Notes on the data: Aboriginal Internet access at home

Private dwellings with Aboriginal households, and with no Internet connection, 2011


Policy context:  A household can be considered to be disadvantaged if it lacks the resources to participate fully in society [1]. Access to the outside world, through a telephone or the Internet provides a means of communicating with friends and family, as well as services, employers and schools, thereby increasing educational, employment and other opportunities, including social interaction [2].

Socioeconomic characteristics of households continue to influence the rate of computer and Internet connectivity across Australia. In 2011, 80% of all Australians accessed the Internet regularly, but just 6% of residents in some remote Aboriginal communities had a computer [3].

Households which do not have children under 15 years, those that are located in remote or regional areas of Australia and/or have lower household incomes are less likely to have a computer and/or access to the Internet [2]. These socioeconomic factors also influence the take-up rate of broadband access (as opposed to dial-up access), in addition to the technical issues regarding service availability and power in certain locations. Other factors impeding Internet access for Indigenous communities include levels of literacy, cost, lack of training, vision problems and poor health, and affordability of maintaining an Internet connection [4]. Matching the type and quality of technology to needs in consultation with Indigenous communities goes a long way towards facilitating access [4].


  1. Townsend P. Deprivation. J Soc Policy. 1987; 16:125-46.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Household use of information technology, Australia, 2010-11. (ABS Cat. no. 8146.0). Canberra: ABS; 2011.
  3. Rennie E, Crouch A, Wright A, Thomas J. Home internet for remote Indigenous communities. Sydney: Australian Communications Consumer Action Network; 2011.
  4. Rigney L. Digital inclusion and Aboriginal futures: three questions. In: Making the connection - essays on Indigenous digital excellence. Fremantle: Telstra Foundation; 2014.

Notes:  The data comprise Internet access at private dwellings only.

Private dwelling: A private dwelling can be a house, flat or even a room. It can also be a caravan, houseboat, tent, or a house attached to an office, or rooms above a shop.

Aboriginal household: An Aboriginal household is any household where at least one usual resident was an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.


Numerator:  Private dwellings with Aboriginal households, and with no Internet connection


Denominator:  Total private dwellings with Aboriginal households


Detail of analysis:  Per cent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census 2011 data.


© PHIDU This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia licence.