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Status of Indigenous Australians

Nov 13, 2002 11:10 PM
by Mic Forster

With much debate about theosophy, races and the status
of Indigenous Australians in modern Australia I
thought it would be pertinent to share some statistics
on the matter. The source of these statistics has come
from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian
Census Data 2001 and I have just included a few
snipets of the findings from this address:

For detailed statistics go to this link:!OpenView

The general trend is that as a race Indigenous
Australians are doing relatively well, although their
equal status with other non-Indigenous status is far
from assured. Now the questions remains: if Aboriginal
Australians were meant to naturally die out why are
they still prospering today? One could reply that they
have indeed died out and those Indigenous Australians
that we see today aren't Aboriginal Australians in the
sense that they have maintained their bloodlines and
culture without any corruption. There is not one
Indigenous Australian today who could claim that they
do everything exactly as it was done in 1788. And in
this sense, Aboriginal Australians have been lost to

The stats:

- In results from the 2001 Census of Population and
Housing, 410,003 people (or 2.2% of the Australian
population) are reported as being of Aboriginal and/or
Torres Strait Islander origin, up 16% since the 1996
Census. (Estimates claim that at the time of European
arrival there was approximately between 300,000 and 3
million Aboriginals in Australia with consensus at
around 1 million.)

- Natural increase (births and deaths) accounted for a
12% increase in the Indigenous population, with a
further 4% increase due primarily to people who were
not identified as Indigenous in the 1996 Census but
are now identifying, or being identified as Indigenous
in the 2001 Census.

- The Indigenous population is relatively young
compared to the non-Indigenous population, with more
than half (58%) aged under 25 years, and only 11,437
people (3%) aged 65 or over. In contrast, the
Australian population had a much higher proportion of
older people (13% aged 65 or over), with only about
one-third (35%) aged under 25 years. 

- Of the 108,069 Indigenous children aged 5 to 14
years in 2001, 87% were recorded as attending school,
compared with 92% of all children in this age group.
For young people aged 15-19 years, 46% of Indigenous
youth were recorded as attending school compared with
70% of all Australians in this age group. This
disparity in rates of attendance at secondary school
is also reflected in the relatively low percentage of
Indigenous Australians who had completed Year 12 (10%)
compared with the rate for Year 12 completion in the
total population (30%). 

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