2011 Census tells the story of the Australian Capital Territory’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

21 June 2012 | ACT/04

A comprehensive snapshot of the Australian Capital Territory’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was revealed today as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the first results of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

The result shows that the new Census resident population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian Capital Territory is 5,183, up from 3,872 in 2006 – an increase of 33.9 per cent. This represents 0.9 per cent of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of 548,370.

The median age for the Australian Capital Territory Aboriginal and Torrs Strait Islander population is 22 years, whereas the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander median age is 21. This compares to the national median age of 37.

Around one in three (32.6 per cent) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Australian Capital Territory was under 15 years of age. Just 2.1 per cent of this population was aged 65 and over, the lowest of any state or territory.

ABS Australian Capital Territory Regional Director, Mariette O'Connell, said the 2011 Census provided an accurate and up-to-date picture of the Australian Capital Territory’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and will be used to help shape the Territory over the next five years.

“We worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on a community level throughout the Census, and thanks to their support and knowledge, we are confident of a quality count,” she said.

“We thank everyone involved, and are now pleased to deliver the results back to these communities and the nation, to help plan where services and facilities are needed most.”
Ms O’Connell said the high quality of the latest Census data is the result of better procedures, particularly in regional and remote areas, and more people identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

“An increase of nearly 34 per cent more people in the Territory identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander than in the 2006 Census,” she said.

Ms O’Connell encouraged everyone to make use of Australia’s richest source of statistical information.

“Census data is available free online and can be used for a wide range of purposes. Our range of new, easy-to-use tools, including QuickStats, makes searching Census data quick and easy.”

Data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing is now available on the ABS website, and covers topics such as age, income, housing, education and ancestry. Visit www.abs.gov.au/census.