Every five years, the national Census of Population and Housing provides data on the demographic, social and economic characteristics of Australia's Indigenous population. In this paper a number of socioeconomic characteristics from the 2001 Census are analysed by State for Torres Strait Islanders, other Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people. The primary concern has been to investigate the extent to which Islanders are approaching parity with non-Indigenous people in these regions. Individual characteristics are presented in a set of tables with accompanying description. A summary table assesses the overall status of Islanders. The paper concludes that the socioeconomic status of Islanders with respect to non-Indigenous people may have improved slightly since the 1996 Census. The socioeconomic status of Islanders varies somewhat by geography, being lower in Torres Strait and higher on the Australian mainland. Again, this varies according to the social indicators being considered. Islanders lag behind non-Indigenous people most noticeably with regard to completing Year 12 schooling, obtaining a university degree, and home ownership. This paper can be read in conjunction with CAEPR Discussion Paper No. 199, which analysed similar data from the 1996 Census.
ISBN: 0 7315 5630 5