QUALITY DECLARATION SUMMARY
For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
This publication contains final estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, non-Indigenous and total populations of Australia at 30 June 2016, based on results of the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates are disaggregated by age and sex for Australia, states/territories, Remoteness Areas and Indigenous Regions. Only total estimates for Statistical Areas Level 2 are available.
Estimates of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations are produced for 30 June of each Census year. Preliminary estimates for 30 June 2016 were released on 27 September 2017 in Australian Demographic Statistics, March Quarter 2017 (cat. no. 3101.0).
Final estimates for 30 June 2016 were released on 31 August 2018 in Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001).
A time series of estimates of the Indigenous population, based on estimates from the most recent Census, are produced once every five years. Estimates for the period 2006 to 2031 are scheduled for release in July 2019 in Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3238.0).
The estimates presented in this publication are based on results of the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, adjusted for net undercount as measured by the Post Enumeration Survey (PES).
The goal of the Census is to obtain a complete measure of the number and characteristics of people in Australia on Census night and their dwellings. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures. For further information on sources of error in the Census, see the Explanatory Notes.
In a large and complex exercise such as the Census, it is inevitable that a small number of people will be missed and some will be counted more than once. In Australia, more people are missed from the Census than are counted more than once. The net effect when both factors are taken into account is net undercount.
The ABS conducts the PES shortly after the Census to determine how many people were missed in the Census and how many were counted more than once. For 2016, the net undercount of the Indigenous population was 138, 000 persons.
There were 1,411,000 Census records (6.0% of the total Census count) with unknown Indigenous status in the 2016 Census. For the purposes of population estimates, these records are allocated to either Indigenous or non-Indigenous according to other demographic characteristics from the Census. For a detailed discussion of unknown Indigenous status in the 2016 Census see Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts Between 2011 and 2016 (cat. no. 2077.0), to be released October 2018.
The extent of undercoverage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the 2016 Census and the relatively small sample size of the PES to adjust for that undercoverage means the estimates should be interpreted with caution.
For more information see Technical Note: Estimated Resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population – Method of Calculation.
The estimates presented in this publication are not consistent with, and should not be compared with, estimates based on 2011 or other Censuses, for a number of reasons including:
- unexplained growth in the Indigenous population between Censuses – see Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts between 2011 and 2016 (cat. no. 2077.0) to be released October 2018; and
- changes in methodology and scope of the Post Enumeration Survey over time – for more information on the PES, see Census of Population and Housing - Details of Overcount and Undercount, Australia, 2016 (cat. no. 2940.0).
Estimates of the Indigenous population for the period 2006 to 2031, based on the 2016 estimates presented in this publication, are scheduled for release in July 2019 in Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3238.0).
This publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and Glossary that provides information on the data sources, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.
Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations of Australia are available on the ABS website under the 3238.0.55.001 product family, as:
- Main Features, which contains summary commentary; and
- data cubes (in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format).
If the information you require is not available as a standard product, then the ABS Information Consultancy Service can help you with customised services to suit your needs. The ABS observes strict confidentiality protocols as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905. This may limit access to data at a very detailed level. For inquiries contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.