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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

INCOME AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES

PERSONAL INCOME

According to the 2008 NATSISS, over half (57%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had personal gross weekly income in the bottom 40% of all incomes for the Australian population. People living in remote areas were more likely than those in non-remote areas to have low personal weekly income (65% compared with 54%). In 2008, the median personal gross weekly income for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was $350, higher in non-remote areas ($380) than in remote areas ($280).

Similar proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported wages and salary (40%) or government pensions and allowances (41%) as their main source of personal income. People living in non-remote areas more commonly reported a wage or salary as their main source of personal income than did people in remote areas (44% compared with 29%). One in six people in remote areas (16%) reported Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) payments as their main source of income.


FINANCIAL STRESS AND ACCESS TO RESOURCES

Access to money

Almost all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over (95%) had a bank account in 2008. Among those who had a bank account, the most common methods of accessing money were EFTPOS or ATM facilities (91%), over-the-counter at a bank or credit union (18%) and/or via the Internet (11%). People in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to have used EFTPOS or ATM facilities (93% compared with 87%) and Internet banking (13% compared with 5%).

Household financial stress

In 2008, almost half (47%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were living in households that could not raise $2,000 within a week in case of an emergency and 19% in households that had been unable to pay one or more of their utility bills (electricity, gas or telephone) on time in the 12 months before the survey. In addition, an estimated 91,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over (or 28%) were living in households that had run out of money for basic living expenses in the previous 12 months; 60% of these people went without basic living items as a result. While a higher proportion of people in remote areas than in non-remote areas were living in households that could not raise $2,000 within a week in case of an emergency (64% compared with 42%) (graph 3.32), people in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to have experienced difficulty paying one or more utility bills on time in the previous 12 months (22% compared with 10%).

3.32 SELECTED HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL STRESS INDICATORS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over



Financial and other types of support provided to relatives

Families can provide a vital safety net for people experiencing financial stress and other difficulties. In 2008, around half (51%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had provided support to relatives living elsewhere in the month before the survey (60% in remote areas and 48% in non-remote areas). Nationally, support most commonly took the form of paying for or providing food (27%), driving relatives to places (25%), providing spending money (21%), providing money towards housing costs (20%) or giving relatives money for bills or debt repayments (18%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote areas were more likely than those in non-remote areas to have provided or paid for food for their relatives (42% compared with 21%), to have assisted with housing costs (25% compared with 19%), to have provided spending money (26% compared with 19%) or to have provided or paid for clothing (16% compared with 12%) (graph 3.33). Conversely, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to have driven their relatives to places (26% compared with 21%) or to have helped with bills or debt repayments (19% compared with 16%).

3.33 SUPPORT PROVIDED TO RELATIVES LIVING ELSEWHERE(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over



Information on income and community support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be found in chapter 9 INCOME AND WELFARE.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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