3238.0 - Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2014   
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Contents >> Summary of findings >> Introduction

INTRODUCTION

This release contains population estimates and projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia, based on results of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, for the period 30 June 1996 to 30 June 2026.

Estimates for 1996 to 2010 have been produced by reverse-surviving the estimated resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population at 30 June 2011, using 2010-2012 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life tables as a basis on which to make assumptions about past Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth and 2011 Census information to make assumptions about past levels of interstate migration. Projections for 2012 to 2026 have been produced by applying a range of assumptions regarding future levels of components of population change to the 30 June 2011 population (see Chapter 2 for more information).

The base population used for the estimates and projections presented in this release was the 30 June 2011 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resident population. The base population estimates for the Northern Territory at 30 June 2011 are based on age-heaping adjusted data. For further information on this adjustment and the base population, see Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001).


Population estimates

For the purposes of the estimates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth for Australia is assumed to have increased by 0.3 years per year for males and 0.15 years per year for females between 2006 and 2011 and increased by 0.2 years per year for males and 0.15 years per year for females between 1996 and 2006. The assumption for net interstate migration for each of the three intercensal periods is based on levels observed in each respective intercensal period.

Estimates for 1996 to 2000 should be treated with caution given the 15-year interval for which the assumption of improving life expectancy at birth is applied. Please see Appendix 1 for more details on the quality of these estimates.


Population projections

It is important to recognise that the projections presented in this release are not predictions or forecasts. Rather, they are an assessment of what would happen to the size and structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia if assumed levels of births, deaths and migration - the components of population change - were to be realised over the projection period. There can be no certainty that any particular outcome will be realised, or that future outcomes will necessarily fall within the projected ranges.

As described in Chapter 2, various assumptions have been made about future levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fertility, paternity, life expectancy at birth and migration, resulting in 10 projection series. Three main series (Series A, B and C) have been selected for presentation and analysis in this release.

Three assumptions are made about fertility rates:

  • in Series A, fertility rates are assumed to remain constant;
  • in Series B, fertility rates are assumed to decline by 0.5% annually; and
  • in Series C, fertility rates are assumed to decline by 1.0% annually.

Three paternity assumptions are also made:
  • in Series A, paternity rates are assumed to increase by 2.0% annually;
  • in Series B, paternity rates are assumed to increase by 1.0% annually; and
  • in Series C, paternity rates are assumed to remain constant.

Three assumptions are made about life expectancy at birth:
  • in Series A, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth is assumed to increase by 0.5 years per year for males and 0.45 years per year for females;
  • in Series B, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth is assumed to increase by 0.3 years per year for males and 0.25 years per year for females; and
  • in Series C, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth is assumed to increase by 0.2 years per year for males and 0.15 years per year for females.





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