2077.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts, 2016  
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IMPACT OF INTERCENSAL CHANGE ON SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS

Key findings
  • Analysis of changes in population characteristics demonstrates the complexity of attempting to control for changing propensity to identify on the measurement of population characteristics. There appears to be some impact of changing propensity to identify on some population characteristics presented in this chapter.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Major Cities (where most of the 2011-2016 population increase occurs) are the main contributors to intercensal increases in year 12 attainment, non-school qualifications, labour force status and personal weekly income.


As discussed in Overview of the Increase, the growth in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population between 2011 and 2016 is not solely attributable to demographic factors such as births, deaths and migration. This complicates analysis of changing socio-economic characteristics for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, particularly for characteristics used to monitor progress against Closing the Gap targets. The following analysis uses the Census and the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) to consider whether changes in identification are impacting outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in the following key characteristics:

Year 12 educational attainment
Attainment of a non-school qualification
Labour force status
Personal weekly income


Identification in the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD)

For this analysis, three identification groups have been created:
  • Newly identified – persons who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in 2016 and non-Indigenous in 2011
  • Consistently identified – persons who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in both 2011 and 2016
  • Previously identified – persons who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in 2011 and non-Indigenous in 2016

Excluded from the ACLD for the purposes of this analysis are persons who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in 2016 and had an unknown Indigenous status in 2011, and persons who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in 2011 and had an unknown Indigenous status in 2016. These two groups account for a relatively small number of ACLD records (13,882 in total). For detailed analysis on changing propensity to identify in the ACLD please see Changing Propensity to Identify.

The Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) uses a five per cent sample of records from the three most recent Censuses – 2006, 2011 and 2016 – to create a representative longitudinal sample for 2006-2011 and 2011-2016. A three wave release of the ACLD is planned for the future, combining data from the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Censuses to enable analysis of longer-term transitions. Once this dataset is available, it is possible that the characteristics of the three identification groups will change. The ABS intends to expand on the ACLD analysis presented in this chapter when the three wave release is available.

For further information on the ACLD, see Technical Note 3 – Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset


YEAR 12 EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment is used in measuring the Closing the Gap target to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment for 20-24 year olds by 20201.

Between 2006 and 2016, there has been a steady rise in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Year 12 or equivalent as their highest year of school completed. In 2006, 20.1% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons aged 15 years and over had completed Year 12 or equivalent. This rose to 25.0% in 2011 and 31.3% in 2016.

Attainment of Year 12 or equivalent varies with remoteness, with lower attainment rates observed in more remote areas. The largest percentage increase between 2006 and 2016 of 12.1 percentage points was observed in Major Cities (from 27.4% to 39.5%). Rates of increase for other remoteness areas rose between 9 and 10 percentage points over the same period. Major Cities have consistently recorded higher rates of Year 12 attainment than the rest of Australia between 2006 and 2016.

Graph Image for 5.1 Year 12 or equivalent attainment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2006-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Excludes persons still in secondary school. (c) Includes Remote and Very Remote Australia. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016



Intercensal Changes in Year 12 Attainment

In 2016, there were an additional 42,321 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reporting Year 12 or equivalent attainment compared to 2011, just over half of whom were female (54.4%). Females in Major Cities were the main contributor to the increase in Year 12 attainment with 28.3% of the growth in Year 12 attainment coming from this group.

Major Cities across Australia accounted for just over half (52.1%) of the increase in Year 12 attainment between 2011 and 2016. In particular, people living in Major Cities aged 15-24 years accounted for over a third (35.5%) of the overall increase in Year 12 attainment in the same period. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of persons living in Major Cities who had completed Year 12 has increased by 148.1%. This was significantly higher than the rate of growth in Remote Australia (98.4%).

