Australia and the First Australians

Monday, September 28, 2015

Currently there are more than 720,000 indigenous Australians – around 3% of the total population. The indigenous population is increasing at 2.3% per annum- significantly faster than national population growth of around 1.4%. By 2026 the number of indigenous Australians will be almost 940,000 and in 2030 the number will exceed 1,000,000.

The proportion of the population that is indigenous varies significantly from less than 1% in some areas of the larger cities, to more than 70% in the Northern Territory- in Arnhem Land.

The largest proportion of Australia’s indigenous population lives in NSW (31%) followed by Queensland (28%) and then Western Australia (13%). While the Northern Territory has a higher proportion of indigenous people than any other state or territory, it is home to just 10% of the total indigenous population.

Based on the faster growth trends of the Queensland indigenous population (2.5%) compared to that of NSW (2.1%), by 2037, the state with the largest indigenous population will be Queensland (356,000). While all states and territories are experiencing natural increase of indigenous Australians through births, NSW is experiencing an annual net loss of more than 500 indigenous persons per year to other states while Queensland is experiencing an interstate net gain of around 300. Additionally the remote and very remote areas of Australia are losing almost 900 indigenous Australians each year as they move to the larger regional areas (600 person gain) and major cities (300 person gain).

For an in-depth visual look at Australia’s indigenous population simply click on this interactive map, zoom in to look at specific regions across Australia, or hover over an area to read the data.

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