2077.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/10/2018   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


OVERVIEW OF THE INCREASE BETWEEN 2011 AND 2016

Key findings
  • Counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians increased by 18.4% between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses. This increase is less than the increase between 2006 and 2011 (20.5%).
  • The growth in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons between 2011 and 2016 is not consistent across the country, with growth primarily occurring in Major Cities and on the Eastern coast of Australia.

There were 100,803 more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians counted in the 2016 Census compared to 2011, an 18.4% increase. Since the introduction of the Standard Indigenous Question (SIQ) in 1996, the Census count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians increased by 83.9%.

Factors that can have an impact on the intercensal increase are:
    • The fertility rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, which have traditionally been higher than other Australian women.
    • People entering and leaving the population through migration.
    • Variation in Census coverage and response rates.
    • People changing if they identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person between Census years.

This chapter will quantify the intercensal increase between 2011 and 2016. It will be examined by age, state and territory and Remoteness. Change Explained by Demographic Factors and Change Not Explained by Demographic Factors will then break that increase up into its demographically-explainable and unexplainable components.


INTERCENSAL CHANGE BY AGE

An age cohort is a group of people with the same age within a defined period. For example, persons aged 30-34 years in 2016 are the same five-year cohort as persons who were aged 25-29 years in 2011. An age cohort analysis is used to analyse changes for a chosen group of people at points in time and is a way of examining Census data longitudinally without linking. Utilising an age-cohort analysis to examine intercensal change between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses can provide further insights into how change has impacted the overall population.

Expressing the intercensal change in each age cohort as a proportion of the total population change allows analysis on how each age group contributed to overall population change. The majority (72.7%) of the 100,803 person increase between 2011 and 2016 can be attributed to intercensal births (0-4 year olds). In a population where people cannot migrate in or out, we would expect 0-4 year olds to be the only cohort to contribute to population growth. However, between 2011 and 2016 almost every five-year age cohort under 70 years old increased in size.

After 0-4 year olds, the biggest contributing age groups were 5-9 year olds (8.3%) and 10-14 year olds (6.4%). In total, children under 15 accounted for 87.4% of the increase. Most other age cohorts had minor contributions of up to 2.9%.

Counts in some age cohorts decreased between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses, resulting in these cohorts making negative contributions to the population. These were primarily older age cohorts (70 years and over). The exception was the 20-24 years age cohort, which recorded a decrease of 1,748 in the count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons. Falls in this age cohort were observed in previous Census cycles and possibly reflect a small number of people being missed by the Census, then being picked up in subsequent Censuses later in life.

1.1 Age cohort change, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011-2016(a)(b)

2011 Census Count(c)
2016 Census Count
Change in Counts
Contribution to Increase
in Census Counts(d)

Age in 2016 Census
no.
%

0-4 years
. .
73 265
73 265
72.7
5-9 years
67 416
75 755
8 339
8.3
10-14 years
64 936
71 378
6 442
6.4
15-19 years
64 737
66 266
1 529
1.5
20-24 years
59 200
57 452
–1 748
–1.7
25-29 years
46 454
47 934
1 480
1.5
30-34 years
38 803
40 927
2 124
2.1
35-39 years
33 003
35 401
2 398
2.4
40-44 years
34 074
36 994
2 920
2.9
45-49 years
33 605
36 034
2 429
2.4
50-54 years
28 820
31 381
2 561
2.5
55-59 years
24 327
25 897
1 570
1.6
60-64 years
18 638
19 541
903
0.9
65-69 years
13 592
13 722
130
0.1
70-74 years
8 677
8 129
–548
–0.5
75-79 years
5 501
4 689
–812
–0.8
80-84 years
3 380
2 677
–703
–0.7
85 years and over
3 218
1 734
–1 484
–1.5