Increases in Year 12 attainment were lower in Outer Regional than Inner Regional Australia (37.3% compared to 63.0%) between 2011 and 2016. These differences suggest that growth in Year 12 attainment in Outer Regional Australia is reflecting actual increases in Year 12 attainment whereas in Inner Regional Australia, where there was positive unexplainable growth, changes in Year 12 attainment may be attributable a combination of intercensal population growth and actual attainment.

Graph Image for 5.2 Increases in Year 12 attainment by Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 and over, 2006-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Excludes persons still in secondary school. (c) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island. (d) Includes Remote and Very Remote Australia. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016


Most (71.5%) of the increase in Year 12 attainment between 2011 and 2016 came from people aged 15-24. This is not unexpected as this age group are most likely to be completing secondary school in the intercensal years.

To address the impact of natural attainment on analysis of increases in Year 12 attainment by age, the following analysis removes the 15-24 year age cohort. Once this cohort is removed, analysis reveals that the majority (70.3% or 12,065 persons) of the increase in Year 12 attainment for persons aged 25 years and over is driven by the 25-44 year age cohort, and tapers off with age.

Graph Image for 5.3 Growth in Year 12 or equivalent by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 25 and over, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Excludes persons still in secondary school. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016



Year 12 Attainment in the ACLD

Young people aged 15-24 years recorded the highest rate of Year 12 attainment across all three identification groups, the highest being for previously-identified persons aged 20-24 years (61.1%).

The Closing the Gap target for Year 12 or equivalent attainment focuses on the completion of Year 12 or an equivalent attainment amongst 20-24 year olds. Comparing Year 12 attainment for this age group in the consistently-identified population in the 2006-2011 and 2011-2016 ACLD is the most accurate way of determining whether there are actual improvements occurring in Year 12 or equivalent attainment.

The Year 12 attainment rate for consistently-identified 20-24 years olds in the 2011-2016 ACLD was substantially higher than in the 2006-2011 ACLD (52.4% compared to 41.4%). Over the same period, Year 12 attainment for previously-identified 20-24 years olds also increased (from 55.0% to 61.1%). The newly-identified population however shows a different trend.

Year 12 attainment for newly-identified 20-24 year olds was lower in the 2011-2016 ACLD (55.4%) than the 2006-2011 ACLD (58.9%). This may be influenced by changes in propensity to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and would benefit from further analysis on the 2006-2016 linked ACLD file when it is available. Refer to Changing Propensity to Identify for a discussion on the propensity of young adults to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Year 12 attainment for the consistently-identified population in both the 2006-2011 and 2011-2016 ACLD suggests that improvements in Year 12 attainment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people observed in the Census are occurring, particularly in the target 20-24 year age group. These improvements may be influenced by the intercensal increase in Major Cities and the higher rates of Year 12 attainment in Major Cities compared with other parts of Australia.

5.4 Year 12 or equivalent attainment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over(a), 2006-2016

2006-2011 ACLD(b)
2011-2016 ACLD(c)

Newly-identified
Consistently-identified
Previously-identified
Newly-identified
Consistently-identified
Previously-identified
2016 Census(d)

%

15-19 years
35.6
28.1
45.8
48.0
41.2
53.3
36.8
20-24 years
58.9
41.4
55.0
55.4
52.4
61.1
46.9
25-29 years
47.1
35.2
49.7
50.4
41.6
58.7
40.1
30-34 years
48.8
33.1
64.6
46.5
39.0
49.0
37.4
35-39 years
42.4
30.9
55.8
43.0
34.9
50.5
35.3
40-44 years
30.8
23.2
30.8
48.2
34.1
49.1
33.5
45-49 years
23.5
15.8
26.1
30.6
24.6
29.4
24.5
50-54 years
19.1
15.1
31.0
20.5
16.8
20.3
18.0
55-59 years
25.4
12.5
19.9
27.8
13.9
33.8
17.0
60-64 years
21.8
9.4
24.8
20.0
15.9
22.5
15.1
65+
12.9
7.3
17.0
14.1
9.3
17.1
10.3
Total
32.4
26.6
39.0
39.4
32.7
45.0
31.3

Total number of persons aged 15 years and over(e)
33 448
354 584
17 561
80 495
391 250
32 491
265 820

(a) Excludes persons still in secondary school.
(b) Based on highest year of school completed in 2011.
(c) Based on highest year of school completed in 2016.
(d) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors.
(e) Includes persons who did not go to school and persons whose highest year of school completed was not stated.
Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.
ACLD cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.3
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2016; Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2006-2011; 2011-2016.


