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New Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for Western Australia
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.
In Western Australia, the proportion of Indigenous people (aged 15 and over) with a non-school qualification (e.g. from university, TAFE, etc.) has trebled between 1994 and 2002 - from one in twelve (8%) to one in four (24%). The proportion of Indigenous people with a certificate or diploma more than doubled (from 8% to 22%), while those with a Bachelor degree or higher qualification rose from less than 1% to 2%.
In Western Australia, the unemployment rate for Indigenous people (aged 15 and over) fell from 38% in 1994 to 19% 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 Western Australia who had been out of work for one year or more declined (from 54% in 1994 to 24% in 2002).
While the Community Development Employment Projects scheme (CDEP) contributed to Indigenous employment growth in Western Australia over this period, the proportion of Indigenous people employed in mainstream jobs also rose (from 23% to 29%).
The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples' incomes in Western Australia remains. In 2002, Indigenous people (aged 18 and over) earned 58% of the income of non-Indigenous people ($376 per week compared to $652 per week after adjusting for household size and composition).
After adjusting for the different age structures of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in Western Australia, Indigenous people were:
In Western Australia over the eight years since 1994, evidence highlights stability on selected cultural indicators. In 2002:
Family and community:
In 2002, Indigenous people in Western Australia 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 (81% compared with 59% respectively).
There has been a decline in the proportion of Indigenous people in Western Australia who reported having been arrested in the previous five years (from 26% in 1994 to 22% in 2002).
One in five (18%) of Indigenous people in Western Australia were living in dwellings either owned or being purchased in 2002 (up from 14% in 1994). During this period, the proportion of Indigenous people living in dwellings rented from the State Housing Authority fell (from 54% to 32%).
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