Total
548 368
649 171
100 803
100.0

(a) Usual Residence Census Counts. Excludes overseas visitors.
(b) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island.
(c) 2011 age groups have been adjusted up 5 years. For example, a person who was aged 0-4 in 2011 would be aged 5-9 years in 2016.
(d) Calculated as a proportion of total 2011-2016 intercensal change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counts.
. . not applicable
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 Overview of the Increase, Table 1.3
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016

Across all age cohorts, population changes were generally consistent for males and females. Slightly more males contributed to the increasing population in younger age groups and slightly more females in older age groups. Again, the exception was the 20-24 year old cohort where counts of males fell significantly more than counts of females, with males contributing approximately two thirds of the decrease in this cohort.

Graph Image for 1.2 Intercensal change by age cohort and sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) In order to measure the unexplainable change in Census counts between 2011 and 2016, the net effects of births, deaths and overseas migration are added (or subtracted) to the 2011 Census count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people to produce an expected 2016 count. The expected 2016 count is then compared to the actual 2016 Census count. (b) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island was not in scope for 2011. 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, ABS Birth Registrations, ABS Death Registrations.


INTERCENSAL CHANGE BY REMOTENESS

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Structure is a geographic classification that divides Australia into broad regions that share common characteristics of Remoteness. Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations can vary significantly between different types of Remoteness areas making this classification very valuable for understanding the overall population.

Remoteness is associated with poorer outcomes on a range of Closing the Gap targets (see Closing the Gap targets: 2017 analysis of progress and key drivers of change released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). Consequentially, changes in the population distribution across Remoteness areas may impact on the progress towards meeting these targets (see Impact of Intercensal Change on Selected Characteristics).

Since the 2006 Census, the distribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Remote and Non-Remote Australia has shifted. Proportionally, more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are living in Major Cities and Inner Regional Areas and fewer people are living in Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia and Very Remote Australia. These shifts are larger between the 2011 Census and the 2016 Census than they were between the 2006 Census and the 2011 Census.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Major Cities accounted for the greatest proportion (53.6% or 53,981 persons) of the additional 100,803 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons counted in the 2016 Census. Other major contributions came from Inner Regional areas (34.0% or 34,309 persons) and Outer Regional areas (9.3% or 9,391 persons). Remote and Very Remote areas contributed just 2.3% of the overall increase (2,351 persons).

In terms of population distribution, Outer Regional Australia and Very Remote Australia recorded the largest percentage point falls between 2011 and 2016 (1.9 percentage points each). Percentage growth fell in Outer Regional areas by 12.2 percentage points, and 10.3 percentage points in Very Remote areas.


1.3 Growth in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by Remoteness, 2006-2016(a)
Horizontal stacked bar graph: Increase in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander been the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Censuses in Major Cities, Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia and Very Remote Australia


(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.2
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006-2016

All states and territories had significant population growth in Non-Remote areas between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses. New South Wales (26.6%), Victoria (26.1%) and Queensland (23.2%) saw large increases in their Non-Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. The Northern Territory had the smallest (7.8%) increase, while the ACT’s seemingly-large increase was off a low base.

The Northern Territory had the largest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons living in Remote areas, which saw essentially no growth (0.1%) between 2011 and 2016. Queensland (5.3%), Tasmania (6.1%) and Western Australia (3.7%) were the only jurisdictions to record positive growth in Remote areas.


Graph Image for 1.4 Intercensal change by State and Territory and Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) There are no remote or very remote areas in the ACT. For further information see Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2016 (ABS cat. no. 1270.0.55.005). (c) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island. 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


INTERCENSAL CHANGE BY REMOTENESS AND AGE

Intercensal births (age cohort 0-4) will always show the largest increase between Censuses. For cohorts aged 5 years and over, growth primarily occurred in Major Cities and Inner Regional areas. In Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote areas there were declines in counts in almost every age cohort.

