4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples comprise approximately 2.5% of the total Australian population. In 2008, there were 520,350 Indigenous people living in private dwellings, of whom 90% identified as Aboriginal only, 5% identified as Torres Strait Islander only and 5% identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.


Across Australia, there were differences in the distribution of the Indigenous population. In 2008, just over two-thirds (68%) of Indigenous people lived outside the major cities, with 44% living in regional areas and 24% living in remote (or very remote) areas. More than half of the Indigenous population lived in either New South Wales (30%) or Queensland (28%), with another quarter living in either Western Australia (13%) or the Northern Territory (12%).


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is relatively young. In 2008, almost half (49%) of the Indigenous population was aged under 20 years and a further 16% were aged between 20 and 30 years. Just 3% of the Indigenous population were aged 65 years and over in 2008.

1.1 INDIGENOUS POPULATION, by age groups - 2008
Graph: Indigenous population by age groups - 2008

Differing Indigenous and non-Indigenous population age profiles should be taken into account when age-related data are being compared. Further information on the size, structure and distribution of the Indigenous population is provided in Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 (cat. no. 4713.0).