Income poverty among Indigenous families with children: estimates from the 1991 Census

Author/editor: Ross, RT, Mikalauskus, A
Year published: 1996
Issue no.: 110


This paper brings together information from the 1991 Census of Population and Housing and the 1990 Income and Housing Costs and Amenities Survey to estimate poverty rates for Indigenous families and non-Indigenous families at the time of the 1991 Census and to compare them with estimates from the 1986 Census. It also describes the factors associated with income poverty among Indigenous families.

The analysis in this paper is primarily descriptive and is limited to measuring income poverty using the Henderson poverty line. The main objectives are to produce the first estimates of income poverty using data from the 1991 Census and to update the estimates of poverty among Indigenous families with children derived from a similar exercise using data from the 1986 Census. The results confirm that, in 1991, the common perception that income poverty rates are much higher among the Indigenous population than among the non-Indigenous population, although the gap is less dramatic for sole parent families than it is for two-parent families, is correct. The major factor associated with this poverty is joblessness, with over half of all Indigenous families with children having no employed adults. However, poverty is still higher among those Indigenous families with children in which there is at least one employed adult than it is among comparable non-Indigenous families with children.

ISBN: 0 7315 1784 9

ISSN:1036 1774

Updated:  16 June 2009/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications