2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016  
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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, 2016

2016 CENSUS ARTICLE

INTRODUCTION

The Census is one of the most widely used statistical sources of information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. While data alone cannot tell the complete story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Census provides the single most current and valuable dataset for our country, particularly for understanding how life in small communities is changing over time. Information from the Census is used to inform important decisions by government, businesses and communities and is used for the planning and funding of a wide range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific services.

The following article presents information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population collected in the 2016 Census. It provides a general overview of the population structure and changes over time, household composition, language, income, housing and need for assistance, as well as education and employment outcomes which are important aspects related to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Closing the Gap targets.


POPULATION SIZE OVER TIME

Since the 1971 Census, there has been a clear upward trend in the counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in each successive Census. There were 649,200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people counted in the 2016 Census, representing an increase of 18% from the 2011 Census. As was done in the last two Censuses, detailed analysis on contributing factors to the high level increase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be available in Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts, 2011-2016 (cat. no. 2077.0) in 2018.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represented 2.8% of the population in the 2016 Census – up from 2.5% in 2011, and 2.3% in 2006. Of the 649,200 people who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, 90.9% were of Aboriginal origin, 5.0% were of Torres Strait Islander origin and 4.1% identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE BY ORIGIN, 2006 - 2016

2006
2011
2016

no.
%
no.
%
no.
%

Aboriginal people
407 700
89.6
495 754
90.4
590 056
90.9
Torres Strait Islander people
29 515
6.5
31 407
5.7
32 345
5.0
Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
17 811
3.9
21 205
3.9
26 767
4.1
Total
455 028
100
548 368
100
649 171
100

Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2006, 2011 and 2016

Population structure

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to have a much younger age profile than the non-Indigenous population. In 2016, more than half (53%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were under the age of 25 years. In comparison, almost one in three (31%) non-Indigenous people were under 25.

The difference between the two populations was also marked in the 65 years and over age group. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 65 years and over was considerably smaller than for non-Indigenous people (4.8% compared to 16%).


POPULATION STRUCTURE
Population pyramid showing age profiles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people.

Since the 1971 Census, median age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been on the rise. Forty five years ago in 1971, the median age was 16. This had increased to 21 years in 2011, and increased again to 23 years in the five years to 2016. The median age for non-Indigenous people was 38 in 2016.

Graph Image for Median age of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 1971 to 2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) The article 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Census after the 1967 Referendum' in Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, July 2011 (cat. no. 2071.0) provides more information regarding changes to Indigenous status in the early years of the Census. (b) Results of the 1976 Census were processed on a sample basis and therefore subject to sampling error.

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 1971 to 2016



Census Counts

Of the states and territories, the highest proportional increases in Census counts between 2011 and 2016 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were recorded in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (both 26%) and New South Wales (25%).

CENSUS COUNTS, ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE, 2011 AND 2016

2011

2016

Change between 2011 and 2016

no.
no.
%

New South Wales
172 622
216 176
25.2
Victoria
37 991
47 788
25.8
Queensland
155 826
186 482
19.7
South Australia
30 433
34 184
12.3
Western Australia
69 666
75 978
9.1
Tasmania
19 627
23 572
20.1
Northern Territory
56 777
58 248
2.6
Australian Capital Territory
5 185
6 508
25.5
Australia(a)
548 370
649 171
18.4

(a) Includes Other Territories.

Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016

More information on the population distribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is available in Census of Population and Housing – Counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2016 (cat. no. 2075.0).


WHERE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE LIVE
    State and territories

    New South Wales had the highest count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (216,200) or 33% of the national total, followed by Queensland (186,500 or 29%) and Western Australia (76,000 or 12%). All together, these three states made up almost three-quarters (74%) of people who identified as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

    The Northern Territory had the highest proportion of the population who identified as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin (26%), while Victoria had the lowest at less than 1% of the state total.

    ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE BY STATE AND TERRITORY, 2016

    no.
    %
    % as a proportion
    of state/ territory

    New South Wales
    216 176
    33.3
    2.9
    Victoria
    47 788
    7.4
    0.8
    Queensland
    186 482
    28.7
    4.0
    South Australia
    34 184
    5.3
    2.0
    Western Australia
    75 978
    11.7
    3.1
    Tasmania
    23 572
    3.6
    4.6
    Northern Territory
    58 248
    9.0
    25.5
    Australian Capital Territory
    6 508
    1.0
    1.6
    Australia(a)
    649 171
    100
    2.8

    (a) Includes Other Territories.

    Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016

    Living in urban areas

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is becoming increasingly urbanised. Since the 1996 Census, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in urban areas has increased from 73% to 79%. This was largely driven by the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in capital cities, which has increased from 30% in 1996 to 35% in 2016.

    The Australian Capital Territory (99%), Victoria (87%) and New South Wales (86%) had the highest proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in urban areas of 1,000 or more people.

    In contrast, 20% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported they were living in rural areas in 2016, decreasing from 27% in 1996. The Northern Territory (49%) continued to have the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in rural areas.

    ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE BY SECTION OF STATE(a), 2016

    Urban Areas
    Rural Areas
    Total



    %
    %
    no.

    New South Wales
    85.5
    14.1
    216 176
    Victoria
    86.8
    12.6
    47 788
    Queensland
    81.2
    18.4
    186 482
    South Australia
    80.7
    18.5
    34 184
    Western Australia
    72.6
    26.6
    75 978
    Tasmania
    72.3
    27.5
    23 572
    Northern Territory
    50.0
    48.8
    58 248
    Australian Capital Territory
    99.3
    0.3
    6 508
    Australia(b)
    79.0
    20.4
    649 171

    (a) Using the Section of State structure, the major urban and other urban categories are combined to form urban areas, and bounded locality and rural balance are combined to form rural areas.
    (b) Includes Other Territories.

    Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


    HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES

    Obligation and connection to family plays an important role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. This support can be in the form of sharing accommodation.

    In the 2016 Census, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household is one in which at least one usual resident is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. However, it is important to note the classifications used to describe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households and families in the Census do not fully capture the complexity of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family structures and living arrangements.1

    In 2016, households in which an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person lived were more likely than other households to be family households (80% compared with 71%). They were less likely to be a person living alone (15% compared with 25%). It was also more common for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households to have more than one family living together (5.1%) than for other households (1.8%).

    Graph Image for Household Composition, 2016(a)

    Footnote(s): (a) Includes households in occupied private dwellings only. Excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households.

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



    Average number of people in households

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households, on average, were larger than other households (3.2 people in 2016, compared with an average of 2.6 people).

    HOUSING TENURE

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households were less likely to own their own house outright or with a mortgage (38% in 2016) than other households (66%). Their monthly housing loan repayments ($1,658) were slightly lower than other households ($1,777).

    Graph Image for Housing Tenure(a)

    Footnote(s): (a) Includes households in occupied private dwellings only. Excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households. (b) Includes dwellings being purchased under a shared equity scheme. (c) Includes rent free accommodation.

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


    According to the 2016 Census, almost twice as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households rented their homes as other households (57% compared with 30%). Of those households that rented, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households were less likely than other households to rent from a real estate agent (43% compared with 61%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households were three times more likely to rent from state and territory housing authorities (32% compared with 10%).

    The median weekly rent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households was $250, while the median weekly rent for non-Indigenous households was $340.

    Graph Image for Renters(a)(b)

    Footnote(s): (a) Includes households in dwellings occupied rent-free. (b) Incudes households in occupied private dwellings. Excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households. Includes Other Territories. (c) Includes relative/other person, residential park, employer and housing co-operative/community/church group.

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



    HOUSING SUITABILITY

    Housing suitability compares the number of bedrooms in a dwelling with a range of household demographics, such as the number of usual residents, their age and sex. Using criteria developed by the Canadian National Occupancy Standard, households are considered to experience some amount of overcrowding if they require at least one additional bedroom.

