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4714.1.55.001 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, New South Wales, 2002  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2004   
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  • New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for New South Wales (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

June 23, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
2004
New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for New South Wales

The results of the second national social survey of Indigenous people were released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and point to some changes since the groundbreaking original survey in 1994.

Education:

The proportion of Indigenous people (aged 15 and over) with a non-school qualification (e.g. from university, TAFE, etc.) in New South Wales (NSW) had almost doubled between 1994 and 2002 - from 14% to 26%. The proportion of Indigenous people with a certificate or diploma increased (from 13% to 21%), while those with a Bachelor degree or higher qualification doubled from 2% to 4%.

Excluding those who had a non-school qualification, the proportion of Indigenous people in NSW who had completed Year 12 rose (from 5% in 1994 to 10% in 2002 respectively).

Despite these improvements in 2002, Indigenous people (aged 18 and over) were still less likely than non-Indigenous people to have a non-school qualification (30% compared with 54%).

Work:

The unemployment rate for Indigenous people in NSW (aged 15 and over), fell from 45% in 1994 to 28% in 2002. This change parallels the decline in the national unemployment rate (from 10% in June 1994 to 6% in December 2002).

The share of unemployed Indigenous people in NSW who had been out of work for one year or more declined (from 56% in 1994 to 28% in 2002).

While the Community Development Employment Projects scheme (CDEP) contributed to Indigenous employment growth over this period, the proportion of Indigenous people employed in mainstream jobs also rose (from 29% to 39%).

Income:

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples' incomes remains. In 2002, Indigenous people (aged 18 and over) in NSW earned 56% of the income of non-Indigenous people ($414 per week compared to $733 per week after adjusting for household size and composition).

Health:

After adjusting for the different age structures of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, Indigenous people in NSW were:

    • more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to report their health as "fair" or "poor"
    • a little more than half as likely to report "excellent" or "very good" health
    • almost one and a half times more likely to have a disability or long-term health condition than non-Indigenous people.

Culture:

Over the eight years since 1994, evidence highlights stability on selected cultural indicators. In NSW in 2002:

    • 59% of Indigenous people reported attending Indigenous cultural events in the previous 12 months
    • two-fifths of Indigenous people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.

Family and community:

Indigenous people in NSW in 2002 were almost one and a half times more likely to experience at least one life stressor (e.g. "death of family member or close friend", "serious illness or disability", or "inability to get a job") than non-Indigenous people (79% compared with 56% respectively).

Similar to the non-Indigenous community in NSW, the overwhelming majority of Indigenous people received support from someone outside the household (92% for Indigenous people compared with 93% for non-Indigenous people).

A similar proportion of Indigenous people in NSW (aged 15 or over) reported they had been taken away from their natural family as recorded in 1994 (7% in 1994 compared with 9% in 2002).

Law and justice:

There has been a decline in the proportion of Indigenous people in NSW who reported having been arrested in the previous five years (from 23% in 1994 to 17% in 2002).

Compared to 1994, Indigenous people in NSW in 2002 were one and a half times more likely to report that they had been a victim of physical or threatened violence in the previous 12 months (22% in 2002, up from 14% in 1994). These victimisation rates were high among unemployed people (43%) and younger people (32% of those aged 15-24).

Housing:

Almost one-third (32%) of Indigenous people in NSW were living in dwellings either owned or being purchased in 2002, up from 27% in 1994.

In remote areas of NSW in 2002, the majority of Indigenous people (43%) were living in rented dwellings provided by Indigenous Housing Organisations, or in other community housing.


More details are available in National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0). State/territory comparisons for selected indicators are available in Table 2 of the publication. Additonal state and territory data cube tables are available off the publication's main features page on the ABS web site or upon request.


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