1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians - projections 2001 to 2009

Experimental projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are based on the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Each series spans the period from 2001 to 2009 and has alternative assumptions about the unexplained growth in the Indigenous population. Unexplained growth refers to the increase in the Indigenous population between the 1996 and 2001 censuses which cannot be attributed to births, deaths or migration. Assuming no further unexplained growth in the Indigenous census counts (low series), the Indigenous population would grow from 458,500 persons in 2001 to 528,600 in 2009. If the unexplained growth between the 1996 and 2001 censuses were projected to continue into the future (high series), the Indigenous population would rise to 600,200 in 2009 (graph 5.22). The projected average annual growth rate under the assumption of no change in unexplained growth (1.8%, low series) compares with 3.4% for the continuing unexplained growth assumption (high series).


In both the high and low series the median age would increase from 20.5 years in 2001 to 21.8 years in 2009. The proportion of the total Indigenous population under 15 years is projected to fall from 39% in 2001 to 35% in 2009 while the proportion of the population 65 years and over would remain at 2.8%.

The projections show that the Indigenous populations of all states and territories continue to grow between 2001 and 2009. Relative rates of growth are highly dependent on the assumptions used regarding unexplained growth in the Indigenous population and interstate migration. Under the low series, net interstate flows have the largest impact on projected population growth while under the high series, the impact of continuing unexplained growth in the Indigenous population at the state and territory level overwhelms the impact of net interstate flows.

In the low series states and territories with positive net interstate flows are projected to have higher growth rates (Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory). In the high series those states and territories with increasing annual unexplained growth (the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria) are projected to have the highest growth rates.