Young people are a vital resource

This section examines demographic trends: The number of young people Their diversity Their wellbeing Their transitions to adulthood

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The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people is increasing

It took just on 10 years to get the Federal government to agree to hold a referendum [to include Aboriginal people in the census and make state laws uniform (see table below) and then only after 15 months of petitions being presented in the Parliament on every single sitting day

Jack Horner, Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship

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The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia is increasing because births have increased and more Indigenous people are identifying in official statistics (to 669 881 or 3% of the population in 2011, from 517 200 or 2.5 % of the population in 2006) (ABS 2011a based on census data with adjustment for undercount). In 2011 there were 191 432 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 12 to 25 which represents 4.5% of young people in Australia (ABS 2011a).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is significantly younger than the non-Indigenous population. There are much larger proportions of children and young people and smaller proportions of older people.

Indigenous young people are more likely than non-Indigenous young people to live in regional areas (44% compared to 25%), and around a third (36% compared to 75% of non-Indigenous young people) live in major capital cities.

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Most young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders live in NSW and Queensland.  The Australian Capital Territory has the highest proportion of its indigenous young people living in its capital city (Canberra 99%), followed by South Australia (Adelaide 53%) and Victoria (Melbourne 48%) (ABS 2011b).  The Northern Territory has the lowest proportion living in the capital city (Darwin 10%) (ABS 2011b).*

Distribution of ABTSI YP

 

 

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Watch Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people showing leadership in their communities

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References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2011a) Census of Population and Housing: Counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011 Cat. No. 2075.0 Australian Government: Canberra.

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2011b) Census of Population and Housing 2011.  Australian Government: Canberra.

Korff, J (2012) Australian 1967 Referendum. Available at http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-1967-referendum Accessed July 2014

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