    Cultural and social factors influence the way housing is used by different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Households with many members, often of multiple generations, and including extended family, are not unusual in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.2

    Although not directly comparable, in 2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households were more than twice as likely to need one or more extra bedrooms compared to other households (10% and 3.5% respectively).

    Overcrowding increases in rural areas. In 2016, 15% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in rural areas were deemed to be overcrowded, compared to 9.0% in urban areas.

    Graph Image for Overcrowded households(a) by Section of State, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households(b)

    Annotation(s): This graph is based on place of enumeration.

    Footnote(s): (a) Households requiring at least one additional bedroom. (b) Includes households in occupied private dwellings only. Excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households.

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


    Rates of overcrowding also vary with housing tenure. Of the 26,400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households categorised as being overcrowded, 76% were renting, 14% had a mortgage, and 7% owned outright.


    INTERNET ACCESS

    Internet access has been recognised as providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to further their cultural, social and educational goals.3 In 2016, nearly three quarters (72%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households had at least one person access the internet from the dwelling, compared with 84% of other households. This could have been through a desktop/laptop computer, mobile or smart phone, tablet, music or video player, gaming console, smart TV or any other device.

    The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households able to access the internet from their dwelling in 2016 was highest in urbanised areas. The Australian Capital Territory reported the highest proportion of households (85%) able to access internet from their dwelling, followed by Victoria (78%), and Tasmania (77%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in the Northern Territory reported the lowest (55%).

    Graph Image for Internet accessed from dwelling by State and Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households(a)(b)

    Annotation(s): This graph is based on place of enumeration.

    Footnote(s): (a) Includes households in occupied private dwellings only. Excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households. (b) Has at least one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who is a usual resident and who was present on Census night.

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


    NEED FOR ASSISTANCE

    In 2016, 6.7% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported in the Census that they had a need for assistance with a disability for core activities, such as self-care (eating, washing, dressing or going to the toilet), mobility or communication. This proportion has increased from 5.4% in 2011.

    The likelihood of people needing assistance with core activities is strongly linked to their age. This figure ranged from 4.4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 14 years and under to 27% of people aged 65 years and over. Young males needed more assistance than females, while older females needed more assistance than males. Of those aged 14 years and under, the proportion of males who reported a need for assistance was double that for females (6% compared with 3%). The need for assistance among 35 to 44 year olds was the same for both males and females (6%). For persons aged 65 years and over, the need for assistance among females was greater than for males (29% compared with 25%).

    Graph Image for Need for assistance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


    Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability

    In the two weeks prior to the 2016 Census, 14% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability. Of the 58,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, 42% were aged 35 to 54 years. The population providing unpaid care decreased among those aged 65 years and over. This corresponds with the increase of assistance people need as they get older.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females were more likely to provide unpaid assistance than males (62% compared with 38%). Females were the main providers of unpaid assistance in all age groups. Females aged 45 to 54 years provided the most unpaid assistance (22%), followed closely by females aged 55 to 64 and 35 to 44 years (both 21%). Males and females aged 15 to 24 years provided the least unpaid assistance to a person with a disability (7.1% and 9.6% respectively).

    Graph Image for Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



    LANGUAGES SPOKEN

    Language plays an important part of cultural identity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. About 150 Australian Indigenous languages were spoken at home in 2016, reflecting the linguistic diversity amongst the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

    One in ten (10%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported speaking an Australian Indigenous language at home. The most widely spoken language groups included the Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages and Torres Strait Island Languages (16% and 12% respectively).

    Graph Image for Australian Indigenous Language speakers by Language group(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Footnote(s): (a) Calculated as a proportion of total number of Indigenous language speakers.

    Source(s): ABS Census Population and Housing, 2016


    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 44 years were most likely to speak an Indigenous language (12%), followed by those aged 45 and over (11%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 14 years and under were least likely to speak an Indigenous language (9%) and most likely to speak only English at home (87%).

