4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2017   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

WHAT THE NATSISS TELLS US

A .pdf version of all State and Territory summary results are available under the Downloads tab. If you would like key results from the NATSISS for your State/Territory, please email ncatsis@abs.gov.au.

What does the 2014-15 NATSISS tell us? (National results)

New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory


WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population

  • In 2014, the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 686,800 (up from 520,350 in 2008). This represents 3% of the total Australian population.
  • Almost half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was under the age of 20.
  • 35% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in major cities, 44% in regional areas and 21% in remote areas.

Culture, identity and connection
  • 11% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language as their main language at home. 20% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can speak some words of an Australian Indigenous language.
  • 62% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • Almost two thirds (63%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were regularly involved in cultural events.
  • 70% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people watched Indigenous TV while 28% tuned in to Indigenous radio.
  • 34% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years or over felt they had been treated unfairly at least once in the previous 12 months because they were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are current daily smokers has declined from 45% in 2008 to 39% in 2014.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) has declined from 38% in 2008 to 30% in 2014.
  • 65% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.
  • One-quarter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had provided unpaid care for a person with disability, long-term health conditions or old age in the last 4 weeks.

Education
  • 96% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4-14 usually attended school.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people completing year 12 or equivalent was 26% in 2014,up from 20% in 2008.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a non-school qualification increased from 32% in 2008 to 47% in 2014.

Employment
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (38%) were more likely to be in full time employment than females (18%).
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females (23%) were more likely to be in part-time employment than males (14%).

Crime and Justice
  • 1 in 8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical violence in the last 12 months (13%),and of those 61% had experienced physical violence on more than one occasion.
  • Of the 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who reported experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months, 1 in 2 reported that their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.

Housing
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were living in a dwelling that was overcrowded (requiring at least one or more extra bedrooms) was 18% in 2014, down from 25% in 2008.
  • 29% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had experienced homelessness during their lifetime.


NEW SOUTH WALES - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population
  • In 2014, the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 215,149 (up from 154,308 in 2008).
  • Almost half (46%) of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was under the age of 20.
  • 44% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in major cities, 51% in regional areas and 5% in remote areas.

Culture, identity and connection
  • 4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language.
  • 55% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • More than half (62%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were regularly involved in cultural events.
  • A majority (93%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they were able to get support in times of crisis from outside the household.

Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are current daily smokers has declined from 46% in 2008 to 38% in 2014.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) was 29% which is lower than the National rate (30%).
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.
  • Almost one-quarter (24%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had provided unpaid care for a person with disability, long-term health conditions or old age in the last 4 weeks.

Housing
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were living in a dwelling that was overcrowded (requiring at least one or more extra bedrooms) was 12% in 2014, down from 15% in 2008.

Employment
  • 49% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were employed. Of those who were employed, 60% were in full-time employment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (43%) were more likely to be in full-time employment than females (19%).
Crime and Justice
  • Nearly one-quarter (21%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months.
  • One in eight (12%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months. Of these people, almost half (45%) reported that their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in New South Wales unless otherwise stated.

VICTORIA - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population

  • In 2014-15, the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 49,900 (up from 34,400 in 2008). Half (50%) live in the Greater Melbourne area, 35% and 15% in inner and outer regional areas, respectively.
  • Just under half (46%) the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were under the age of 20.

Culture, identity and connection
  • 4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language.
  • 57% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 3 years and over, more than half (57%) participated in cultural activities. More than 9 out of 10 (93%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they were able to get support in times of crisis from outside the household.
  • 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they had been unfairly treated at least once in the previous 12 months because they were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were current daily smokers decreased from 46% in 2008 to 38% in 2014-15.
  • 39% of people living in the Greater Melbourne area and 30% in regional areas had never smoked.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) was 27%, marginally lower than the national rate (30%).
  • 3 out of 4 (75%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.
  • Almost 1 in 10 (9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a profound or severe disability.

Housing
  • Along with the ACT, Victoria had the highest proportion (37%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had experienced homelessness.

Employment
  • Around half (51%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were employed. Of those who were employed, 57% were in full-time employment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (39%) were around twice as likely to be in full-time employment as females (19%).

Crime and Justice
  • Around 1 in 5 (21%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months.
  • 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months. Of these, nearly half (47%) reported their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in Victoria unless otherwise stated.



