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The Australian National University

Indigenous Demographic Trends

Document: Census Papers

The rate of disability in the Indigenous population is substantially higher than the rate for the Australian population as a whole. Despite the relatively high rates of disability experienced by the Indigenous population there has been surprisingly little research in this area to date.

Document: Census Papers

The aim of this paper is to provide a contemporary overview of the changing size and composition of the Indigenous population. The paper is structured around six key demographic and geographic features of the Indigenous population:

Document: Census Papers

This paper presents an analysis of the fertility and family formation patterns of Indigenous Australians in the 2006 and 2011 Censuses of Population and Housing. Marital status is sometimes seen as a precursor to family formation. However, there are differences in the notion of marriage as a legal process, with the Indigenous population more likely to be in de facto relationships rather than legally married. The analysis in this paper suggests that the fertility patterns of Indigenous females differ from non-Indigenous females both in terms of the level and the timing of fertility.

Document: Working Paper

This paper reports on a survey of the Aboriginal population of the Fitzroy Valley in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, funded by the Fitzroy Futures Forum. The survey was designed to collect two different kinds of data. One aim was to carry out a comprehensive head count of the population and gather basic demographic information on age and sex. The second was to collect data that would begin to flesh out the picture of how that population lives as people.

Document: Project Description

This project has its genesis in a CAEPR report commissioned by the Ministerial Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (MCATSIA) in 2005. The aim of the paper (published as CAEPR Discussion Paper No. 283) was to synthesise findings from a wide variety of regional and community-based demographic studies.

Document: Working Paper

Recent Commonwealth Treasury intergenerational reports have failed to consider the very different challenges that arise for the Indigenous population as a consequence of demographic ageing. Almost universally across the country, Indigenous populations are moving into a phase of demographic transition that will see the population in the prime workforce age groups peak relative to those of dependent age. This phase of so-called demographic dividend enables the maximising of income, savings and investments, at least potentially.

Document: Working Paper

One of the potential constraints on achieving the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) employment target is location. It has been noted by a number of authors that the very different geographic distributions of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations is a key factor in explaining the former’s socioeconomic disadvantage relative to the latter. The aim of this paper is to revisit the potential role of location in explaining poor Indigenous employment outcomes through an analysis of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians’ place of work.

Document: Working Paper

One of the more consistent findings of census-based analysis is that nationally, Indigenous Australians change their place of usual residence more often than the non-Indigenous population. Between 2001 and 2006, 46.5 per cent of the Indigenous population changed their place of usual residence, compared to 43.1 per cent for the non-Indigenous population. Population movement can have significant impacts on the ability of all levels of government to design forward-looking policy at a local level that takes into account the share of the population that identifies as being Indigenous.

Document: Working Paper

Policy development in Indigenous affairs often proceeds with dated estimates of population and with little understanding of the likely impact of changing demographic parameters on future Indigenous population size and composition. To the extent that policy itself can influence demographic outcomes, this represents a significant deficiency in current planning methodology. To stimulate a dialogue around such issues, this paper models the national and regional population impacts of a continuation of existing mortality and fertility regimes compared to a situation where these converge.

Document: CAEPR Seminar

According to the 2006 Census, around three quarters of Indigenous Australians live in regional areas or major cities. This represents a small, but noticeable increase from previous census years, especially in large regional towns. While most measured socioeconomic outcomes are advantageous relative to remote parts of the country, there are still substantial gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in regional and urban Australia.

about this site Updated: 20 September 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, CAEPR / Page Contact:  CAEPR Administrator