    The majority (85%) of people who spoke an Indigenous language at home reported speaking English well or very well, while 11% reported they did not speak English well at all. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 44 years reported the highest rate of speaking English well or very well (92%). In contrast, one in five (19%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 65 and over reported they did not speak English well or at all.

    Graph Image for Australian Indigenous language speakers by Proficiency in English, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



    Torres Strait Island Languages was the second most widely reported Australian Indigenous language in the 2016 Census. Of the 6,300 people who identified as Torres Strait Islander origin, the majority (86%) reported they spoke Torres Strait Island language at home, and of those, 84% reported speaking English well or very well.
      According to the 2016 Census, the top five Indigenous regions where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Indigenous language at home were Jabiru-Tiwi and Nhulunbuy (both 14%), Apatula (10%), Katherine (8.7%) and Torres Strait (8.1%) to round out the top five.

        Map showing Australian Indigenous languages spoken at home by Indigenous area

          EDUCATION
            Year 12 completion

            Education can make a difference and is critical for overcoming disadvantage. A range of issues may affect participation in education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including access to educational institutions and financial constraints.

            Almost half (47%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 20 to 24 years reported in the 2016 Census that they had completed Year 12 or its equivalent. This was an increase of more than a third between 2006 and 2016, from 32% to 47%. Over the same period, the proportion for non-Indigenous people increased slightly from 73% in 2006 to 79%.

            Women aged 20 to 24 years were more likely to have completed Year 12 than men (51% compared with 43% respectively).

            Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 20 to 24 years had higher Year 12 completion rates in the Australian Capital Territory (66%) and Queensland (55%) than in other states and territories. The Northern Territory (25%) had the lowest proportion.

            Graph Image for Completed Year 12 or equivalent by State and Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(a)

            Footnote(s): (a) Excludes persons aged 15 years and over still at school. (b) Includes Other Territories.

            Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


            As with other age groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 20 to 24 years living in urban areas were more likely than those in rural areas to have completed Year 12 or equivalent (50% compared with 34%). However proportions for both urban and rural areas have increased between 2006 and 2016. The increase in percentage points was similar with 14 percentage points for urban areas (to 50%), and 15 percentage points for rural areas (to 34%).

            Graph Image for Completed Year 12 or equivalent by Section of State, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 20 to 24 years(a)

            Footnote(s): (a) Excludes persons aged 15 years and over still at school.

            Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2006, 2011 and 2016


            Leaving school early

            While the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people completing Year 12 has been on the rise, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people leaving school early has been decreasing. According to the 2016 Census, 19% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years left school at Year 9 or below, compared with 30% in 2006.

            Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years were more likely than non-Indigenous people in the same age group to have left school at Year 9 or below (19% compared with 6.7%). This is an improvement from 2006 for both groups (24% and 8.6% respectively).

            Compared with other states and territories in 2016, higher proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Northern Territory (30%), New South Wales (21%) and Victoria (19%) aged 25 to 64 years had left school at Year 9 or below. The Australian Capital Territory (10%) had the lowest proportion.

            Graph Image for Left school at Year 9 or below by State and Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years(a)

            Footnote(s): (a) Excludes persons aged 15 years and over still at school. (b) Includes Other Territories.

            Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


            In 2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years in rural areas were more likely than those in urban areas to have left school at Year 9 or below (24% compared with 18%). While proportions for both rural and urban areas have decreased since 2006, the biggest improvement has been from rural areas (down 16 percentage points) compared with urban areas (down 9 percentage points).

            Graph Image for Left School at Year 9 or below by Section of State, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years(a)

            Footnote(s): (a) Excludes persons aged 15 years and over still at school.

            Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2006, 2011 and 2016


            Non-school qualifications

            Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than pre-primary, primary or secondary education, and are obtained through vocational education and training and/or tertiary studies. Non-school qualifications may also be undertaken simultaneously with secondary school studies.
              In the 2016 Census, 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported they had completed a non-school qualification. The most common non-school qualification for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was at the Certificate level (24%). Of the 90,300 who had completed a certificate, 79% were Certificate III or Certificate IV qualifications.
                The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over with a non-school qualification has been increasing over time. In 2006, 25% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had a non-school qualification, increasing to 30% in 2011, and to 37% in 2016.

