Latest release

Closing the Gap and Other National Government Reporting

Overview of ABS collections used in Closing the Gap and other National Government Reporting

Reference period
2021-22 financial year
Released
15/12/2021
Next release Unknown
First release

ABS surveys, the Census of Population and Housing and other administrative data are a key source of information for Closing the Gap and other government national reports.

These reports include information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on a range of topics such as:

  • Population and Demographics
  • Education and Work
  • Health and Disability
  • Crime and Justice
  • Culture and Language
  • Housing and Homelessness

Most of these reports provide analysis at National and/or State and Territory levels, with some additional analysis by Remoteness areas.

Closing the Gap

The National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the National Agreement) includes 17 National targets and associated outcomes. It is based on four Priority Reforms that will change how governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

Progress on the 17 National targets is monitored by the Productivity Commission and available in the Closing the Gap Information Repository. The Information Repository includes a data dashboard with the latest information on the 17 National targets and associated outcomes and annual data reports.

The ABS provided data and technical advice during the development of the National Agreement and continues to support the National Agreement through the Australian Government Closing the Gap implementation plan.

Closing the Gap targets using ABS data sources

  • Target 1: Close the Gap in life expectancy within a generation, by 2031
  • Target 3: By 2025, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in Year Before Fulltime Schooling (YBFS) early childhood education to 95 per cent
  • Target 5: By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (age 20-24) attaining year 12 or equivalent qualification to 96 per cent
  • Target 6: By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-34 years who have completed a tertiary qualification (Certificate III and above) to 70 per cent
  • Target 7: By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth (15-24 years) who are in employment, education or training to 67 per cent
  • Target 8: By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-64 who are employed to 62 per cent
  • Target 9: By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in appropriately sized (not overcrowded) housing to 88 per cent
  • Target 10: By 2031, reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults held in incarceration by at least 15 per cent
  • Target 13: A significant and sustained reduction in violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children towards zero
  • Target 14: Significant and sustained reduction in suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards zero
  • Target 17: By 2026, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have equal levels of digital inclusion

The ABS also contributes to priority reform area four of the National Agreement – shared access to data and information at a regional level – through the:

Other National Government Reporting

Other government national reports that include information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are outlined below.

ReportAgency responsibleFrequency
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF)Australian Institute of Health and WelfareEvery 2-3 years, with regular updates as new data is released
Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID)Productivity CommissionEvery 2-3 years
Report on Government Services (RoGS)Productivity CommissionYearly
Australia’s healthAustralian Institute of Health and WelfareEvery 2 years
Australia’s welfareAustralian Institute of Health and WelfareEvery 2 years

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF) provides an overview of the health outcomes, health system performance and determinants of health impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is made up of 68 measures across three domains (tiers):

  • Health status and outcomes
  • Determinants of health
  • Health system performance

Further information about the HPF, including editions of the HPF dating back to 2006 is available on the HPF website.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID)

The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) report includes information on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to three priority outcomes:

  • Safe, healthy and supportive family environments with strong communities and cultural identity
  • Positive child development and prevention of violence, crime and self‑harm
  • Improved wealth creation and economic sustainability for individuals, families and communities.

There are 52 indicators included with some of these indicators now targets under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, including life expectancy, early childhood education, reading, writing and numeracy, imprisonment and youth detention. Further information about OID, including its history and editions of the report dating back to 2003, is available on the Productivity Commission website.

Report on Government Services (RoGS)

The Report on Government Services (RoGS) ‘provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia’[1]. It includes information on:

  • Child care, education and training
  • Justice
  • Emergency management
  • Health
  • Community services
  • Housing and homelessness

Further information about RoGS, including editions of the report dating back to 1995, is available on the Productivity Commission website.

[1] Productivity Commission 2021, Report on Government Services, accessed 30 September 2021, Report on Government Services

Australia’s health

The report on Australia’s health provides information on health-related topics such as:

  • Life expectancy
  • Hearing
  • Culturally safe health care
  • Use of health services
  • Social determinants and risk factors
  • Health and wellbeing

Further information about Australia’s health, including editions of the report dating back to 1988 is available on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s website.

Australia’s welfare

The report on Australia’s welfare provides information on welfare-related topics such as:

  • Aged care
  • Disability support
  • Community safety
  • Income and finance
  • Housing
  • Employment, education and skills

Further information about Australia’s welfare, including editions of the report dating back to 1993 is available on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s website.

Access to National Reporting data on the ABS website

ABS publications

National reporting data tables have been published on the ABS website for the 2018-19 NATSIHS and the 2014-15 NATSISS (tables 21-24).

Where possible, the ABS has also aligned the data used in topic pages with the Closing the Gap target specifications. Topic pages can be accessed from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples statistics page.

Microdata and TableBuilder

Microdata (which includes MicrodataDownload and DataLab) and TableBuilder allow you to choose a topic and create your own tables, graphs and maps for Census and survey data.

Most ABS datasets that contribute to Closing the Gap and other government national reports are available in Microdata and TableBuilder.

Detailed information about Microdata and TableBuilder is available here.

Census data

Census data items are available for Closing the Gap targets 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and two OID indicators on year 12 attainment and employment:

  • C3SP Attainment of Certificate III or higher or Working Towards a Non-School Qualification
  • EETP Engagement in Employment, Education and Training
  • EMFP Employment Flag
  • HOSD Housing Suitability
  • LFFP Labour Force Participation Flag
  • SVFP Level of Workforce Participation Survey Comparison Flag
  • UEFP Unemployment Flag
  • YR12C2P Attainment of Year 12 or Certificate II or higher
  • YR12C3P Attainment of Year 12 or Certificate III or higher

These data items are available from 2016 onwards in Census TableBuilder Guest, Basic and Pro.

Information about how to access Census TableBuilder and the different options available can be found on the TableBuilder information page.

Survey data

Survey data items are available for selected targets, indicators and strategic areas for action in OID. Some of these data items also overlap with Closing the Gap targets 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and are used as a supplementary data source for Closing the Gap reporting. These data items include:

2018-19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS):

  • Smoker Status – NIRA[2]
  • Long term alcohol risk level - 7 day average (2009 guidelines) for NIRA[2]
  • Body mass index - measured - categories for NIRA indicator[2]
  • Whether tobacco used by child's mother during pregnancy
  • Labour force full-time/part-time status – NIRA[2]
  • Level of highest educational attainment
  • Level of highest non-school qualification
  • Level of current non-school qualification
  • Whether attained Year 12 or equivalent or Certificate II or above
  • Whether completed Certificate III or above / Year 12
  • Attainment of, or currently studying for a non-school qualification
  • Engagement in employment or study

These data items are available in TableBuilder (all other datasets), MicrodataDownload and DataLab.

Data collected in surveys such as the NATSIHS is available in TableBuilder (all other datasets), MicrodataDownload and DataLab and requires a paid subscription.  

Information on costs and how to access survey data in TableBuilder, MicrodataDownload and DataLab is available in the Microdata and TableBuilder Frequently Asked Questions.

[2] National Indigenous Reform Agreement.  See National Indigenous Reform Agreement - National Agreement Performance Reporting for further information.