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The Australian National University

Indigenous wellbeing in Australia: Evidence from HILDA

Working Paper 101 / 2015
Christopher L. Ambrey
Christopher M. Fleming


This study explores the subjective wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. We focus on mean levels of self-reported life satisfaction, inequality in life satisfaction within the Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian populations, and the prevalence and severity of dissatisfaction with one’s life. Evidence on differences in the determinants of life satisfaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is provided. Results indicate that Indigenous life satisfaction peaked in 2003 and has since declined. We also find that inequality in life satisfaction is greater for Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians. Despite a downward trend in the level of dissatisfaction for non-Indigenous Australians, dissatisfaction among Indigenous Australians has remained relatively unchanged.

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