Considering growth was much higher in Non-Remote areas than in Remote areas, it is expected that there are very different patterns in their age cohort analyses. In Remote and Very Remote areas, almost every age cohort made a negative contribution to the area’s overall population change. This means that almost the entire population growth in these areas came from births (0-4 year olds) and that non-demographic factors such as changing propensity to identify are not a significant factor in these areas.

In Major Cities and Inner Regional areas, 0-4 year olds were much smaller contributors to the overall increase, contributing just over half of total population change in these areas. This is significantly lower than the contribution 0-4 year olds made to the national increase (72.7%) and suggests an increased propensity to identify has a significant influence on intercensal population change in these areas.

Children aged 5-14 were the second largest contributor to the national increase (14.7%). This can also be observed in Major Cities (17.5%), Inner Regional (19.1%) and Outer Regional areas (8.5%). However, in Remote areas only 5-9 years olds had a positive contribution.

1.5 Age cohort contributions to total increase by Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011-2016(a)(b)

Major Cities of Australia
Inner Regional Australia
Outer Regional Australia
Remote Australia
Very Remote Australia
Australia(b)

Age in 2016
%

0-4 years
50.9
54.4
153.5
932.3
438.9
72.7
5-9 years
8.9
9.8
5.2
5.3
–12.3
8.3
10-14 years
8.6
9.3
3.3
–74.7
–70.6
6.4
15-19 years
6.5
2.9
–18.5
–161.3
–34.7
1.5
20-24 years
3.5
–1.8
–25.7
–136.9
–4.2
–1.7
25-29 years
3.2
2.2
–3.7
–52.3
–25.1
1.5
30-34 years
3.1
3.3
–1.9
–38.7
–22.9
2.1
35-39 years
3.2
3.6
–0.3
–59.3
–19.1
2.4
40-44 years
3.8
3.9
–1.4
–41.5
–15.7
2.9
45-49 years
3.1
3.4
–0.6
–52.5
–12.5
2.4
50-54 years
2.7
3.3
0.6
–13.0
–5.6
2.5
55-59 years
2.0
2.9
0.3
–36.7
–19.1
1.6
60-64 years
1.1
2.1
0.1
–38.7
–14.9
0.9
65-69 years
0.5
1.2
0.0
–29.9
–22.9
0.1
70-74 years
–0.1
0.3
–2.3
–22.6
–14.0
–0.5
75-79 years
–0.1
–0.1
–3.3
–26.6
–14.9
–0.8
80-84 years
–0.3
–0.2
–2.5
–15.2
–9.1
–0.7
85 years and over
–0.8
–0.6
–3.0
–38.9
–20.0
–1.5

(a) Usual Residence Census Counts. Excludes overseas visitors.
(b) Includes Migratory-offshore-shipping and Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island.
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 Overview of the Increase, Table 1.4
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2016


INTERCENSAL CHANGE BY STATE AND TERRITORY

New South Wales had the largest numerical increase (43,551) in its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population between 2011 and 2016, while Victoria had the highest percentage growth (25.8%). The Australian Capital Territory had the smallest numerical increase in population of all states and territories (1,324), but large percentage growth (25.5%).

Across all states and territories, percentage growth in the number of males (19.2%) was slightly greater than that for females (17.6%). The Australian Capital Territory was the only state or territory where there was greater growth in the number of females than males (27.9% compared to 23.0%).

Graph Image for 1,6 Intercensal change by State and Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island. 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, 2016


New South Wales

New South Wales (NSW) recorded the largest count of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2016 (216,176) and contributed almost half (43.2%) of the overall increase in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

The majority (57.3%) of population growth in NSW was attributable to 0-4 year olds with 5-14 year olds contributing a further 17.3% of growth. Persons aged 5 years and over contributed more to population growth in NSW (42.9%) than they did nationally (27.4%).

With the exception of intercensal births (0-4 year olds in 2016), there were falls across all age cohorts in Remote areas in NSW. There were increases in all age cohorts in Non-Remote areas.


