» Overview of the health of Indigenous people in Western Australia 2011
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There were approximately 39,114 Indigenous males and 38,493 Indigenous females living in WA at 30 June 2011 according to ABS projections (based on the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people counted in the 2006 Census of Housing and Population) .
The WA Indigenous population represents around 3.3% of the total WA population and 13.5% of the total Australian Indigenous population (estimated to be 574,874 at 30 June 2011). Figures from the 2006 census reveal that over one-third of WA’s Indigenous people live in the Perth metropolitan area, where they comprise 1.5% of the total population (Table 1) . The next most populous geographical region is Narrogin, where 14.5% of the State’s Indigenous population live and comprise 2.6% of the total population of that region. The geographical region of Derby had the highest proportion of Indigenous people (63% of the population of the jurisdiction . More than two-fifths (41%) of the Indigenous population of WA lived in remote or very remote areas at 30 June 2006 compared with only 6.8% of the total population2.
Table 1: Resident Western Australian Indigenous population by geographical region (30 June 2006)
Indigenous population (no.)
Proportion of total Indigenous population of WA (%)
Proportion of total population of jurisdiction (%)
This table presents raw census count numbers and as such likely underestimates the population of Indigenous people in each jurisdiction. For this reason the status unknown column is included.
The regions are those used by the ABS for aggregation of population estimates.
Figure 1: Population pyramid of Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in WA, 2011
Source: Derived from ABS, 2009 , ABS, 2008  and .
The term ‘Indigenous’ is used in this overview to refer generally to the two Indigenous populations of Australia – Australian Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.
Based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), the five categories of remoteness used by the ABS are: ‘major cities’ (Census collection districts (CDs) with an average ARIA value of 0-0.2); ‘inner regional’ (average ARIA value > 0.2 and <= 2.4); ‘outer regional’ (average ARIA value > 2.4 and <= 5.92); ‘remote’ (average ARIA value > 5.92 and <= 10.53); and ‘very remote’ (average ARIA value > 10.53). The latter two categories are characterised by ‘very little or very restricted access to goods and services and opportunities for social interaction’.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009) Experimental estimates and projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 1991 to 2021. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007) Population distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) Australian social trends 2008. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) Population projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010) Australian demographic statistics, December quarter 2010. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics