 10 and 11 of this publication. Final estimates will be released in August 2018 in Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001). Time series data will be released in 2019 in Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3238.0).

The preliminary estimates released in this publication are based on the 2016 Census counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, adjusted for net undercount as measured by the Post Enumeration Survey. Details of the estimation methodology are provided in Feature Article 2: Methodology used to produce Preliminary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population Estimates for 30 June 2016 (included in this publication).


POPULATION

The preliminary estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia as at 30 June 2016 was 798,400 people, or 3.3% of the total Australian population.

New South Wales had the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (265,600 people), followed by Queensland (221,400 people) and Western Australia (100,500 people). These three states comprised almost three-quarters of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia. The Australian Capital Territory had the smallest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (7,500 people).

Preliminary Population Estimates, Indigenous status by state and territory - 30 June 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Non-Indigenous
Total
persons
persons
persons

New South Wales
265 600
7 473 674
7 739 274
Victoria
57 782
6 121 467
6 179 249
Queensland
221 398
4 627 479
4 848 877
South Australia
42 256
1 670 798
1 713 054
Western Australia
100 509
2 458 442
2 558 951
Tasmania
28 539
489 049
517 588
Northern Territory
74 509
171 231
245 740
Australian Capital Territory
7 524
395 944
403 468
Australia(a)
798 381
23 412 428
24 210 809

(a) Includes Other Territories



AGE AND SEX STRUCTURE

The preliminary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population at 30 June 2016 had a younger age structure than the non-Indigenous population, with both larger proportions of young people and smaller proportions of older people (see graph below). This largely reflects the relatively high levels of fertility and mortality of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population compared with that of the non-Indigenous population.

In 2016, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under 15 years of age was 34%, compared with 18% of non-Indigenous people in the same age group. Persons aged 65 years and over comprised 4% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population compared with 16% of the non-Indigenous population. The age structures of the male and the female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations were similar to each other.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations - 30 June 2016

Diagram: Age and sex structure

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is a self-identified one and therefore it is possible for the population age distribution to change over time for reasons other than the usual demographic ones (i.e. population ageing etc). To determine if the age distribution of the 2011 and 2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has in fact changed, The Index of Dissimilarity, which measures the overall difference between the two age distributions (Shyrock et al., 1976:131), has been calculated.

The lower The Index of Dissimilarity values are, the more similar are the two age distributions. For two successive Census years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations showed quite low values in comparison to its theoretical range of 0 to 100.

The Index value for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 3.5 for both males and females. In comparison, The Index values for the total Australian population were 2.4 and 2.5 for males and females respectively. Higher Index values for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population suggest that there has been slightly more change in the age distribution of this population between Censuses. For the states and territories, most Index of Dissimilarity values fall around or below 5.0 for both sexes except for the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, where the results could be less reliable due to the small size of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population used in the calculations.

Index of Dissimilarity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander age structures - 30 June 2011 and 30 June 2016

Males
Females
Index
Index

New South Wales
3.6
4.1
Victoria
4.4
4.2
Queensland
3.3
3.3
South Australia
3.3
3.3
Western Australia
3.6
4.0
Tasmania
4.9
6.5
Northern Territory
4.3
4.9
Australian Capital Territory
6.2
6.5
Australia(a)
3.5
3.5

(a) Includes Other Territories