Data about and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians


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Content type
Practice guide

July 2014


Despite Indigenous Australians making up a small share of the total Australian population, the need to collect and analyse data to understand the demographic, socioeconomic and health dynamics of the population far exceeds their population size. One of the uses, if not the most important use, of data about the Indigenous population is giving Indigenous people the power to tell their own story and advocate for change.

This paper explores the issues concerning and best practice for data collection for and about Indigenous people in Australia. It describes the potential users and uses of data about Indigenous Australians; discusses the availability, limitations, and adequacy of current data collections; and provides suggestions for improvements based on best practice from Australia and abroad.

This report was produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse was a Council of Australian Governments’ initiative jointly funded by all Australian Governments. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Family Studies was funded from 2009 to 2014 to deliver the Clearinghouse.

Data about and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (PDF 368 KB)