3238.0 - Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/07/2019   
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STATES AND TERRITORIES

All three series project continuing growth for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population for all states and territories between 2016 and 2031.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of the Australian Capital Territory is projected to be the fastest growing of all states and territories, with an average annual growth rate of between 2.7% and 3.0% per year. This is followed by:

  • Victoria (between 2.4% and 2.7%)
  • Queensland (between 2.0% and 2.3%)
  • Tasmania (between 1.7% and 1.9%).

These high rates of population growth in these states and territories are in part due to:
  • relatively large cohorts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people moving into peak child-bearing ages throughout the projection period
  • the assumption of increasing paternity rates
  • the assumed net interstate migration in some cases, notably for Queensland (a gain of 291 people per year) and Victoria (a gain of 214 people per year).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of New South Wales is projected to grow between 1.8% and 2.1% per year on average. This lower rate of growth is due to the assumed net migration loss of 452 people per year.

The Northern Territory is projected to have the lowest average annual growth rate over the projection period, of between 1.1% and 1.3% per year.

This is in part due to the age structure of the Northern Territory population which, unlike many of the other states and territories, is relatively stable. The absolute size of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in child-bearing age groups (15-49 years) therefore increases relatively consistently throughout the projection period. As a result, projected numbers of births in the Northern Territory do not increase as rapidly as in other states and territories, and therefore population growth is slower. In addition, the projected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the Northern Territory is largely unaffected by an increasing paternity assumption as the Territory has the lowest proportion of children born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fathers and non-Indigenous mothers.

With relatively stable age structures, lower average annual growth rates are also projected for:
  • Western Australia (between 1.9% and 2.1%)
  • South Australia (between 1.9% and 2.2%).

Assumed net interstate migration for Western Australia (a gain of 100 people per year) and South Australia (a gain of 62 people per year) has a small positive effect on the rate of population growth over the projection period.

Components of population change for Australia and each state and territory are presented in data cubes attached to this release on the ABS website.



Table 1: ESTIMATED AND PROJECTED ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION(a), States and territories, 2016 - 2031

2031 SERIES A
2031 SERIES B
2031 SERIES C
2011
no.
2016
no.
no.
Growth rate (%)(b)
no.
Growth rate (%)(b)
no.
Growth rate (%)(b)

NSW
236 637
265 685
364 642
2.1
354 771
1.9
348 273
1.8
Vic.
52 848
57 767
85 986
2.7
83 606
2.5
81 993
2.4
Qld
198 776
221 276
312 639
2.3
304 395
2.1
299 292
2.0
SA
38 605
42 265
58 763
2.2
57 306
2.1
56 390
1.9
WA
92 097
100 512
138 244
2.1
134 895
2.0
132 980
1.9
Tas.
25 752
28 537
38 113
1.9
37 089
1.8
36 584
1.7
NT
68 231
74 546
90 078
1.3
88 170
1.1
87 588
1.1
ACT
6 894
7 513
11 638
3.0
11 324
2.8
11 155
2.7
Aust.(c)
720 093
798 365
1 100 427
2.2
1 071 871
2.0
1 054 569
1.9

(a) Estimates and projections based on the 2016 Census.
(b) Average annual growth rate for the period 2016 to 2031.
(c) Includes Other Territories.


Changing state/territory share

New South Wales is projected to continue to have the largest share of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The population in New South Wales is projected to remain stable at 33% in both 2016 and 2031.
  • Queensland's share is projected to increase from 27.7% in 2016 to 28.4% in 2031
  • Victoria's share is projected to increase from 7.2% in 2016 to 7.8% in 2031
  • ACT's share is projected to increase from 0.9% in 2016 to 1.1% in 2031
  • Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction whose share is projected to decline, from 9.3% in 2016 to 8.2%.

The distribution amongst the remaining states and territories is projected to remain largely unchanged over the projection period.


Table 2: PROJECTED DISTRIBUTION OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION(a)(b), States and territories – 30 June

2016
2031 (series A)
2031 (series B)
2031 (series C)
%
%
%
%

NSW
33.3
33.1
33.1
33.0
Vic.
7.2
7.8
7.8
7.8
Qld
27.7
28.4
28.4
28.4
SA
5.3
5.3
5.3
5.3
WA
12.6
12.6
12.6
12.6
Tas.
3.6
3.5
3.5
3.5
NT
9.3
8.2
8.2
8.3
ACT
0.9
1.1
1.1
1.1
Aust.(c)
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Estimates and projections based on the 2016 Census.
(b) Due to rounding, proportions may not add to 100%.
(c) Includes Other Territories.