Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surveys

Current surveys

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS)

These surveys collect a range of information to give a ‘snapshot’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and wellbeing. They are visiting communities across the country between now and December 2023. If an ABS interviewer knocks on your door, say ‘Yes’ to taking part.

The first nation-wide survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 1994.  That survey, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey, was part of the Government’s response to recommendation 49 of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody:

          That proposals for a special national survey covering a range of social, demographic, health and economic

          characteristics of the Aboriginal population with full Aboriginal participation at all levels be supported…

          Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Volume 5 (1998). Available

          from http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/IndigLRes/rciadic/

We continue to conduct surveys that are just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These surveys cover topics such as health, culture, education and employment and reach people all over Australia from major cities to very remote communities.

The information collected in these surveys is used to inform important decisions about the services and programs that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It provides a picture of the wellbeing of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that helps plan, promote, deliver and evaluate essential services, and achieve positive social and economic outcomes. The information collected is also used to support critical assessment of progress against Closing the Gap targets.

These surveys are dependent on the high level of cooperation received from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities. Without their support, the wide range of information available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples published by the ABS would not be possible.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)

The NATSIHS is an important national survey that collects information about the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The NATSIHS was first collected in 1995. The last NATSIHS in 2018-19 collected information on a range of topics, including:

  • long-term health conditions
  • health actions and health service use
  • physical measurements including a hearing test
  • risk factors such as nutrition, physical activity, alcohol consumption, unfair treatment, smoking and substance use
  • experiences of physical harm
  • social and emotional wellbeing.

The information collected through the NATSIHS is used to improve services and health programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and find better ways to support them to live healthier and happier lives.

The next NATSIHS is visiting communities across the country between now and mid 2023 as part of the Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS)

The NATSINPAS is an important national survey that collects information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ nutrition and physical activity. The NATSINPAS was first collected in 2012-13  and covered a range of topics including:

  • what people eat and drink
  • physical activity
  • time spent sitting and lying down
  • sleep
  • selected long-term health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease).

The information collected through the NATSINPAS is used to improve services and health programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and find better ways to support them to live healthier and happier lives.

The next NATSINPAS is visiting communities across the country throughout 2023 as part of the Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS)

The NATSISS was first collected in 2002 as a follow on from the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey. The NATSISS collects detailed information on the social and cultural experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The last NATSISS in 2014-15 collected information on a range of topics, including:

  • language and culture
  • social networks and wellbeing
  • health
  • education
  • work
  • crime and justice
  • housing
  • stressors.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey (NATSIHMS)

Your privacy

The ABS and its employees are required by law to protect your data. The information you provide will never be used on its own and you will not be identified. Your information will not be used to check for compliance with things like tax or welfare payments. Find out more about Privacy at the ABS.

More information and resources

More information on what is involved for survey participants can be found under the Participating in a Survey section of our website.

 

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