Indigenous population to exceed 700,000 by 2021

These figures are based on a series of assumptions which incorporate recent trends in Indigenous fertility, mortality and internal migration.

The Indigenous population of Australia is projected to grow by 2.2% per year between 2006 and 2021, compared with an annual growth rate of between 1.2% and 1.7% per year for the total Australian population.

The higher growth rate for the Indigenous population is due to large numbers of Indigenous births, mainly as a result of high levels of fertility in the Indigenous population and increasing numbers of Indigenous women entering peak child-bearing ages.

The number of Indigenous children (0–14 years) is projected to increase from 194,200 in 2006 to between 242,600 and 243,400 in 2021, while the number of Indigenous people aged 25–54 years is projected to increase from 183,000 in 2006 to between 260,100 and 262,300 in 2021.

The number of older Indigenous people (55 years and over) is projected to more than double, from 40,000 in 2006 to between 82,000 and 86,600 in 2021.

The median age of the Indigenous population is expected to increase from 21 years in 2006 to 24 years in 2021. The proportion of Indigenous children aged 0–14 years is projected to decline from 38% of the Indigenous population in 2006 to 34% in 2021, while the proportion of Indigenous persons aged 55 years and over will increase from 8% to between 11% and 12%.

The Indigenous populations of all states and territories will continue to grow. By 2016, Queensland is projected to overtake New South Wales as the state with the largest Indigenous population in Australia.

Further details are available in Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 (cat. no. 3238.0).

Media Notes:

The estimates and projections of the Australian Indigenous population presented in this publication are experimental. The inherent uncertainty in Indigenous census counts as well as the method of estimating net census undercount of the Indigenous population means the estimates should be interpreted with caution. The population projections are not intended as forecasts or predictions, but are illustrations of growth and change in the population that would occur if assumptions made about future demographic trends were to prevail over the projection period.

Estimated resident population(a), Indigenous Status - 2001 and preliminary 2006

2001
2006
2006 Indigenous
Indig
Indig
Non-Indig
Total
Prop of total Indig

pop
Prop of
state/ter pop
Intercensal

change

2001-2006
State/Territory
'000
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

NSW
134.9
148.2
6669.0
6 817.2
28.7
2.2
9.9
Vic
27.8
30.8
5097.5
5 128.3
6.0
0.6
10.7
Qld
125.9
146.4
3945.1
4 091.5
28.3
3.6
16.3
SA
25.5
26.0
1542.2
1 568.2
5.0
1.7
2.0
WA
65.9
77.9
1981.1
2 059.0
15.1
3.8
18.2
Tas
17.4
16.9
473.0
489.9
3.3
3.4
-2.8
NT
56.9
66.6
144.1
210.7
12.9
31.6
17.1
ACT
3.9
4.0
330.2
334.2
0.8
1.2
3.4
Aust (b)
458.5
517.2
20,184.3
20,701.5
100.0
2.5
12.8

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
(a) Estimates are subject to revision once 2006 population estimates have been finalised and after analysis of the components of growth in the Indigenous population (demographic and non-demographic factors) between 2001 and 2006.
(b) Includes Other Territories.
Table 1.

Total Australian population projections are sourced from Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0).

When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.


Estimated and Projected Indigenous Population, States and territories - 1991-2021
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

1991
2006
2021 (Series A)
2021 (Series B)
no.
no.
no.
Growth rate (%)(a)
no.
Growth rate (%)(a)

NSW
101 493
152 685
208 341
2.1
210 582
2.2
Vic.
22 625
33 517
47 721
2.4
48 233
2.5
Qld
95 671
144 885
212 908
2.6
215 082
2.7
SA
19 775
28 055
37 987
2.0
38 413
2.1
WA
49 632
70 966
92 587
1.8
93 612
1.9
Tas.
12 462
18 415
26 063
2.3
26 353
2.4
NT
46 431
64 005
81 298
1.6
82 339
1.7
ACT
2 727
4 282
6 101
2.4
6 148
2.4
Aust.(b)
350 985
517 043
713 306
2.2
721 064
2.2

(a) Average annual growth rate for the period 2006 to 2021.
(b) Includes Other Territories.

STATS AND GRAPHS (Australian Bureau of Statistics)


Indigenous population will skyrocket: ABS

Australian Associated Press | The Australian | September 08, 2009

Australia's indigenous population is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade and at a much faster rate than the rest of the population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Queensland is also expected to overtake NSW as the state with the largest indigenous population by 2016, while the Northern Territory is projected to have the lowest average growth rate.

Matthew Montgomery, assistant director of demography at the ABS, said Australia's indigenous population was predicted to jump by almost 50 per cent by 2021.

"The fact that the indigenous population is growing at a much faster rate than the rest of the Australian population is one of the most interesting findings," Mr Montgomery said.

At the 2006 census there were estimated to be about 517,000 indigenous people in Australia.

Within the next 12 years, the ABS predicts there could be as many as 720,000 - representing an overall growth rate of 2.2 per cent each year.

A similar increase in the overall Australia population would be "outrageous and unheard of", according to Mr Montgomery, who said it's expected to grow by only 1.2 to 1.7 per cent.

The ABS data also found Queensland would have the largest indigenous population in Australia within the next seven years, with an average growth rate of up to 2.7 per cent.

Victoria is projected to have a growth rate of up to 2.5 per cent, while the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania will track at about 2.4 per cent.

"Queensland has the highest indigenous growth rate and will become the state with the largest indigenous population," Mr Montgomery said.

"The slightly faster growth rate is driven by the assumption of interstate migration. There is migration to Queensland while NSW actually loses people."

According to the ABS figures, NSW has about 152,700 Aboriginal people compared to 144,900 in the sunshine state.

Queensland is projected to have up to 215,000 indigenous people by 2021, when NSW will have up to 210,000.

The NT is projected to have the lowest average growth rate over the 15-year period of between 1.6 and 1.7 per cent each year, due largely to the age structure of the population.

There are expected to be about 81,000 Aborigines in the NT by 2021.

Nationwide, the number of indigenous children is projected to increase from 194,200 in 2006 to between 242,600 and 243,400 in 2021.

Over this same period, the number of indigenous people aged 25 to 54 years will jump from 183,000 to as many as 262,300.

The number of Aboriginal people aged 55 years and over is expected to more than double, from 40,000 to at least 82,000.