2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2016
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Indigenous Status (INGP)
The Indigenous status of a person is determined by their response to the ABS Standard Indigenous Question, which asks whether each person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
The term 'origin' when used in the context of the ABS Standard Indigenous Question, relates to a person's Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent and for some, but not all, their cultural identity.
Torres Strait Islanders are the descendants of the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait, between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea.
Indigenous status data are available from the 1971 Census onwards. A question on origin has been asked in all Censuses. However, prior to the 1971 Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were counted in order to exclude them from population estimates for each state/territory. The 1967 Referendum changed section 127 of the Constitution to allow Aboriginal people to be included in official Census population counts. The 1971 and 1976 Censuses asked each person's racial origin. Since the 1981 Census the word 'racial' has been dropped from the question. The 1996 Census was the first Census to allow people's origins to be recorded as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, prior to this only one or the other could be recorded.
See also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, Indigenous Household Indicator (INGDWTD).