Indigenous people make up 3% of the population in Australia . NSW has the largest Indigenous population and the NT has the highest proportion of Indigenous people.
Based on information from the 2011 Census, the ABS estimates that there were 669,736 Indigenous people living in Australia in 2011 . NSW had the largest number of Indigenous people, and the NT had the highest percentage of Indigenous people. Indigenous people made up 3.0% of the total Australian population. For more details on the Indigenous population in each state and territory see the table below.
|Jurisdiction||Indigenous population (number)||Proportion of Australian Indigenous population (%)||Proportion of jurisdiction population (%)|
|Source: ABS, 2012 |
In 2011, 90% of Indigenous people identified as Aboriginal, 6% identified as Torres Strait Islanders, and 4% identified as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander .
In 2011, around one-third of Indigenous people lived in major cities .
The number of Indigenous people counted in the 2011 Census was much higher than the number counted in the 2006 Census . This could be explained by a number of factors:
The Indigenous population is much younger overall than the non-Indigenous population . In 2011, more than one-third of Indigenous people were aged less than 15 years, compared with one-fifth of non-Indigenous people . Almost 4% of Indigenous people were aged 65 years or over, compared with 14% of non-Indigenous people. Figure 1 shows a comparison of the age profiles of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.
The Figure below is called a population pyramid and reflects these differences. The bars show the percentage of the total population that falls within each age group. The 75+ years bars appear out of proportion to the other bars because they represent all the people aged 75 years or more. The general shapes of the Indigenous and the non-Indigenous pyramids differ. The Indigenous pyramid is wide is at the bottom (younger age groups) and tapers off at the top (older age groups). The non-Indigenous pyramid has a more even spread of ages through the population.
Figure 1: Population pyramid of Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, 2012
Source: ABS, 2012