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4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/02/2011   
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This document was added 03/17/2011.



INDIGENOUS STUDENTS

It is important to note that the collection of Indigenous status statistics are continually improving over time in breadth and scope, which may also affect the overall numbers reported and comparisons between years.

There were 162,831 students who identified as Indigenous in Australian schools in 2010. This was an increase of 4% from 2009. In the same period the number of non-Indigenous students increased by less than 1%. These increases have been similar year-to-year since 2006 with the number of students identifying as Indigenous increasing at a faster rate than the number of non-Indigenous students. It should be noted however, that it is unclear to what degree this increase of Indigenous students is due to an actual increase in the number of Indigenous students, an increase in the likelihood of Indigenous students to identify as such, or the improvement in Indigenous status data collection.

There are differences across the states and territories between the numbers and proportions of Indigenous students. For example, New South Wales and Queensland had the largest number of Indigenous students with almost 50,000 in these states. However, the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of students identifying as Indigenous at 41%.

Number of Indigenous students, by states and territories - 2010
Graph: Number of Indigenous students, by states and territories - 2010

In 2010, across Australia, about 1 in 3 (35%) non-Indigenous students were in non-government schools compared with around 1 in 7 (15%) Indigenous students. Indigenous students in non-government schools made up about 1% of the relevant state or territory student population, except in the Northern Territory, where Indigenous students in non-government schools were 7% of the territory's students, the majority of whom were attending Catholic schools.

Number of Indigenous students, by school affiliation - 2009 to 2010
Graph: Number of Indigenous students, by school affiliation - 2009 to 2010

The Indigenous year 7/8 to 12 retention rate has increased by 30% over the past ten years from 36% in 2000 to 47% in 2010. The gap between Indigenous retention rates and non-Indigenous retention in the above measure has remained relatively consistent.

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