Graph Image for 1.7 Intercensal change by age cohort and Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, NSW, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes migratory-offshore-shipping and no usual address. 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


Approximately two-thirds (71.9%) of population growth in NSW came from the two Indigenous Regions with the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, NSW Central and North Coast (40.1%) and Sydney-Wollongong (31.8%). Approximately a third of the increase in each of these two regions came from persons aged 15 years and over.

1.8 Age Cohort Change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, New South Wales Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

0-4 years
5-9 years
10-14 years
15 years and older
Total

New South Wales Indigenous Region
no.

Dubbo
1 602
–34
–20
–117
1 439
North-Eastern NSW
2 604
221
197
274
3 292
North-Western NSW
810
2
–110
–670
34
NSW Central and North Coast
8 103
1 890
1 650
5 817
17 452
Riverina - Orange
3 065
417
470
850
4 803
South-Eastern NSW
1 578
262
196
709
2 742
Sydney - Wollongong
7 160
1 232
1 207
4 247
13 852

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Victoria

Census counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in Victoria increased by 25.8% between 2011 and 2016. This increase contributed 9.7% of the national increase in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

Approximately half of population growth in Victoria was attributable to 0-4 year olds with 5-14 year olds contributing a further 14.7% to total state growth. Persons aged 0-4 years contributed less to Victoria’s population growth than they did nationally, while 44.0% of growth came from persons aged 5 years and over compared to 27.4% nationally.

Between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses, there were consistent increases in the counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in all five-year age groups up to 69 years, including those aged 20-24 in 2016. In this respect, Victoria’s population distribution differs from the national distribution, but is consistent with the 2011 Census where an increase was also recorded in Victoria for this age cohort.


Graph Image for 1.9 Intercensal change by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Victoria, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors.

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



The overall increase in Victoria was divided fairly evenly across Victoria’s two Indigenous Regions with Melbourne contributing 58.3% of the total state increase and Victoria (exc. Melbourne) contributing the remaining 41.7%. However, the contribution by age cohort was different between the two regions with persons aged 15 years and over contributing 42.2% of the total increase in Melbourne but only 11.7% of the total increase in Victoria (exc. Melbourne).

1.10 Age Cohort Change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Victoria Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

0-4 years
5-9 years
10-14 years
15 years and older
Total

Victoria Indigenous Region
no.

Melbourne
2 395
437
474
2 409
5 712
Victoria exc. Melbourne
3 058
289
254
480
4 086

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016

Queensland

Queensland recorded the second-largest count (186,482) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2016, after NSW.

There was an increase of 21,857 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders aged 0-4 years counted in 2016, which accounted for nearly three-quarters of the overall increase in the state (71.3%). Children aged 5-14 years contributed a further 15.0%, meaning the increase in Queensland counts was driven almost entirely by children under 15.

As observed in NSW, the increase in Queensland was entirely focused in Non-Remote areas, where there were increases in almost every age cohort. With the exception of intercensal births (0-4 year olds in 2016), all age cohorts saw a decline in Remote areas.

The population of 20-24 years olds in Queensland decreased in both Remote and Non-Remote areas, although there was a small increase in Major Cities.




Graph Image for 1.11 Intercensal change by age cohort and Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Queensland, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes migratory-offshore-shipping and no usual address. 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

Growth in Queensland was strongest in the Indigenous Region of Brisbane. Brisbane added 17,463 people between Census years and contributed 57.0% of the overall state increase. There was also modest growth on Queensland’s Eastern coast with Rockhampton and Townsville-Mackay contributing a further quarter of the state’s overall growth. Brisbane, Rockhampton and Toowoomba-Roma were the only Indigenous Regions in Queensland that recorded positive growth in persons 15 years and over.

1.12 Age Cohort Change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Queensland Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

0-4 years
5-9 years
10-14 years
15 years and older
Total

Queensland Indigenous Region
no.

Brisbane
8 143
1 587
1 592
6 141
17 463
Cairns - Atherton
2 628
–40
–29
–1 558
999
Cape York
1 123
77
–33
–284
888
Mount Isa
866
–76
–156
–693
–57
Rockhampton
2 753
366
272
404
3 791
Toowoomba - Roma
2 353
146
240
113
2 853
Torres Strait
756
59
–90
–13
703
Townsville - Mackay
3 197
412
341
–11
3 940

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


South Australia

In the 2016 Census, South Australia’s (SA) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased by 3,752 persons (12.3%), mostly driven by growth in Non-Remote areas. Similarly to the pattern observed in Queensland, SA’s population growth was driven almost entirely by children under 15.

Graph Image for 1.13 Intercensal change by age cohort and Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, South Australia, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes migratory-offshore-shipping and no usual address. 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


Growth in SA was almost entirely attributed to the Indigenous Region of Adelaide, which grew by 3,535 people, contributing 94.2% of the overall state increase. The remaining population growth was in Port Augusta, with Port Lincoln-Ceduna recording small negative change. Population growth in both Adelaide and Port Augusta was primarily driven by 0-4 year olds.

1.14 Age Cohort Change, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, South Australia Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

0-4 years
5-9 years
10-14 years
15 years and older
Total

South Australia Indigenous Region
no.

Adelaide
2 769
365
253
148
3 535
Port Augusta
776
23
–44
–485
268
Port Lincoln - Ceduna
238
–5
–17
–366
–145

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.4
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Western Australia

Western Australia’s (WA) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population had one of the smallest percentage increases between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses (9.1%). The state had the fourth-highest increase in counts, adding 6,314 persons. Similar to Queensland, all population growth in WA came from children aged 0-14 years with a decline across all other age cohorts.

Keeping with national trends, the increase in WA is focused in Non-Remote areas. With the exception of intercensal births (0-4 year olds in 2016), the only Remote age cohort that saw an increase was children 5-9 years. In contrast with other states and territories, there were decreases in counts recorded in many age cohorts in Non-Remote areas as well as in Remote areas.

Graph Image for 1.15 Intercensal change by age cohort and Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, WA, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. (b) Includes migratory-offshore-shipping and no usual address. 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): AustralianCensus of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Growth in WA was driven by growth in the Indigenous Regions of Perth (56.8%), South-Western WA (19.7%), South Hedland (17.6%) and West Kimberley (14.5%). South Hedland and Western Kimberly were the only two Indigenous Regions in WA to record an increase in counts for persons 15 years and over.

1.16 Age Cohort Change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Western Australia Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

0-4 years
5-9 years
10-14 years
15 years and older
Total

Western Australia Indigenous Region
no.

Broome
525
36
1
–356
199
Geraldton
630
–39
–24
–725
–164
Kalgoorlie
630
–2
–74
–540
14
Kununurra
526
–127
–194
–944
–745
Perth
3 314
237
272
–236
3 584
South Hedland
902
139
16
49
1 110
South-Western WA
1 322
139
82
–297
1 247
West Kimberley
533
36
–3
351
914

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Tasmania

In the 2016 Census, Tasmania’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased by 3,947 persons (20.1%). Due to the small size of the state’s population, the change in the counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over between 2006 and 2011 was minor for most five-year age cohorts.

The distribution of the population changes in Tasmania in 2016 is consistent with the national trend. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-4 years in 2016 accounted for the majority (61.8% or 2,439 people) of the total increase with other children aged 5-14 years contributing a further 19.6% of total population change.

Graph Image for 1.17 Intercensal change by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Tasmania, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).

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


Northern Territory

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the Northern Territory (NT) increased by 1,469 people between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses. This increase was driven by births between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses. Apart from a very small rise in the count of women in the 50-54 year cohort, there were population decreases in every other cohort (excluding intercensal births).

