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Census 2011 information now available: Indigenous statistics

Posted on: 21 June, 2012
Issue: Vol 12 No 2, April 2012 – June 2012
Related to Population States and Territories

Data from the 2011 Australian census of population and housing were released 21 June 2012, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Census was conducted in August 2011, and aims to provide information about the population’s characteristics and its housing; within small geographic areas, to support planning, administration, policy development, and evaluation activities in the public and private sectors.

In the 2011 Census, there were 548,370 people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Of these, 90% were of Aboriginal origin only, 6% were of Torres Strait Islander origin only and 4% identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

In the Northern Territory, just under 27% of the population identified were counted as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. In all other jurisdictions, 4% or less of the population were of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Victoria has the lowest proportion at 0.7% of the state total.

Over half (53%) of the people who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin lived in nine of the 57 Indigenous Regions. The three largest regions were located on the eastern seaboard: Brisbane (53,271), NSW Central and North Coast (52,319) and Sydney – Wollongong (52,171). These three regions accounted for 29% (157,761 of 548,370) of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander count.

With the exception of Fitzroy River in Western Australia, the ten Indigenous Areas with the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were in the Northern Territory and Queensland. The Indigenous Area of Laynhapuy – Gumatj Homelands in eastern Arnhem Land had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (98%), followed by the Indigenous Areas of Cherbourg and Yarrabah (both 97%), two discrete communities in Queensland.

 A second release of Census data on 19 July 2012 will contain data cubes for the Indigenous geography.