ATTAINMENT OF A NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION

The Census collects information about a person’s highest completed non-school qualification2. This includes Certificate and Diploma level qualifications as well as tertiary qualifications (Bachelor degree and above). The analysis below refers to a person’s highest level of non-school qualification.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 years and over with a non-school qualification has risen steadily from 78,875 in 2006 to 108,118 in 2011 and 152,245 in 2016. Over this period, the age and remoteness distribution of people with a non-school qualification has remained consistent, with young people aged 25-29 years old contributing most to the observed increases.

Across all remoteness areas, more people had Certificate III level qualifications than any other non-school qualification – a trend that has remained consistent across the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Censuses. Nearly all Remoteness areas recorded a percentage point increase across all types of non-school qualifications over 2011-2016. The largest percentage point increases were in Major Cities and Inner Regional Australia.

Intercensal Change in Attainment of non-school Qualifications

It is possible that identification is having an impact on the 2011-2016 increase in non-school qualifications. That Major Cities continue to be the main source of increases in non-school qualifications is most likely a combination of the concentration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population growth in Major Cities and the location of vocational and tertiary institutions.

The distribution of the increase in non-school qualifications across males and females in 2011-2016 is similar to the increase observed in 2006-2011. Females continue to have higher completion rates across all levels of non-school qualification than males except for Certificate III level, and are obtaining non-school qualifications at a faster rate than males (see Educational Attendance and Attainment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons in: Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2016 [cat. no. 2076.0]).

Graph Image for 5.5 Highest level of non-school qualification, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 25 years and over, 2006-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes Postgraduate degrees and Graduate Certificate/Diploma. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.

Source(s): Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016



As was observed for Year 12 attainment, when the increase in non-school qualification attainment of 25 year olds and above is distributed across ages, the youngest cohort, persons aged 25-29, are the largest source of the increase (56.9%) across every qualification. This was also observed between 2006 and 2011 and is influenced by the natural progression of this age cohort through the education system.

When persons aged 25-29 years are removed from the age cohort analysis, a clearer picture of the increases in non-school qualification attainment by age emerges. As people age, they move into higher levels of education. This is particularly prevalent at the Postgraduate and Bachelor degree level suggesting that part of the increases in non-school qualification attainment between 2011 and 2016 may be partially driven by people completing their non-school qualifications and moving onto further study.

Graph Image for 5.6 Non-school qualification by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 30 years and over, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Proportions calculated as a proportion across age groups. (c) Includes graduate diploma and graduate certificate. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Attainment of non-school Qualifications in the ACLD

Between the 2006-2011 ACLD and 2011-2016 ACLD there were observed improvements in non-school qualification attainment in both the consistently and newly-identified populations. However, the newly-identified population has a higher rate of non-school qualification attainment than the consistently-identified population. This is likely influenced by the greater proportion of newly-identified persons with a non-school qualification who were living in Major Cities (54.6%) and is consistent with the overall distribution of non-school qualifications across remoteness areas between the 2011 and 2016 Census.