QUEENSLAND - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population
  • In 2014-15, the estimated total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Queensland was 196,200.
  • More than one-third (73,200) were under the age of 15 and 123,000 were 15 years and over.
  • Around one in five (21%) of them were Torres Strait Islander in origin (including those who were both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander).
  • 30% of Queensland's total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were living in major cities, 51% in regional areas, 7% in remote areas and 12% in very remote areas.
Culture, identity and connection
  • 11% spoke an Australian Indigenous language as their main language (including 37% of Torres Strait Islander people who spoke a Torres Strait Island language)
  • More than half (61%) had attended a cultural event in the last 12 months
  • Two-thirds (66%) identified with a clan, tribal or language group. 77% recognised traditional country or homelands
  • One-quarter (25%) had provided unpaid care for a person with disability, long-term health conditions or old age in the last 4 weeks

Education
  • 35% had completed Year 12, up from 27% in 2008
  • Half (51%) had a non-school qualification
  • 36% had a Certificate 3 or higher qualification

Employment
  • 48% were employed (54% of males and 42% of females)
  • The unemployment rate(a) was 25% (23% for males and 26% for females)

Health & risk factors
  • 38% were current daily smokers (43% of males and 33% of females)
  • 29% had used illicit substance(s) in the last 12 months, up from 20% in 2008
  • One-third (33%) had exceeded the guidelines(b) for alcohol consumption (single occasion risk)
  • 15% had exceeded the guidelines(b) for alcohol consumption (lifetime risk), down from 21% in 2008
  • 64% had a long-term health condition, including 28% with a mental health condition(c)

Crime and Justice
  • Two-thirds (64%) were aware of neighbourhood problems
  • 85% felt safe at home alone after dark (93% of males and 78% of females)
  • 54% felt safe walking alone after dark (75% of males and 35% of females)
  • 13% had experienced physical violence in the last 12 months (9% of males and 17% of females)
Housing & homelessness
  • One in six (17%) were living in an overcrowded dwelling, down from 26% in 2008
  • 30% had experienced homelessness in their lifetime.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in Queensland unless otherwise stated.
(a) Unemployed as a proportion of people in the labour force.
(b) 2009 NHMRC Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.
(c) Depression; anxiety; behavioural and emotional problems; and/or harmful use of/dependence on alcohol or drugs.



SOUTH AUSTRALIA - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population
  • In 2014-15, the estimated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in South Australia was 38,100.
  • Two-thirds (24,900) were under the age of 15 and 13,200 were 15 years or older.
  • Half (50%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in major cities, one-third (33%) in regional areas, 4% in remote areas and 13% in very remote areas.

Culture, identity and connection
  • One-quarter (24%) spoke an Australian Indigenous language and another 30% spoke some words
  • 11% spoke an Australian Indigenous language as their main language
  • More than half (57%) had attended a cultural event in the last 12 months
  • 61% identified with a clan, tribal or language group. Three-quarters (75%) recognised an area as traditional country or homelands
  • Half (51%) provided support to a relative living outside their household
  • One-quarter (27%) had provided unpaid care for a person with disability, long-term health conditions or old age in the last 4 weeks

Education
  • 27% had completed Year 12, up from 19% in 2008
  • Half (49%) had a non-school qualification, up from 37% in 2008
  • 35% had attained a Certificate III or higher qualification, up from 21% in 2008

Employment
  • 44% were employed (50% of males and 38% of females)
  • The unemployment rate(a) was 22%

Health & risk factors
  • 68% had a long-term health condition, including 32% with a mental health condition(b)
  • One-third (33%) had experienced high/very high psychological distress in the last 4 weeks
  • 35% were current daily smokers, down from 46% in 2008
  • 36% had used illicit substance(s) in the last 12 months, up from 27% in 2008
  • One in ten (10%) had exceeded the guidelines(c) for alcohol consumption (lifetime risk), down from 22% in 2008
  • 25% had exceeded the guidelines(c) for alcohol consumption (single occasion risk), down from 38% in 2008

Crime and Justice
  • More than one-third (39%) had experienced racial discrimination
  • 71% reported an awareness of neighbourhood problems
  • 84% felt safe at home alone after dark (92% of males and 75% of females)
  • 50% felt safe walking alone after dark (66% of males and 34% of females)
  • One in six (16%) had experienced physical violence in the last 12 months

Housing & homelessness
  • One in eight (12%) were living in an overcrowded dwelling, down from 20% in 2008
  • 30% had experienced homelessness in their lifetime.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in South Australia unless otherwise stated.
(a) Unemployed people as a proportion of people in the labour force.
(b) Depression; anxiety; behavioural and emotional problems; and/or harmful use of/dependence on alcohol or drugs.
(c) 2009 NHMRC Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population

  • In 2014-15, the estimated total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 87,200 (up from 69,200 in 2008). Around one-third (38%) live in the Greater Perth area, 22% in regional areas, and 40% in remote and very remote areas.
  • Nearly half (45%) the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were under the age of 20.
Culture, identity and connection
  • 24% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language.
  • 70% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 3 years and over, more than two-thirds (68%) participated in cultural activities. More than 9 out of 10 (92%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they were able to get support in times of crisis from outside the household.
  • 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they had been unfairly treated at least once in the previous 12 months because they were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were current daily smokers remained the same from 2008 to 2014-15 (41%)
  • 37% of people living in the Greater Perth area and 33% and 32% in remote/very remote and regional areas respectively had never smoked.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) was 33%, similar to the national rate (30%)
  • 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.
  • 1 in approx. 15 (6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a profound or severe disability.

