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.
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 remoteness areas of NSW, OCHRE Language and Culture Nests, OCHRE opportunity
hubs, local government areas, Indigenous locations and some regions of NSW. A portrait is also provided for NSW as a whole.
Key data about Aboriginal people
This four-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.
Overcoming Indigenous disadvantage: key indicators
Through the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, the Commonwealth Government reports on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
The reports in this section provide data for NSW.
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 Aboriginal place.
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 maps.
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 added
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
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
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
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.