Australian Bureau Of Statistics
Jump In Young Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander People Working Or Studying
Victor P Taffa
2016 Census of Population and Housing reveals that more than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young adults are fully engaged in work and study.
52 % of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15-24 years are fully participating in either education or work, up from 46 % in 2006. Those living in urban areas (55 %) are more likely to be fully engaged in work or study than those living in non-urban areas (42 %).
Around 223,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported participating in the labour force. Men (55 %) are more likely than women (49 %) to be in the labour force, as are people in urban areas compared with those in non-urban areas (54 % and 45 % respectively).
Most commonly reported occupation is Community and Personal Service Workers (17 %), a change from the 2011 Census which recorded Labourers as the most common occupation (18 %) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Census also shows an increase in school attendance by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across all age groups between the 2006 and 2016.
In particular, attendance for young men and women in the 15-17 year age group increased from 51 % and 54 % to 70 % and 73 % respectively.
Attendance at university or other tertiary institutions also increased for 18-24 year old men (from 4 % to 7 %) and women (from 7 % to 12 %).
Insights Census provides into the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are used by policy-makers, researchers and the community. Census data is also an important input into measures such as the Council of Australian Governments’ Closing the Gap targets.
Since the 1971 Census, there has been a clear upward trend in the counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in each successive Census. The 2016 Census counted approximately 649,200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, an increase of 18 % from the 2011 Census.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent 2.8 % of Australia’s total population, up from 2.5 % in 2011, and 2.3 % in 2006.
Of the 649,200 people who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, 90.9 % are of Aboriginal origin, 5.0 % are of Torres Strait Islander origin, and 4.1 % identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.
2016 Census has also reveals other fascinating details about these communities. 42 % of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people moved house between 2011 and 2016, with the vast majority of those (89 %) moving within the state or territory that they lived in.
Looking at the homes in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live, 56 % are rented, a further 26 % are owned with a mortgage, and 12 % are owned outright.
Language plays an important part of cultural identity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the 2016 Census revealing 1 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people speak an Australian Indigenous language at home.