5.7 Highest level of non-school qualification, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 25 years and over, Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2006-2016

Newly-identified
Consistently-identified

2006-11(a)
2011-16(b)
Percentage point difference
2006-11(a)
2011-16(b)
Percentage point difference

%
Difference
%
Difference

Postgraduate Level(c)
4.2
6.0
1.8
3.8
4.4
0.6
Bachelor Degree Level
10.9
14.7
3.8
13.0
11.9
–1.1
Advanced Diploma/ Diploma Level
12.8
15.8
3.0
12.5
14.7
2.2
Certificate IV
6.7
9.5
2.8
7.3
9.1
1.8
Certificate III
39.6
34.7
–4.9
29.9
29.8
–0.1
Certificate I/II
1.9
3.8
1.9
5.9
5.7
–0.2
Total persons aged 25 years and over with a non-school qualification(d)
12 853
35 606
. .
104 200
144 897
. .

(a) Based on highest level of non-school qualification in 2011.
(b) Includes graduate diploma and graduate certificate.
(c) Based on highest level of non-school qualification in 2016.
(d) Includes level of education not stated, certificate not further defined and inadequately described.
. . Not applicable
Note: Cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.6
Source: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2006-2011; 2011-2016.


Intercensal Changes in Certificate and Diploma level qualifications

There was an 80.0% increase between 2011 and 2016 in the number of persons with Certificate IV level qualifications, and a 73.4% increase in the number of persons with an Advanced Diploma/Diploma level qualification (73.4%).

The contribution of Advanced Diploma/Diploma level studies to the overall increase in non-school qualifications was up by 5.7 percentage points from 15.0% over 2006-2011 to 20.7% over 2011-2016.

The growth in Certificate IV and Advanced Diploma/Diploma studies coincides with a reduction in the rate of growth of persons with Certificate III and Certificate II level qualifications. This suggests that more people are completing higher levels of non-school qualifications. For example, persons who may have completed a Certificate III at the time of the 2011 Census may have since completed a Diploma or Advanced Diploma.

Major Cities were the greatest contributor to increases across all Certificate and Diploma level qualifications. This is most apparent at the Advanced Diploma and Diploma level where Major Cities accounted for 52.1% of the increase between 2011 and 2016.

Graph Image for 5.8 Increase in Certificate and Diploma qualifications, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 25 and over, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes Remote and Very Remote Australia. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.

Source(s): Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016



Attainment of Certificate and Diploma level qualifications in the ACLD

In the ACLD, between 2006 and 2016, the consistently-identified population recorded increases in attainment at the Certificate IV level (up 1.8 percentage points) and Advanced Diploma/Diploma level (up 2.2 percentage points). The newly-identified population recorded increases in attainment across all non-school qualification levels between 2006 and 2016 except for Certificate III (down from 39.6% in 2006-2011 to 34.7% in 2011-2016). There was a substantial increase in attainment of qualifications at the Diploma level and above, rising from 27.9% to 36.5%.

Intercensal Changes in Tertiary qualifications

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 years and over with tertiary qualifications has risen between 2011 and 2016. There was a 46.9% increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 25 years and over with a Bachelor degree and a 76.5% increase in the number of people with a Postgraduate degree.

The effect of remoteness is particularly pronounced at the Bachelor and Postgraduate degree level. As with Certificate and Diploma level studies, Major Cities were the biggest contributor to increases in university level qualifications between 2011 and 2016. This may be a side effect of the concentration of Australia’s university campuses in Major City areas combined with overall Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population growth in Major Cities.

Females in Major Cities accounted for over a third of the increases in Bachelor Degree and Postgraduate Degree level qualifications – outpacing their male counterparts. As population growth in Major Cities between 2011 and 2016 was fairly similar for males and females, this is likely reflecting an actual increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females in Major Cities undertaking and completing non-school qualifications.

Graph Image for 5.9 Increase in Tertiary qualifications, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 25 years and over, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Remote includes Remote and Very Remote Australia. (c) Includes Postgraduate degrees and Graduate Certificate/Diploma. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.

