2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016  
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ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION – NORTHERN TERRITORY

2016 CENSUS DATA SUMMARY

Population

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represented 25.5% of the population in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing – down from 26.8% in 2011, and 27.8% in 2006.

Of the 58,248 people who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, 95.8% were of Aboriginal origin, 1.3% were of Torres Strait Islander origin and 2.9% identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.


Age

PROPORTION OF POPULATION BY AGE, 2016(a)

Age Group
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
%
Non-Indigenous people
%

0-4 years
9.6
7.1
5-14 years
20.4
11.9
15-24 years
19.1
11.4
25-44 years
29.8
35.3
45-64 years
17.4
26.0
65 years and over
3.8
8.4

(a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors.
Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016

Since the 1996 Census, the median age for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been on the rise. Twenty years ago in 1996, the median age was 20 years. This increased to 23 years in 2011, and increased again to 25 years in the five years to 2016. The median age for non-Indigenous people was 35 years in 2016.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to have a much younger age profile and structure than the non-Indigenous population. In 2016, just under half (49.1%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were aged under 25 years. In comparison, almost one-third (30.4%) of non-Indigenous people were aged under 25.

The difference between the two populations was also clearly noticeable in the 65 years and over age group. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 65 years and over was considerably smaller than for non-Indigenous people (3.8% compared to 8.4%).


Household and Families

Obligation and connection to family plays an important role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. This support can be in the form of sharing accommodation.

Households in which at least one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person lived were more likely than other households in 2016 to be family households (84.5% compared to 70.0%). They were also less likely to be a person living alone (12.2% compared with 24.3%).

In 2016, it was also more common for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households to have more than one family living together (19.0%) than for other households (1.8%).

HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION, 2016(a)

Households with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person(s)
%
Other Households
%

One family
65.5
68.2
Multiple family
19.0
1.8
Lone person
12.2
24.3
Group
3.3
5.7

(a) Includes households in occupied private dwellings only. Excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households.
Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households, on average, were larger than non-Indigenous households (4.0 people, compared with an average of 2.6 people for other households).


Language

In 2016, 59.6% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (or 34,735 people) spoke an Australian Indigenous language at home.

The three most identified Australian Indigenous languages spoken at home were:
  • Kriol (12.6%)
  • Djambarrpuyngu (12.3%)
  • Warlpiri (6.2%)


Where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live, by Indigenous Region

In 2016, around one in five (21.6%) of the Northern Territory's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population lived in the Darwin Indigenous Region.

Just over three-quarters (76.9%) of people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in Jabiru - Tiwi, while the corresponding proportion was 76.3% in the Apatula region.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE BY INDIGENOUS REGION, 2016(a)

No.
%
%
(as a proportion of Indigenous Region)

Alice Springs
4 597
7.9
18.4
Apatula
8 463
14.5
76.3
Darwin
12 554
21.6
9.0
Jabiru - Tiwi
10 408
17.9
76.9
Katherine
8 471
14.5
47.1
Nhulunbuy
9 557
16.4
69.5
Tennant Creek
3 505
6.0
63.3

Northern Territory
58 248
100.0
25.5

(a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors.
Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016


Income

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were less likely than non-Indigenous people to report an equivalised weekly household income of $1,000 or more in 2016 (12.3% compared with 60.0%). Both these percentages have increased (from 7.9% and 49.7% respectively) since the 2011 Census.


Education

Education is critical for overcoming disadvantage. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 20 to 24 years who had completed Year 12 or its equivalent increased between 2011 and 2016, from 17.8% to 24.4%. Over the same period, the proportion for non-Indigenous people increased from 64.9% to 71.8%.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years were more likely than non-Indigenous people of the same age to have left school at Year 9 or below (30.4% compared with 5.5%). This is an improvement from 2011 for both groups (from 39.1% and 7.3% respectively).


For definitions of the terms used above, see the Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0). For more information about 2016 Census data release and products, go to www.abs.gov.au/census.

Explanatory Information

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Household has at least one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who is a usual resident and was present on Census night.

Median age is where half the population is older, while the other half is younger.