                Compared with other states and territories in 2016, higher proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in the Australian Capital Territory (52%), Victoria (45%), New South Wales and Tasmania (both 40%) had completed a non-school qualification. The Northern Territory (22%) had the lowest proportion.

                Graph Image for Completion of Non-School Qualification(a) by State and Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People(b)

                Footnote(s): (a) Excludes people with a 'Not stated' value for Non-school qualification: level of education. (b) Aged 15 years and over. (c) Includes Other Territories.

                Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


                Proportions for both urban and rural areas have increased between 2006 and 2016, with a similar increase in percentage points of 12 percentage points for urban areas, and 13 percentage points for rural areas.

                Graph Image for Completion of a Non-School Qualification(a) by Section of State, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(b)

                Footnote(s): (a) Excludes people with a 'Not stated' value for Non-school qualification: level of education. (b) Aged 15 years and over.

                Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2006, 2011 and 2016


                Currently attending university or other tertiary institution

                There has been an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 64 years studying at a university or other tertiary institution. This figure more than doubled from 7,000 people in 2006 (2.6% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) to 15,400 (3.9%) in 2016. Just over half (51%) were aged 15 to 24.

                Graph Image for Number of Higher Education Students(a) by Age

                Footnote(s): (a) Aged 15 to 64 years.

                Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


                  WORK

                  In addition to providing financial independence and raising living standards, being employed can be important for participating in society and improving physical and mental health.

                  There is a considerable gap between the labour force outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people. In the 2016 Census, 47% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 64 years were employed compared with 72% for non-Indigenous people.

                  Employment by age and sex

                  Of the 178,800 employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 64 years, a higher proportion of males (49%) than females were in employment (45%). Since the 1971 Census, the proportion of working age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females has increased when just under one quarter (23%) were employed. In contrast, the proportion of employed males has declined from 65%, consistent with the downward trend in the non-Indigenous population. Over the years, employment levels for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females of working age have increased across most age groups, and the pattern has become more similar to that of males.

                  Graph Image for Proportion employed by age and sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

                  Source(s): ABS Census Population and Housing, 2016


                  Employment by occupation

                  In 2016, the most commonly reported occupation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 64 years was Community and personal service workers (18%). Previously in the 2011 Census, the most commonly reported occupation was Labourers (18%).

                  People who work as Community and personal service workers include aged or disabled carers, paramedics, police officers, child care workers, teachers' aides, and community workers. Of the 18% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who reported they were employed as Community and personal service workers, 71% were female. The next remaining common occupations include Labourers (16%), Technicians and trade workers and Professionals (both 14%) and Clerical and administrative workers (13%).

                  Graph Image for Employment by occupation(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(b)

                  Footnote(s): (a) Excludes not stated and inadequately described. (b) Aged 15 to 64 years.

                  Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


                  Community and personal service workers (25%) was also the most common occupation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females of working age, followed by Clerical and administrative workers (21%) and Professionals (18%). For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males, Technicians and trades workers (23%) was the most common occupation, followed by Labourers (21%) and Machinery operators and drivers (17%).

                  Employment by industry

                  In 2016, Health care and social assistance was the primary employment industry of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 64 years in Australia (15%). This remains unchanged since 2011 Census. People who work in the Health care and social assistance industry include doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, child care workers and aged care providers. Of the 15% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who reported being employed in the Health care and social assistance industry, 78% were females.

                  Graph Image for Employment by industry(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(b)

                  Footnote(s): (a) Excludes not stated and inadequately described. (b) Aged 15 to 64 years.

                  Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


                  Public administration and safety (12%), Education and training, Construction (10%) and Retail trade (9.0%) rounded out the top five industries Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were employed in. Males accounted for 90% of those employed within the Construction industry.

