Notes on the data: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, age distribution
2021 usual resident Aboriginal population, all ages and by 5-year age group (0-4 years to 65+ years), as a proportion of the total Australian population
Policy context: The proportions of the population identifying as Aboriginal in the 2021 Census vary greatly by location, from 26.3% in the Northern Territory to 1.0% in Victoria. Aboriginal people represent the largest proportion of the populations in Greater Darwin (10.4%) and in the remainder of the Northern Territory (50.8%). The next largest proportion was in Western Australia, at 8.4% outside of Perth .
However, the largest numbers of Aboriginal people at the 2021 Census were recorded in New South Wales (278,043, with 122,097 in Greater Sydney, Illawarra, and Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and 154,715 in the remainder of New South Wales); and in Queensland (237,203, with 112,023 in Greater Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville, and 124,098 in the remainder of Queensland). The usual resident populations in Darwin and in the remainder of the Northern Territory were 14,539 and 45,289, respectively .
Note: The data are the usual resident population (URP) derived from the Census. There is, however, a substantial difference between the Census counts (usual resident population (URP)) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (812,728) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS’) estimated resident population (ERP), adjusted for net undercount as measured by the Post Enumeration Survey undertaken by the ABS (an ERP of 984,002, which is 21.1% higher than the Census count) . As the ABS has not released Aboriginal ERP by age at the Indigenous Area level, the geographical area used in the Social Health Atlases, the data published here are the URP, for which age/sex data are available. When further population data for the Aboriginal population become available from the ABS (scheduled for August 2023), PHIDU will examine the possibility of producing an estimated resident population by age at the Indigenous Area level, as was the case following the 2016 Census.
- PHIDU (www.phidu.torrens.edu.au/data) based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2021
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021 Census overcount and undercount, accessed 20 February 2023. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/2021-census-overcount-and-undercount/latest-release
Geography: Data available by Indigenous Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic outcomes (based on IRSEO) and Remoteness Area
Numerator: Aboriginal usual resident population by all ages and 5-year age group: 0-4 years to 65+ years
Denominator: Total Australian population, all ages and by 5-year age group: 0-4 years to 65+ years
Detail of analysis: Aboriginal usual resident population, all ages and 5-year age group as a percentage of the total population
Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2021