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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

POPULATION

The final estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, at 30 June 2006, was 517,000 people or 2.5% of the total Australian population. The majority (90%) were of Aboriginal origin; 6% were of Torres Strait Islander origin, and 4% were of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. Estimates of the size and age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are based on 2006 census data adjusted for under-count as well as other factors, for example, where the indigenous status of a person was not stated.


WHERE PEOPLE LIVE

Of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population at 30 June 2006, 152,700 (or 30%) lived in New South Wales, 144,900 (or 28%) in Queensland, 71,000 (or 14%) in Western Australia and 64,000 (or 12%) in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory had the largest proportion of its population who were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (30%), compared with 4% or less for all states and the Australian Capital Territory. Three-quarters (75%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in major cities or regional areas in 2006, with the remaining 25% living in remote and very remote areas (graph 3.1).

3.1 ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—30 JUNE 2006


A YOUNG POPULATION

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is a relatively young population, with a median age of 21 years, compared with 37 years for the non-Indigenous population. The younger age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is shown in graph 3.2. In 2006, more than one-third (38%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were aged less than 15 years, compared with 19% of non-Indigenous people. People aged 65 years and over comprised 3% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and 13% of the non-Indigenous population.


3.2 AGE STRUCTURE OF THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AND NON-INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS—JUNE 2006(a)


Fertility rates

The age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population reflects higher fertility rates, and deaths occurring at younger ages. The fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has fallen in recent decades, from around 5.80 babies per woman in the 1960s to 2.40 babies per woman in 2007. It has since risen to 2.57 babies per woman in 2010 and is higher than the fertility rate for the total Australian female population (1.89 babies per woman in 2010) due, in part, to higher fertility at younger ages. In 2010, three-quarters (75%) of births to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers were to women aged less than 30 years, compared with under half (45%) of births to all Australian women.


Life expectancy at birth

In the period 2005–2007, life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 67.2 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males, around 12 years less than life expectancy at birth for non-Indigenous males (78.7 years). Similarly, the estimated life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females was 72.9 years, around 10 years less than life expectancy at birth for non-Indigenous females (82.6 years).

More information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population can be found in chapter 7 POPULATION.

 

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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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