4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/03/2013   
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In 2012 there were 176,057 school students in Australia who had identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander at enrolment. This is an increase of 7,254 (4.3%) on the corresponding figure for 2011. These students now make up almost 5% of all school students. The distribution of school students who had identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander at enrolment varied considerably across the states and territories.

The highest proportion of students identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander was in the Northern Territory (40.8%) while the lowest was in Victoria (1.3%). NSW had the largest number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students (55,056), while the ACT had the smallest (1,502). When interpreting these figures, it is important to note that they may be influenced by factors such as improvements in school enrolment practices and the propensity of students to self-identify.

Together, NSW and Queensland accounted for almost 61% of the nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, with a total of 107,116. In all states and territories, the majority of these students attended government schools, with the proportions ranging from 57.3% in the ACT to 71.2% in the Northern Territory. At the Australia level, the proportion attending government schools was 65.2%.