Housing
  • Around 1 in 3 (31%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had experienced homelessness.

Employment
  • Close to 4 in 10 (38%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were employed. Of those who were employed, around two-thirds (67%) were in full-time employment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (33%) were nearly twice as likely to be in full-time employment as females (18%)
Crime and Justice
  • Around 1 in 4 (27%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months.
  • 18% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months. Of these, more than half (54%) reported their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.
The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in Western Australia unless otherwise stated.



TASMANIA - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population
  • In 2014-15, the estimated total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 25,600 (up from 19,100 in 2008).
  • Just under half (46%) the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were under the age of 20.

Culture, identity and connection
  • 35% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • 10% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke some Indigenous words.
  • Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 3 years and over, nearly two-thirds (63%) participated in cultural activities. More than 9 out of 10 (93%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they were able to get support in times of crisis from outside the household.
  • Around 1 in 5 (19%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they had been unfairly treated at least once in the previous 12 months because they were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were current daily smokers was 37% in 2014-15, compared to 43% in 2008.
  • 34% of people had never smoked.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) was the highest of all states and territories at 36%. The national rate was 30%.
  • 7 out of 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.
  • Around 1 in 8 (12%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a profound or severe disability.

Housing
  • 3 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had experienced homelessness.

Employment
  • Half of Tasmania’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were employed. Of those who were employed, half were in full-time employment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (36%) were more than twice as likely to be in full-time employment as females (15%).

Crime and Justice
  • Around 1 in 6 (18%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months.
  • 12% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported experiencing physical violence in the last year. Of these, 1 in 5 reported their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in Tasmania unless otherwise stated.



NORTHERN TERRITORY - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population
  • In 2014, the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 68,427 (up from 63,378 in 2008).
  • 41% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was under the age of 20.
  • A majority (79%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in remote areas.

Culture, identity and connection
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language.
  • 81% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • 83% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were regularly involved in cultural events.
  • A majority (88%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they were able to get support in times of crisis from outside the household.

Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are current daily smokers has declined from 49% in 2008 to 45% in 2014.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) was 26% which is lower than the National rate (30%).
  • Just over half (53%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.
  • Almost a third (32%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had provided unpaid care for a person with disability, long-term health conditions or old age in the last 4 weeks.

Housing
  • Over half (52%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in a dwelling that was overcrowded (requiring at least one or more extra bedrooms) in 2014, down from 57% in 2008.

Employment
  • 36% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were employed. Of those who were employed, 61% were in full-time employment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (26%) were more likely to be in full-time employment than females (18%).

Crime and Justice
  • One in five (20%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months.
  • One in nine (11%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months. Of these people, almost two-thirds (62%) reported that their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in the Northern Territory unless otherwise stated.


AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY - WHAT DOES THE 2014-15 NATSISS TELL US?

Population
  • In 2014, the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 6,453 (up from 4,377 in 2008).
  • Around 2 in 5 (42%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were under the age of 20.

Culture, identity and connection
  • 7% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language.
  • 64% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were regularly involved in cultural events.
  • Almost all (96%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they were able to get support in times of crisis from outside the household.
  • 40% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt they had been unfairly treated at least once in the previous 12 months because they were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Health
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are current daily smokers has increased from 35% in 2008 to 37% in 2014-15. This is opposite to the declining rate of people who are current daily smokers, nationally.
  • The ACT had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had never smoked (43%).
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in risky single occasion drinking (four or more standard drinks at a time according to 2009 NHMRC guidelines) was 35% which is higher than the national rate (30%).
  • Around two-thirds (65%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition.

Housing
  • Along with Victoria, the ACT had the highest proportion (37%) of all states and territories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people having experienced homelessness.

Employment
  • 61% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were employed. Of those who were employed, 72% were in full-time employment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (55%) were almost twice as likely to be in full-time employment as females (31%).

Crime and Justice
  • Nearly one-quarter (22%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months.
  • One in nine (11%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months. Of these people, more than 2 in 5 (43%) reported their most recent experience of physical violence was by a family member.

The key findings above are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in the Australian Capital Territory unless otherwise stated.