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Aboriginal Studies: Statistics

Census Data Summary

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoplemrepresented 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

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.

Search the Census Quick Stats for a summary; or Community Profiles for 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 Census - Quickstats

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.

ABS Census - Community Profiles

  • 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.


TableBuilder is an online statistical research tool that allow you to create your own tables, charts, graphs and maps from Australian Census Data.

TableBuilder allows you to:

  • create your own tables using a range of census topics including- age & population, birthplace & ethnicity, children, carers, culture & language, disability, education & qualifications, family relationships, housing, income, Indigenous population, internet & computer use, migration, transport, religion, occupation and unpaid work.
  • cross-tabulate across a number of broad topic areas, & between classifications listed within each topic area.
  • create tables and maps, graph census variables for ABS geographic areas. Data is available for areas as small as a Collection District (approximately 225 households) or as large as an entire state, section of a state or all of Australia.
  • Tables can be exported in either CSV or Excel format. Maps and Graphs can be exported in either PDF or PNG format

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social 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.


Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017

From Edith Cowan University, The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet provides resources to inform practice and policy.

ABS Stat

ABS.Stat Beta is an interactive free online tool that presents data in a searchable, flexible and dynamic way. It allows you to search and discover ABS statistics. Query, view and download data metadata provided for datasets; export data in a range of formats including Excel and CSV as well as SDMX.