2034.5 - Census of Population and Housing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Western Australia, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/07/1998   
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July 23, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Two out of five of WA's Indigenous people under 15

Two out of five (40 per cent) of Indigenous people living in Western Australia were under 15 years old as at 30 June 1996, almost double (22 per cent) the figure for all West Australians under 15 years, according to a publication released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

However only 4 per cent of the Indigenous population in Western Australia was aged 60 years or older, compared with 14 per cent for all West Australians over 60 years. This younger age structure reflects both the high birth and death rates of the Indigenous population, relative to the State population as a whole.

The publication, 1996 Census of Population and Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People, Western Australia, presents information on a range of topics including families, households, employment, income, education, religion, and language relating to the Indigenous population of Western Australia.

Other findings show the unemployment rate for the Indigenous population of 19 per cent was more than double that of the Western Australian population as a whole (8 per cent). The highest unemployment rates occurred among young people. The unemployment rate for Indigenous 15 to 19 year olds was 29 per cent compared with 15 per cent of all persons in this age group.

The median weekly income of Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over was $211, compared with $307 for the total population. However, the proportion of Indigenous persons with degrees or diplomas who earned in excess of $600 per week was close to that of the total population (55 per cent compared with 59 per cent).

Seventeen per cent spoke an Indigenous language at home: this figure rose to 51 per cent in some rural areas. This proportion was much higher among older people, with more than one-quarter (28 per cent) of those aged 45 years and over speaking an Indigenous language. For those under 15 years, the proportion fell to 13 per cent.

Details are in 1996 Census of Population and Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Western Australia (cat. no. 2034.5) available from ABS Bookshops. A Summary of Findings from this publication is available from this site.