Australian Bureau of Statistics

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Indigenous Statistics for Schools

Image: Housing HOUSING


Homeless people may be simply defined as those with no housing or residing in temporary or emergency accommodation. However the concept of homelessness is subjective and is dependant on community standards.

The definition used to derive the figures below, classifies people as homeless if their accommodation falls below the minimum community standard of a small rental flat with a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and some security of tenure.

It is very difficult to accurately determine the number of homeless people on Census night. Homeless Indigenous persons are particularly likely to be undercounted.

For example when an Indigenous person stays with a member of their extended family, they are less likely to record 'no usual address' on Census night even when they have no permanent address. Hence there is more likely to be an undercount of homeless Indigenous persons.

Therefore adjustments are made to the Census night count of homeless persons based on other data, follow up surveys etc. After these adjustments, the number of homeless Indigenous persons was estimated to be 9,531.

Indigenous persons are over-represented in the homeless population: 9% of the homeless were Indigenous but only 2.5% of the total population is Indigenous.

For information about how homelessness is defined and measured, and data on Indigenous homeless people, see Australian Census Analytic Program: Counting the Homeless, 2006 (cat. no. 2050.0)

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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