2006–16 Aboriginal population change in New South Wales

2006–16 Aboriginal population change in New South Wales
Author/editor: N Biddle, L Allen and F Markham
Published in (Monograph or Journal): CSRM Working Papers Series
Publisher: Centre for Social Research and Methods
Year published: 2018
Issue no.: 11/2018


The New South Wales (NSW) Aboriginal population is one of the fastest growing in the country. Estimates for the total Indigenous population in the state increased from around 189 000 in 2006 to around 267 000 in 2016. This very rapid growth is likely to lead to a significant number of policy challenges, and opportunities. The aim of this paper is to use data from the Census of Population and Housing in 2006, 2011 and 2016, as well as the associated Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, to analyse the composition and implications of change in the Aboriginal population in NSW. We show that some, but not all, of the growth in the Aboriginal population between 2006 and 2016 was driven by identification change (a net infow of people who previously did not identify as being Indigenous but now do), as well as contributions from births and interstate migration. We also show that, although the Indigenous population in 2016 in NSW had substantially better socioeconomic outcomes than the 2006 and 2011 populations, a significant component of this improvement was because the newly identified Aboriginal population had more favourable outcomes than the always-identified population.

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