Source(s): Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016



Attainment of Tertiary qualifications in the ACLD

There was a small increase in the number of consistently-identified people with a Bachelor degree (up 3,624 people) however the proportion of consistently-identified people with a Bachelor degree in the 2011-2016 ACLD was lower than the 2006-2011 ACLD (11.9% compared to 13.0%). This change coincides with an increase in the proportion of consistently-identified people with a Postgraduate qualification (3.8% in 2006-2011 to 4.4% in 2011-2016).


LABOUR FORCE STATUS

The Closing the Gap employment related target aims to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018)3.

In the Census, respondents are asked questions about: whether they worked last week; the hours worked; whether they were looking for work; and their availability to start work. These responses were used to determine if a person was employed, unemployed or not in the labour force.

The Census and the Labour Force Survey both collect information about labour market activity of persons aged 15 years and over. While both collections measure concepts related to employment, unemployment and being outside of the labour force, there are a number of differences between them. The fact sheet The 2016 Census and the Labour Force Survey outlines the key uses of each collection, how the collections differ, and why the statistics produced in each of these two collections are not directly comparable.


Labour force status and the Community Development Programme

In the 2006 and 2011 Census, participants in the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) were classified as employed. This scheme has since been replaced by the Community Development Programme (CDP). People participating only in this programme are not considered to be employed for the 2016 Census. For more information on this change please see the Community Development Programme Participation (CDPP) Data Quality Statement.

For the purposes of the 2006 and 2011 Census analysis presented below, CDP participants have had their labour force status updated to unemployed. This change most impacts data for Remote and Very Remote Australia.

It is not currently possible to make the same adjustments to ACLD data. As a result, ACLD analysis in this section has been limited to the 2011-2016 ACLD dataset and has been derived based on a person’s labour force status in 2016.



Between 2011 and 2016, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who were in the labour force increased by 44,464 people or 25.0%. Over half (58.6%) of this increase came from people living in Major Cities. During the same period, the number of people not in the labour force also increased (up 34,247 people).

Changes in the labour force population have translated to small percentage point changes in labour force status in the Census between 2011 and 2016.

5.10 Labour force status and selected labour market indicators by sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2011-2016(a)


Males
Females
Persons

2011
2016
2011
2016
2011
2016
%

Employed
43.6
44.5
37.9
40.6
40.7
42.5
Unemployed
11.8
10.7
8.4
8.2
10.0
9.4
Not in the labour force
39.4
40.9
49.0
47.6
44.4
44.3
Labour force participation rate(b)
55.4
55.2
46.3
48.8
50.7
51.9
Unemployment rate(c)
21.4
19.4
18.1
16.9
19.8
18.2

no.

Total number of persons in the labour force
94 160
115 422
84 009
107 216
178 172
222 636
Total number of persons not in the labour force
66 971
85 550
88 920
104 587
155 885
190 132
Total number of persons aged 15 years and over(d)
169 813
209 112
181 470
219 663
351 281
428 777

(a) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors.
(b) Labour force participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed persons as a proportion of the total population aged 15 years and over.
(c) Unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a proportion of the total labour force population.
(d) Includes labour force status not stated.
Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.8
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016

Intercensal Changes in Labour Force Composition

Young people aged 15-19 in 2011 who entered the workforce between 2011 and 2016 were the major contributor to changes in labour force status for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses. This age group accounted for half of the increase in persons not in the labour force (49.7%) with over three-quarters of 15-19 year olds who were not in the labour force attending some form of educational institution (77.3%).

When the 15-19 year age group is removed from age cohort analysis, the youngest age group – persons aged 20-24 years become the major contributor to changes in labour force status between 2011 and 2016. The number of persons in the labour force after the age of 55 years drops, together with their contribution to overall increases in labour force status.

Employment to population ratio

The employment to population ratio is the number of employed persons aged 15 years and over expressed as a proportion of the total population aged 15 years and over.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment to population ratio has risen slightly from 38.2% in 2006 to 40.7% in 2011 and 42.5% in 2016. Whilst females have a lower employment to population ratio than males, females are increasingly participating in the labour force.