The decrease in the 5-9 and 10-14 year olds old cohorts is particularly notable, since these cohorts saw increases in every other jurisdiction. Decreases in most age cohorts occurred in the NT in 2011 as well.

A large proportion of the NT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were living in Remote areas and it was Remote areas that made the major contribution to overall population change. Small growth in some age cohorts was observed in Non-Remote areas in the NT; however this was offset by larger declines in Remote areas.


Graph Image for 1.18 Intercensal change by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Northern Territory, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).

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


Four of the Indigenous Regions in the NT recorded intercensal population growth with the Darwin region (63.2%) and Nhulunbuy (20.3%) the main contributors to the Territory’s population growth.

1.19 Age Cohort Change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Northern Territory Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

0-4 years
5-9 years
10-14 years
15 years and older
Total

Northern Territory Indigenous Region
no.

Alice Springs
427
–35
–75
–404
–93
Apatula
687
–27
–139
–426
89
Darwin
1 243
122
128
–562
928
Jabiru - Tiwi
1 068
–94
–286
–659
28
Katherine
951
–85
–123
–903
–166
Nhulunbuy
845
64
–115
–508
298
Tennant Creek
367
–49
–110
–391
–179

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded the smallest increase in person counts (1,324) of all states and territories reflecting the small total population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons. Small increases were recorded for people aged 15 years and over between 2016 and 2011 for most five-year age cohorts.

Children and youth under 25 years accounted for most of the population growth (83.9%) in the ACT, with growth primarily driven by children age 0-4 years. The ACT was the only jurisdiction other than Victoria to record growth in the 20-24 years old cohort.

Graph Image for 1.20 Intercensal change by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australian Capital Territory, 2011-2016(a)

Footnote(s): (a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).

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


INTERCENSAL CHANGE BY INDIGENOUS REGIONS

Examining population change within Indigenous Regions shows significant variability across the country. The largest population increases occurred on Australia’s east coast with the Indigenous Regions of Brisbane (17,463 persons), NSW Central and North Coast (17,452 persons) and Sydney-Wollongong (13,852 persons) contributing 48.3% of the total national increase.

While most Indigenous Regions recorded population increases between 2011 and 2016, some did record small decreases. These regions were primarily in Remote Australia with the biggest decrease recorded in the Kununurra region (–745 persons), followed by Tennant Creek (–179 persons) and Katherine (–166 persons).

1.21 Intercensal change in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Indigenous Regions, 2011-2016(a)

Map: Intercensal change in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses in Indigenous Regions.

(a) 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Source: Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2011-2016


ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION

The Estimated Resident Population (ERP), is the official population estimate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It is calculated using the results of the 2016 Census as a base with adjustments applied during the intercensal period to account for births, deaths and overseas migration over time, together with an adjustment for the net Census undercount (as measured by the Census Post Enumeration Survey (PES) (see Technical Note 2 – The Undercount in the Census and the PES).

The final estimate of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population at 30 June 2016 was 798,365 people, up from 669,881 in 2011. Breaking this estimate down into age cohorts and by state/territory reveals how the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is distributed once adjusting for the net Census undercount. By comparing this breakdown to Census counts, we can then see whether the age cohorts that are contributing to the increase in Census counts are consistent with the estimated number of people in that age cohort based on ERP.

Graph Image for 1.22 Population change by age cohort and sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011(a)-2016(b)(c)(d)

Footnote(s): (a) 2011 Final Estimated Resident Population. See Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001). (b) 2016 Final Estimated Resident Population. See Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001). (c) 2011 age groups have been adjusted up 5 years. For example, a person who was aged 0-4 in 2011 would be aged 5-9 years in 2016. (d) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island was not in scope for 2011.

Source(s): Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001). Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001).


The majority of age cohorts made similar contributions to changes in ERP as they did to the change in Census counts. In both datasets, intercensal births, or young children aged 0-4 ,were the main source of intercensal population change, contributing 73.0% of the increase in ERP and 72.7% of the increase in Census counts.

