ABORIGINAL AND/OR TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ORIGIN
This topic provides information about each person's Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. The main purpose of this question is to determine the number, distribution and characteristics of people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. It is also used in estimation and projections of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander population. The Census is the only comprehensive source of small area data on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
In all Censuses prior to 1971 respondents were asked to state their race and, where race was mixed, to specify the proportions of each. In the 1971 and 1976 Censuses a question with response categories of European, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Other was included. Since 1981, a specific question has been asked to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Since 1976, measures have been adopted to maximise coverage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. These include specific Census awareness activities, greater use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, greater involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and better coordination of the related field operations. In remote areas, interview forms have been used to facilitate the enumeration of this population. The ABS has reviewed the approaches and procedures used in 2011 to ensure they are taken into account in the proposed new enumeration model for the 2016 Census.
Since the 2006 Census, a question on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin has also been asked in relation to people who were temporarily absent from the dwelling on Census Night, aimed at improving coverage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the Census.
The following question is from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.