The mobility status of Indigenous Australians

Author/editor: Taylor, J, Bell, M
Year published: 1994
Issue no.: 78


This paper provides, for the first time, comparative national parameters of Indigenous population mobility. Using a customised 54 region internal migration matrix from the 1991 Census, preliminary findings are presented in regard to three broad perspectives on mobility. First, an analysis is provided of the relative propensity for Indigenous people to migrate. Secondly, the effects of migration on spatial redistribution are examined, particularly in regard to regional patterns of net migration gain and loss and the relative balance of population flows between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Finally, the pattern of inter-regional migration flows is explored with a view to defining spatial networks of movement. Although Indigenous people are found to migrate at the same rate as the rest of the population, it is clear that their mobility behaviour is quite different from that of the general population. In particular, the pattern of Indigenous spatial interaction is found to be a far more localised phenomenon. A number of policy implications are identified in relation to the limitations of census data for migration analysis in remote areas, the variable effect of mobility on regional population change, and the estimation of client populations for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) regional councils in the face of widespread mobility.

ISBN: 0 7315 1752 0

ISSN:1036 1774

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