There was a noticeable change between Census counts and ERP for young adults aged 20-24 years. This cohort made a negative contribution to the overall Census difference (–1.7%) but a positive contribution to the overall ERP difference (1.0%). Because the ERP adjusts for undercount, this suggests the difference may be attributable to undercount for this age cohort in the Census rather than a change in identification.

1.23 Contribution of age cohort to population increases, ERP and Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australia, 2011-2016

A - Contribution to ERP Increase
2011-2016(a)
B - Contribution to Census Count Increase 2011-2016(b)
Difference (A-B)

Age in 2016 Census
%
% points

0-4 years
73.0
72.7
0.3
5-9 years
8.6
8.3
0.3
10-14 years
5.5
6.4
–0.9
15-19 years
2.2
1.5
0.7
20-24 years
1.0
–1.7
2.7
25-29 years
1.1
1.5
–0.4
30-34 years
0.6
2.1
–1.5
35-39 years
1.7
2.4
–0.7
40-44 years
2.8
2.9
–0.1
45-49 years
2.1
2.4
–0.3
50-54 years
2.4
2.5
–0.1
55-59 years
1.2
1.6
–0.4
60-64 years
0.7
0.9
–0.2
65-69 years
0.2
0.1
0.1
70-74 years
-0.6
–0.5
–0.1
75-79 years
-0.7
–0.8
0.1
80-84 years
-0.6
–0.7
0.1
85 years and over
-1.2
–1.5
0.3

(a) 2016 Estimated Resident Population. See Australian Demographic Statistics, March 2017 (ABS cat. no. 3101.0).
(b) Usual Residence Census counts calculated as a proportion of total intercensal change. 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 (cat. no. 2901.0).
See Datacube Overview of the Increase, Table 1.5
Sources: ERP; Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2016.


ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION BY STATE AND TERRITORY

When comparing ERP and Census counts by State and Territory, Australia’s larger States – NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA and SA – showed a similar distribution across age cohorts to that observed nationally, with the majority of population growth from intercensal births (0-4 year olds) and young children (5-14 year olds).

The most notable exception could be seen in Victoria where 25-29 year olds contributed much less to changes in ERP estimates than changes in Census counts (3.0% compared to 0.2%).

In NSW, the contribution of age cohorts 15 years and over to population change was 26.9% - higher than all other states and territories and the national contribution (13.0%).




Graph Image for 1.24 Population change by age cohort and State and Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2011(a)-2016(b)(c)

Footnote(s): (a) 2011 Final Estimated Resident Population. See Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001). (b) 2016 Final Estimated Resident Population. See Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001). (c) 2011 age groups have been adjusted up 5 years. For example, a person who was aged 0-4 in 2011 would be aged 5-9 years in 2016. (d) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island.

Source(s): Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001). Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016 (ABS cat no. 3238.0.55.001).

COMPARING POPULATION PROJECTIONS AND ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION

Following the 2011 Census, the ABS projected that Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population would grow to 744,956 people in 2016. The 2016 Estimated Resident Population (ERP) shows the population is 7.2% bigger than the projected population at 798,365 persons.

Comparing ERP to the population projections, we can see the difference in the projected and actual 2016 populations has primarily been driven by children under 15, with 5-9 year olds making up 20.8% of the difference and 10-14 year olds contributing 13.4%. The large contribution of 5-14 year olds appears to be driven mainly by the unexplained increase in the Census counts for children in these age groups as, outside of new births, they were the largest contributors to intercensal growth.

Graph Image for 1.25 Difference in Population Projections(a) and ERP by age cohort, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2016(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Projection Series B. See Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 (ABS cat. no. 3238.0) for further information. (b) Includes Other Territories. Please note in 2016, this includes Norfolk Island.

Source(s): Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 (ABS cat. no. 3238.0). Australian Demographic Statistics, March 2017 (ABS cat no. 3101.0).