Enumerating the Aboriginal population of remote Australia: methodological and conceptual issues

Author/editor: Martin, D, Taylor, J
Year published: 1995
Issue no.: 91


Despite claims of underenumeration of Indigenous people, a basic problem in establishing the demography of remote Indigenous populations remains the lack of well documented and adequately controlled independent checks against census data. This paper attempts to provide such verification by comparing population counts and age distributions from the last two ABS enumerations of the Aboriginal population of Aurukun, Cape York Peninsula, with the results of detailed ethnographic surveys of the same population. Significant undercount of young adults and children is noted. Consideration of the ethnographic realities of remote Indigenous communities indicates methodological and conceptual deficiencies in the current ABS remote area enumeration strategy and a number of strategies for addressing these issues are proposed.

ISBN: 0 7315 1765 2

ISSN:1036 1774

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