Remoteness plays a significant role in the proportion of people aged 15 years and over who are employed. Whilst the employment to population ratio has increased for all remoteness areas between 2006 and 2016, persons in Remote areas remain far less likely to be employed. In Major Cities, the employment to population ratio was 50.4% in 2016, whereas in Very Remote areas, it was 27.0%.

Graph Image for 5.11 Employment to population ratio by Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 and over, 2006-2016 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) For the purposes of time series, 2006 and 2011 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) participants have had their labour force status updated to unemployed. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing 2006-2016



Employment to population ratio in the ACLD

Of all three identification groups in the 2011-2016 ACLD, the employment to population ratio was significantly lower for consistently-identified persons (43.3%) compared to newly and previously-identified persons (54.3% and 55.8% respectively).

5.12 Employment to population ratio, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2011-2016(a)



2011-2016 ACLD(b)
Census

Consistently-identified
Newly-identified
Previously-identified
2011(c)
2011(d)
2016

%

Employment to population ratio
43.3
54.3
55.8
42.0(c)
40.7(d)
42.5
Total number of persons aged 15 years and over(e)
424 990
88 832
34 314
351 281
351 281
428 777


(a) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors.
(b) Based on labour force status in 2016.
(c) Not adjusted to account for changes to the labour force status of CDEP participants.
(d) Adjusted to account for changes to the labour force status of CDEP participants.
(e) Includes labour force status not stated.
Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.
ACLD cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.8 and 4.10
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016; Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2011-2016.

Labour force participation rate

The labour force participation rate is the number of people who are in the labour force (either employed or unemployed) aged 15 years and over expressed as a proportion of the total population aged 15 years and over. The labour force participation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has remained relatively stable between 2006 and 2016 (51.2% in 2006 to 51.9% in 2016).

There is significant variability in labour force participation rates (and the rate at which is changes between Censuses) across Remoteness areas between 2006 and 2016. In Very Remote Australia, the labour force participation rate has fluctuated significantly – peaking at 46.2% in 2006 and dropping to 38.1% in 2016.

Graph Image for 5.13 Labour force participation rate(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2006-2016

Footnote(s): (a) Labour force participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed persons as a proportion of the total population aged 15 years and over. (b) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016



The labour force participation rate for females rose 2.5 percentage points between 2011 and 2016, whilst for males it remained relatively stable (down 0.2 percentage points). Looking at the contribution of males compared to females to the increase in the labour force population, it appears as though more women are moving into the labour force.

Labour force participation rate in the ACLD

The labour force participation rate was nearly 10 percentage points higher than the consistently-identified population and similar to that of newly-identified persons.

5.14 Labour force participation rate(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2011-2016(b)

2011-2016 ACLD(b)
Census

Consistently-identified
Newly-identified
Previously-identified
2011(d)
2011(e)
2016

%

Labour force participation rate
53.7
62.7
63.1
50.7(d)
50.7(e)
51.9
Total number of persons aged 15 years and over(e)
424 990
88 832
34 314
351 281
351 281
428 777


(a) Labour force participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed persons as a proportion of the total population aged 15 years and over.
(b) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors.
(c) Based on labour force status in 2016.
(d) Not adjusted to account for changes to the labour force status of CDEP participants.
(e) Adjusted to account for changes to the labour force status of CDEP participants.
(f) Includes labour force status not stated.
Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.
ACLD cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.8 and 4.10
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016; Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset,-2016.


Unemployment rate


The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons (who are looking for work) aged 15 years and over expressed as a proportion of the total labour force.

The national unemployment rate from the Census for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2016 was 18.2%. This compares with 19.8% in 2011 and 25.3% in 2006. The 2016 unemployment rate was higher for males (19.4%) than females (16.9%) with males recording a higher unemployment rate across all remoteness areas.

