News

Infographic sheds light on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

18 July 2016

About Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

  • In 2011, almost 670 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in Australia;[1] around 3 per cent of the Australian population. By 2031, it is estimated that this number will exceed one million, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprising 3.9 per cent of the population.[2]
  • One third (34.8 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in major cities[3]; 43.8 per cent live in regional areas; 7.7 per cent live in remote areas; and 13.7 per cent live in very remote areas.[4]
  • In 2011, more than one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were under 15 years (36 per cent), compared with one-fifth of non-Indigenous Australians. Almost 4 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were aged 65 years and over, compared with 14 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.[5]
  • In 2011, 11 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Indigenous language at home.[6]

Key issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

  • In 2010-12, the average life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was approximately ten years (10.6 years for men and 9.5 years for women) less than that of non-Indigenous Australians.[7]Leading causes of death included heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer.[8]
  • Just over half (52.2 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 15 and 64 years were not employed in 2012-2013, compared with 24.4 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.[9]
  • One in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experienced physical violence in the previous 12 months, compared to 7 per cent of non-Indigenous women. Over the same period, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (12 per cent) were three times more likely to experience sexual violence than non-Indigenous women (4 per cent).[10]
  • In 2008, half of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had some form of disability.[11] In non-remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were one-and-a-half times more likely than non-Indigenous adults to have a disability or a long-term health condition.[12]
  • Around one in twelve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are part of the Stolen Generations. In 2008, 8 per cent (26,900) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over stated that they had been removed from their natural family. 35 per cent assessed their health as fair or poor and 39 per cent experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.[13]
  • The national imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults is 15 times higher than that for non-Indigenous adults.[14] In the December quarter of 2013, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprised 28 per cent of Australia’s full-time adult prison population.[15]
  • There were approximately 250 Australian Indigenous languages spoken at the time of colonisation. However, a 2005 survey found that only 145 Indigenous languages are still spoken to some degree and less than 20 are considered to be “strong” and able to be spoken by all generations.[16]

Positive developments

  • Between 2005-07 and 2010-12, life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men increased by 1.6 years and by 0.6 years for women. Over the same period, the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rest of the Australian population reduced by 0.8 years for men and 0.1 years for women.[17]
  • In 2011, 53.9 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 20 and 24 years had attained a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, up from 47.4 per cent in 2006.[18] Higher levels of educational attainment are associated with better health outcomes.[19]
  • Between 2002 and 2012, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking rates dropped from 51 per cent to 41 per cent.[20]
  • The 2011 Census results show that health services currently employ 14.6 per cent of employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Health services are the single biggest “industry” source of employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, expanding by almost 4,000 places since 2006.[21]

Source: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/face-fact...

How can we all play a part in making sure that every Australian – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – has the opportunities and choices they need to lead full and healthy lives?

Loading Conversation