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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October 30, 2009
Embargo: 11.30 am (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009
Gains in Indigenous education and work but gaps remain: ABS

There have been gains in Indigenous education and employment over the six years to 2008. As there were also gains for all Australians, gaps remain between outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, according to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

More young Indigenous people are completing Year 12 and further studies. In 2008, over one-in-five (21%) Indigenous people aged 15–64 years had completed Year 12 (up from 18% in 2002), while 40% of those aged 25–64 years held a non-school qualification (up from 32%).

Despite these improvements, educational attainment rates remain at around half those for non-Indigenous people. In 2008, 54% of non-Indigenous people had completed Year 12 and 61% had non-school qualifications.

More Indigenous Australians were in employment in 2008, 54% of people aged 15-64 years, up from 48% in 2002. Correspondingly, the unemployment rate for Indigenous people decreased from 23% to 17%, but this rate was over three times the rate for all Australians in 2008.

For adults (15+ years) smoking rates were lower in 2008 (47%), a decline from 51% in 2002 while other health outcomes remained stable, with close to half (44%) of all adults reporting ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ health in 2002 and in 2008.

In 2008, over three quarters (77%) of children (aged 4-14 years) were also reported as having ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ health, with 74% of children physically active for at least 60 minutes everyday. The survey also showed that over three quarters (76%) of Indigenous infants (aged 0-3 years) had been breastfed.

Culture and language
More Indigenous adults identified with a clan, language or tribal group, 62% in 2008 up from 54% in 2002, while rates of speaking Indigenous languages have remained steady, with around 11% mainly speaking an Indigenous language at home.

Further information can be found in National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0), including state/territory comparisons for some indicators.

NATSISS summary table.xls

Media note: Please attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source when using our statistics