Facts and figures
In 2015 Aboriginal Affairs commissioned research into the ways people identify – or don’t identify – as Aboriginal. Our researchers
found that the decision to identify as Aboriginal is not fixed. Some individuals may identify as Aboriginal for some purposes but
not for others. Depending on the circumstances, they may identify on one occasion for a government service, but not on a different
occasion. They may identify as Aboriginal in one Australian Census of Population and Housing, but not in the next one. Or they
may go the other way – from not identifying to identifying the next time they are asked.
This identification change complicates statistics about Aboriginal people. As a result, it complicates the planning of services for
them, and the evaluation of those services. It also means statistics about Aboriginal people must be interpreted with caution.
Where possible, any conclusions from the statistics should be supported by qualitative information.
The Community portraits are currently being updated with data from the 2016 census. These will be progressively added to the
website. As census data are being released in two phases, reports uploaded to our website in August and September 2017
will include most variables, but will be amended to include employment and qualifications data after their release in October.
Community portraits provide a range of information about the Aboriginal communities of NSW. Each portrait presents a statistical
picture of the Aboriginal population, including its households, income, and education. It also summarises changes in key
areas between recent Australian Censuses of Population and Housing.
Portraits cover a variety of regions, including OCHRE local decision making alliances, OCHRE opportunity hubs,
local government areas, Indigenous locations and some regions of NSW. A portrait is also provided for NSW as a whole.
This two-page summary presents key data on Aboriginal peoples in NSW, including population characteristics, education, employment,
housing and crime. Where possible it compares data with non-Aboriginal people.
View key data
Useful Data Links
Aboriginal objects and places
The Office of Environment and Heritage website on its Search for heritage page gives users information about Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal places which have
been declared by the Minister for the Environment to have special significance for Aboriginal culture.
The NSW Atlas of Aboriginal Places on the same website includes a map, photos, location information and gazettal notices, and explains the significance of each declared
Agreements, treaties and negotiated settlements
The Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements (ATNS) project website provides users with information about agreements between Indigenous people and others in Australia (and overseas).
Agreements include native title consent determinations, Indigenous land use agreements, regional agreements and memoranda of understanding.
The website presents background information on each agreement, links to related agreements, organisations, signatories, events and
Children and young people care and protection, disability and housing
The statistics page of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) website allows users to find data on children and young people, people with disability, social housing, participation in social and economic
life, domestic and family violence, and FACS’s work with Aboriginal people and communities.
Data and reports for most FACS districts can be analysed by Indigenous status.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics website publishes detailed data on the wide range of topics collected by the Census. These include demography, education, income, disabilities,
housing, internet connections, household and family composition, employment, and internal migration.
Quickstats on the ABS website is a fast, simple way to find basic information about an area.
Community profiles can also be downloaded as Excel spreadsheets from a dedicated page of the ABS site.
ABS data can be downloaded on the Aboriginal population of different regions (including state, city, town, suburb, electorate and Indigenous
The Australian Bureau of Statistics website also summarises its information from other sources about Indigenous Australians on:
- housing infrastructure and services
- citizenship and governance
- education, learning and skills
- culture, heritage and leisure
- family, kinship and community
- income and economic resources
- customary, voluntary and paid work
- law and justice
Depending on its source, national data can be analysed geographically by states and territories, regions and local government areas.
Crime, the courts, young offenders
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) provides an interactive web application that allows users to find data about crime, criminal courts and custody.
Statistics are available on Indigenous people appearing in NSW criminal courts, including statistics on the results of processes, and
Justice NSW’s Juvenile Justice website publishes
its Strategic Information System. The system allows users access to limited data about young Aboriginal offenders in NSW, including
statistics on admissions to the juvenile justice system and young Aboriginal offenders in custody.
NSW Health publishes HealthStats NSW, an interactive web-based application
that allows users to access data and tailor reports about the health of the NSW Aboriginal population.
The data in HealthStats NSW covers a range of health risk factors, diseases, and locations for Aboriginal people. New indicators are
The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet provides information on a variety of health related topics concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally.
Health performance framework data
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website provides users with information on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are faring according to 68 measures in the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework. Measures cover health status and outcomes, determinants of
health, and health system performance. The data is drawn from the Health Performance Framework (HPF).
The information is presented in 69 Excel workbooks – one for each of the 68 HPF measures, and one for demographic information. Data
for each measure is analysed by age, sex, jurisdiction, remoteness and over time.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics website publishes data on long-term health conditions, health risk factors, selected social and emotional well-being
indicators, health measurements and health-related actions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including those living
in remote and non-remote areas. The data is drawn from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) which includes NATSIHS itself, the National
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) and the National Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Health Measures Survey (NATSIHMS).
The data is national; only some is broken down by state.
The NSW Department of Education maintains the NSW Education Datahub – an
interactive, web-based application that allows users to access regional and state information on NSW public schools. Data or reports
are available on school assets, attendance and retention rates, class sizes, higher education, NAPLAN summaries, schools, students,
subject and course enrolments, teachers, and vocational education and training. Most of the information relates only to NSW.
Education – national assessments
The National Assessment Program (NAP) website publishes information on literacy and numeracy as measured by yearly NAPLAN tests, on the
three-yearly sample assessments in science literacy, civics and citizenship, and information and communication
technology (ICT) literacy, and on participation in international sample assessments.
NAPLAN results are available for each
year of testing. Results are reported as a mean scale score and by performance compared with the national minimum standard. Results
may be selected by gender, Indigenous status, language background other than English status, location (metropolitan, provincial,
remote and very remote), parental occupation and parental education level for each year level and for each domain of the test.
The performance of each state and territory can be compared to other states and territories, and to Australia. The results also
show participation rates and categories for each year level and each domain, and cohort gain across school year levels.
NAP sample assessment reports allow the performance of students, including Aboriginal students, to be compared between states and territories, and between a
state or territory and Australia as a whole.
The Australian Productivity Commission website publishes data on Indigenous Australians
through the Indigenous Compendium of the Report on Government Services.
The information covers the performance of services in fields including child care, education and training, justice, emergency management,
health, community services, and housing and homelessness. The data is published for each state and territory, and for Australia
as a whole.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) publishes the My School website,
where users can obtain data and share information on a school’s profile, academic performance, funding and finances, enrolments,
and attendance rates.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics website publishes data on a range of demographic, social, environmental and economic indicators,
- personal and household characteristics
- language and cultural activities
- social networks and support
- health and disability
- financial stress
- personal safety
The data is drawn from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS).
Data is published for Australia, and for each state and territory, and covers Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over; Indigenous
children aged 4–14 years; and Indigenous children aged 0–3 years.
Vocational education and training
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) publishes an interactive website where users can find data on vocational education and training relating to students, participation,
courses and qualifications.
NCVER’s VOCSTATS website allows users who register to construct their own tables from NCVER’s databases. National
and state data can be sorted by Indigenous status.
If you know of any other useful links to data to include here please let us know here.