Census says indigenous number 2.8 per cent
THE first results of the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week, show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represented 2.8 per cent of the population counted in the 2016 Census – up from 2.5 per cent in 2011, and 2.3 per cent in 2006.
Of the 649,200 people who reported being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in 2016, 91 per cent were of Aboriginal origin, 5 per cent were of Torres Strait Islander origin, and 4.1 per cent reported being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.
While the Northern Territory has Australia’s highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (25.5 per cent of the NT population), New South Wales is home to the highest number, with more than 216,000 people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.
The Census also revealed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is younger than Australia’s overall population, with a median age 23 years in 2016.
This is substantially younger than the median age for non-Indigenous Australians, who had a median age of 38 years in 2016.
There have been increases in income levels within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population since the 2011 Census, with median weekly household income increasing from $991 to $1203.
One in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported speaking an Australian Indigenous language at home, according to the 2016 Census.
A total of 150 Australian Indigenous languages were spoken in homes in 2016, reflecting the linguistic diversity of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.