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Aboriginal Studies: Statistics

What is the Census?

Held every 5 years, the ABS Census is a compulsory survey that counts close to 10 million households and approximately 24 million people. Census questions range from marriage status, family size and occupation, to languages spoken, country of birth and ancestry. The most recent Census was conducted in August 2016. The data is based on geography and is used to inform government policies and planning.

Which Census product is best for you?

Search the Census Quick Stats for a summary; or Community Profilesfor more detailed excel tables for your chosen geographic area. When selecting a geography choose the Indigenous Location/Region/Area to focus on Indigenous statistics for that area.

*More advanced users may want to register for Table Builder or use the Data Packs.

ABS Quickstats for Census Data

Tutorial on how to use ABS Quickstats 

If you wish to find Quickstats by typing in a street address or searching on a map, use the Advanced Search function.

Census Community Profiles

Community Profiles provide detailed excel tables of Census data for your chosen geographic area that you can download from the ABS website.

How to search: 

  • Search Community Profiles on the Australian Bureau of Statistics site. 
  • To search for a community profiles, type in the place name and choose the Indigenous Location to focus on Indigenous statistics for that area.
  • If you wish to find Community Profiles by typing in a street address or searching on a map, use the Advanced Search function.

Crime and Justice

Price Waterhouse Cooper's Report from May 2017 on Indigenous incarceration: Indigenous incarceration: Unlock the facts

ABS Census Data Summary for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders

Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait census data from the 2016 census.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represented 2.8% of the population in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing – up from 2.5% in 2011, and 2.3% in 2006...

Since the 1971 Census, there has been a clear upward trend in the counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in each successive Census. There were 649,200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people counted in the 2016 Census, representing an increase of 18% from the 2011 Census." - ABS

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

The Australian Bureau of Statistics  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey.

The 2014–15 NATSISS collected information on a range of demographic, social, environmental and economic characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including:
personal and household characteristics; geography (eg state/territory and remoteness area);cultural attachment (eg language and participation in cultural activities); family and community experiences (eg social networks, contact and support); health (eg disability or long-term conditions, risk factors, child and maternal health); housing (eg tenure type and available facilities); education; labour force characteristics; income and financial stress; use of technology; transport; crime and justice.

Click on image below to watch a video snapshot of the results.


A Global Snapshot of Indigenous and Tribal People’s Health: The Lancet–Lowitja Institute Collaboration