As with the employment to population ratio and the labour force participation rate, there are substantial differences in the unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Major Cities compared to those living in Remote and Very Remote Australia. The unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Very Remote Australia (29.1%) in 2016 was double that of Major Cities (14.6%).

Graph Image for 5.15 Unemployment rate(a) by Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2006-2016(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a proportion of the total labour force population. (b) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (c) For the purposes of time series, 2006 and 2011 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) participants have had their labour force status updated to unemployed. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016


Unemployment rate in the ACLD

In the 2011-2016 ACLD, the unemployment rates for the newly and previously-identified population were similar (13.2% compared to 11.8%). Both rates were significantly lower than the unemployment rate in the consistently-identified population (19.4%).


5.16 Unemployment rate(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2011-2016(b)

2011-2016 ACLD(b)
Census

Consistently-identified
Newly-identified
Previously-identified
2011(d)
2011(e)
2016

%

Unemployment Rate
19.4
13.2
11.8
17.1(d)
19.8(e)
18.2
Total number of persons aged 15 years and over(f)
424 990
88 832
34 314
351 281
351 281
428 777


(a) Unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a proportion of the total labour force population.
(b) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors.
(c) Based on labour force status in 2016.
(d) Not adjusted to account for changes to the labour force status of CDEP participants.
(e) Adjusted to account for changes to the labour force status of CDEP participants.
(f) Includes labour force status not stated.
Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.8 and 4.10
ACLD cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016; Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset,-2016.

The labour force composition of all three ACLD population groups in the 2011-2016 ACLD dataset reveals differences in the labour force outcomes of consistently-identified persons compared to newly and previously-identified persons. The better labour force outcomes for newly and previously-identified persons is potentially influencing changes in labour force status for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons between the 2011 and 2016 Census. However, given that the number of newly and previously-identified persons in the 2011-2016 ACLD is substantially smaller than the number of consistently-identified persons, their degree of influence on changes in labour force status observed in the Census may only be minor.

PERSONAL INCOME

Personal income is closely associated with a person’s engagement in education and training and overall socio-economic living conditions. This analysis will cover two measures of personal income – median personal weekly income and ranged personal weekly income.

Personal weekly income in the Census

Personal weekly income is the total income a person usually receives each week and is collected for all persons aged 15 years and over.

In addition to the Census, data on personal income is available from other ABS sources, such as the Survey of Income and Housing (cat. no. 6553.0) and Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas, 2011-2015 (cat. no. 6524.0.55.002). Personal income reported through these sources is not directly comparable with the Census measure.

For detailed information on the differences between income data from the Census, Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas, and the Survey of Income and Housing, please see the Total Personal Income (weekly) (INCP) data quality statement.



Personal weekly income

The following analysis has not been adjusted to account for inflation.

Intercensal Changes in Personal Weekly Income

The personal weekly income brackets with the greatest increases between 2011 and 2016 were all in the top three income brackets:
  • $2 000 or more (up 105.9%)
  • $1 500-$1 999 (up 82.2%)
  • $1 250-$1 499 (up 50.6%)

This coincides with a decline of 13.0% in the $1-$299 per week income bracket and minimal growth in the $300-$399 per week bracket (up 4.4%).

Noting significant intercensal growth in personal income is a result of inflation, observing the distribution of the increase in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population across all income brackets provides a rich picture of the distribution in changes in personal weekly income.

The personal weekly income bracket with the biggest proportion (38.3%) of the 2011-2016 intercensal increase was $400-$799. A further 18.1% of the intercensal increase contributed to the nil income bracket, mainly driven by young people aged 15-19 years (noting an increase in educational qualifications over the intercensal period means the number of persons in school or studying in this age range is increasing).

When the intercensal increase for each income bracket is distributed across remoteness areas, almost all of the increase in each income bracket came from Major Cities or Inner Regional areas. Major Cities accounted for almost of half of the increases in the three highest income brackets. This partly explains the continued growth in median personal weekly income in Major Cities.

Changes in personal weekly income between 2011 and 2016 were driven by the two Remoteness areas where unexplainable change was greatest – Major Cities and Inner Regional areas. It is therefore likely that in addition to factors such as inflation and labour markets, Remoteness is influencing the changes in personal weekly income observed between 2011 and 2016.

Graph Image for 5.17 Distribution of increases in income by Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 15 and over, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Proportions calculated including persons who did not state their personal weekly income. Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Young people aged 15-19 years are responsible for a substantial amount of the population increase across most income brackets, particularly at for the nil (194.4%) and negative income (175.8%) cohorts. In the $400-$799 income bracket, the largest increase in counts came from the 20-24 year old age cohort (44.2% of the overall increase in this bracket). This is most likely a result of this cohort moving into the labour force or transitioning from part time to full time work.

Personal Weekly Income in the ACLD

The distribution of income in the 2016 Census closely mirrored the distribution for the 2011-2016 consistently-identified population. The distribution of all three ACLD populations was relatively similar, suggesting that identification change does not have a substantial impact on personal weekly income.

5.18 Personal weekly income, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, 2011-2016


2011-2016 ACLD(a)

2016 Census(b)
Consistently-identified
Newly-identified
Previously-identified

%

Negative income
0.6
1.0
0.6
0.8
Nil income
10.3
10.6
10.0
10.0
$1-$299
21.7
16.4
12.3
20.1
$300-$399
10.8
10.0
9.1
10.4
$400-$799
24.5
26.3
27.2
24.3
$800-$999
6.9
7.9
10.4
6.8
$1,000-$1,249
6.4
7.5
7.1
6.0
$1,250-$1,499
3.5
4.0
4.4
3.7
$1,500-$1,999
4.6
6.2
6.7
4.5
$2,000 or more
3.4
5.1
5.1
3.4
Total(c)
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0


(a) Based on personal weekly income in 2016.
(b) Usual residence Census counts. Includes Other Territories. Excludes overseas visitors.
(c) Includes not stated.
Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016.
ACLD cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
See Datacube Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics, Table 4.11 and 4.13
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing 2016; Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2011-2016.

Median personal weekly income

Part of the analysis below includes adjustments to account for inflation.

Median personal weekly income for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over is on the rise. In 2006, median personal weekly income was $278. This rose to $362 in 2011 and $441 in 2016. When indexed to 2016 annual Consumer Price Index to account for inflation, median personal weekly income was $353 for 2006 and $398 for 2011.

Remoteness has a substantial impact on median personal weekly income for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Major Cities had consistently higher personal weekly incomes than Regional and Remote Australia between 2006 and 2016; this remains the case when median personal weekly income from the 2006 Census is indexed to account for inflation using the 2016 annual Consumer Price Index.

Graph Image for 5.19 Median personal weekly income by Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 and over, 2006-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Census median personal weekly income indexed to annual 2016 Consumer Price Index. For further information see Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator. See Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2017 (ABS cat. no. 6461.0) Note: Totals and components may not be consistent within and between tables due to introduced random error to protect confidentiality of Census respondents - see Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).

Source(s): Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016



Whilst labour market conditions undoubtedly account for a substantial part of the changes in median personal weekly income, it is also possible that some change is being driven by changes in identification. This could partly account for the disproportionately higher median personal incomes in Major Cities – the main source of increases in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population between 2011 and 2016.



ENDNOTES

1 For further information and detailed analysis on education Closing Gap Targets, see: https://closingthegap.pmc.gov.au/education

2 Excludes persons with a qualification that is out of scope of the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001(cat. no. 1272.0) and persons currently studying toward their first non-school qualification. For further information, see QALLP Non-School Qualification: Level of Education in Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016 (ABS cat. no. 2901.0).

3 For further information see: https://closingthegap.pmc.gov.au/employment