3238.0 - Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2014   
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Contents >> Summary of findings >> Australia

AUSTRALIA

In 2011, there were 669,900 people, representing 3% of the total Australian population. The estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia at 30 June 2001 was 534,700 people. Between 2001 and 2011 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased by 2.3% per year on average, compared with 1.5% for the total Australian population.

The population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is projected to increase to between 907,800 and 945,600 people in 2026, at an average growth rate of between 2.0% and 2.3% per year. In comparison, the average growth rate of the total Australian population is projected to be between 1.5% and 1.8% per year over the same period (Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101, cat. no. 3222.0).

3.1 ESTIMATED AND PROJECTED ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, Australia - 2001-2026
Graph: 3.1 ESTIMATED AND PROJECTED ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, Australia—2001-2026


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is projected to increase across all age groups between 2011 and 2026. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (0-14 years) is projected to increase from 240,600 in 2011 to between 285,200 and 315,200 in 2026. This equates to an increase of between 19% and 31% over the period. The number of young adults (15-24 years) increases by a smaller proportion (21%), from 133,900 people to between 161,700 and 161,800 people in 2026.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-54 years is projected to increase from 235,900 in 2011 to between 336,100 and 337,800 in 2026. This equates to an increase of between 42% and 43% over the period.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and over is projected to more than double over the period, from 59,400 in 2011 to between 124,900 and 130,800 in 2026.

3.2 ESTIMATED AND PROJECTED ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, by age group, Australia - At 30 June

Age group (years)
2001
2011
2026 (Series A)
2026 (Series B)
2026 (Series C)

NUMBER

0-14
213 042
240 620
315 171
299 572
285 159
15-24
92 545
133 948
161 806
161 693
161 651
25-34
84 637
91 071
149 677
149 462
149 319
35-44
67 194
81 807
109 473
109 124
108 932
45-54
41 562
63 001
78 655
78 131
77 848
55-64
20 369
36 752
68 898
68 002
67 503
65-74
10 917
15 652
42 184
40 965
40 288
75 and over
4 452
7 030
19 730
18 004
17 089
Total
534 718
669 881
945 594
924 953
907 789

PROPORTION (%)

0-14
39.8
35.9
33.3
32.4
31.4
15-24
17.3
20.0
17.1
17.5
17.8
25-34
15.8
13.6
15.8
16.2
16.4
35-44
12.6
12.2
11.6
11.8
12.0
45-54
7.8
9.4
8.3
8.4
8.6
55-64
3.8
5.5
7.3
7.4
7.4
65-74
2.0
2.3
4.5
4.4
4.4
75 and over
0.8
1.0
2.1
1.9
1.9
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0




Population structure

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a relatively young age structure. Between 2001 and 2011 the median age of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is estimated to have increased from 20.4 to 21.6 years, and is projected to increase to between 24.7 and 25.4 years in 2026.

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-14 years decreased from 40% in 2001 to 36% in 2011, and is projected to decrease to between 31% and 33% in 2026. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 65 years and over increased slightly from 2.9% in 2001 to 3.4% in 2011 and is projected to increase to between 6.3% and 6.5% in 2026. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15-64 years is projected to remain relatively stable, from 61% in 2011 to between 60% and 62% in 2026.

3.3 ESTIMATED AND PROJECTED ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, by age group, Australia - Series B - at 30 June
Diagram: 3.3 ESTIMATED AND PROJECTED ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, by age group, Australia—Series B—at 30 June



Natural increase

At the national level, any growth in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is entirely due to natural increase (that is, the excess of births over deaths), as net overseas migration is assumed to be zero.

Although decreasing fertility rates are assumed, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births is projected to increase over the projection period. This is due to the age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, which has large numbers of people moving into peak child-bearing ages over the projection period, as well as due to the assumption of increasing paternity rates. As a result, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births is projected to increase from 16,800 in 2012, to between 21,000 and 25,400 in 2026.

As the population grows and ages, the number of deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is projected to increase from approximately 2,700 in 2012, to between 3,000 and 4,100 in 2026.

As the number of births is considerably larger than the number of deaths, and is projected to continue to be so, natural increase remains consistently high, reaching between 17,000 and 22,400 people in 2026.

3.4 PROJECTED NATURAL INCREASE OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, Australia - 2012-2026
Graph: 3.4 PROJECTED NATURAL INCREASE OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION, Australia—2012–2026






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