                  Health care and social assistance (24%) was also the most common employment industry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females aged 15 to 64 years, followed by Education and training (15%) and Public administration and safety (12%). Construction was the most common industry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (17%), followed by Public administration and safety (12%) and Manufacturing (7.7%).

                  Employment by location

                  Employment opportunities in urban areas of Australia differ from those in rural areas because of the type and availability of work. In the 2016 Census, the proportion of employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 64 years was higher in urban areas (49%) compared to rural areas (39%).


                  ENGAGED IN WORK OR STUDY

                  Young people's transition from school to continued study or full-time work can have long-term implications. Those who are not fully engaged in either education and/or work may be at risk of becoming long-term unemployed, underemployed or marginally attached to the labour force.

                  According to the 2016 Census, more than half (56%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 24 years were fully engaged in work or study (i.e. working full-time, studying full-time or combining part-time work and part-time study). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 24 years and living in urban areas (58%) were more likely to be fully engaged in work or study than those living in rural areas (47%). Proportions of males and females fully engaged were similar (57% compared with 54%).

                  Across the states and territories, there was relatively wide variation in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous young people fully engaged in work or study. Reflecting better access to educational institutions and employment opportunities in urban areas, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people fully participating in education or work (72%), followed by Victoria (64%), Tasmania (61%) and New South Wales (60%). The Northern Territory had the lowest (39%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 24 years were less likely than non-Indigenous young people to be fully engaged in work or study (56% compared to 78%).

                  Graph Image for Fully engaged in work or study(a)(b), Aged 15 to 24 years

                  Footnote(s): (a) Includes people who are engaged in either full-time work or study or who combine any hours of work with any hours of study. (b) Excludes 'not stated'. (c) Includes Other Territories.

                  Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



                  INCOME

                  In the 2016 Census, 18% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported a gross personal income of $1,000 or more per week. Personal income includes wages and salaries, pensions, allowances, interest and dividends. Males were more likely to report an income of $1,000 or more per week than females (21% compared with 14%). Over half (55%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported a personal income between $1 and $799 per week, with females more likely to report an income in this range than males (61% compared with 46%).

                  Graph Image for Personal income, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over

                  Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


                  After adjustment for household size and composition, the household income of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is lower than the income of non-Indigenous people. Over half (53%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported an equivalised weekly household income between $150 and $799. In comparison 51% of non-Indigenous people reported an equivalised weekly household income of between $400 and $1249.

                  Graph Image for Equivalised weekly household income

                  Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


                  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were half as likely as non-Indigenous people to report an equivalised weekly household income of $1,000 or more in 2016 (20% compared with 41%). Both these proportions have increased (13% and 33% respectively) although the difference between the two groups has remained the same.

                  In the 2016 Census, 2.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported an equivalised weekly household income of $2,000 or more, compared with 9.6% of non-Indigenous people.


                  EXPLANATORY INFORMATION

                  Major urban and other urban areas are combined to form urban areas. An urban area is generally defined as a population cluster of at least 1,000 usual residents. For this article, rural areas combines bounded localities which are rural areas with populations of 200 to 999 people and rural balance which is the remainder of the state/territory. See the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) for more information.

                  'Not stated' has been excluded from the calculation of all employment data including occupation and industry. For all other proportions, unless otherwise stated, the 'not stated' category for a particular data item has been included.

                  For definitions of the terms used above, see the Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0). Selected items are also included in the Glossary, from the Explanatory Notes tab at the top of this page. For more information about 2016 Census data release and products, go to www.abs.gov.au/census.

                  Data contained in this article and further related data can be found in the Downloads tab at the top of the page.


                  FOOTNOTES
                  1. For further information about the complexity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family structures and living arrangements, refer to Morphy, F 2006, Lost in Translation? Remote Indigenous households and definitions of the family, Family Matters, no. 73, pp. 23-31.
                  2. Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage 2016, p2989.
                  3. Dyson, L.E. & Hendriks, M & Grant, S. (2006). Information technology and indigenous people. 10.4018/978-1-59904-298-5.