ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STATISTICS
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics Program provides governments and the community with reliable statistical information to support policy development and evaluation for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The program produces a range of statistics which contribute to an understanding of the overall wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including information on labour force participation, education, and health.
The program aims to improve the quality, timeliness and relevance of social, demographic and economic information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Key elements include: assessing and improving the quality of statistics available from the Census, surveys and administrative data sources; broad consultation and engagement with government and non-government stakeholders, as well as at the community level; analysis and reporting to explain and enhance understanding of data; and development of strategies to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of data collection and reduce respondent burden on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
The program produces a wide range of outputs including: statistics; information and technical papers; analytical reports and guides; and frameworks, standards and metadata to support effective use of information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
Specifically, the outputs of the program include:
- the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
- the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
- statistics on health and wellbeing from other ABS surveys, such as the Survey of Disability and Carers
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates and associated life-expectancy estimates
- Census of Population and Housing counts and characteristics, available to a small area level
- Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy
- provision of expertise, advice and data in supporting performance monitoring, including: Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reform initiatives, the Report on Government Services, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework
- statistical leadership to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics on population, mortality, health, housing, community services, education, employment, and law and justice
- analytical reports and information papers to enhance understanding and use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics
- coordination and promotion of improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics from administrative collections.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- deliver data quality improvements as agreed in the COAG's National Indigenous Reform Agreement (Schedule F) - due December 2013
- disseminate results from the 2011-2013 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey - due 2013-14
- develop and conduct the 2014 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey and disseminate results - ongoing to 2016
- update population estimates, projections and life expectancy following the 2011 Census - due 2013-14
- identify and implement strategies to improve frequency and relevance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics (e.g. through data pooling, linking and modelling) - ongoing
- work with clients to ensure informed use of ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics - ongoing
- build stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations through the Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy, to increase data quality, statistical capability and to manage provider load - ongoing.
Celia Moss, Assistant Statistician, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics
Topics @ a Glance - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples