ABS Releases Comprehensive Indigenous Social Survey
28 April 2016 at 11:47 am
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its most comprehensive survey so far so far that measures the socio-economic markers of the Indigenous population.
The 2014/15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) brings together a broad range of information that explores cultural identity, social networks, housing, health, employment and education, crime and justice experiences and general life satisfaction in the Indigenous population.
The wide-ranging report collected information on adult participation in organised sport, experiences of homelessness and mental health.
ABS senior reconciliation champion Dr Paul Jelfs said the survey found an upward trend in educational achievements, both in Year 12 completion rates and non-school qualifications, along with strong improvements across housing and health. 29 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced homelessness at some point in their life.
However incarceration rates did not decline, with one in seven people reporting that they had been arrested in the last five years. One in three people experienced racial discrimination while one in eight experienced some form of physical violence.
“Overall life satisfaction is high. More than half of those surveyed rated their lives as eight out of 10 or better. A third of people in remote areas felt their community was a better place to live, compared to the previous 12 months, but 16 percent felt it was getting worse,” Jelfs said.
The report found that 38 per cent of men were more likely to be in full-time employment compared to 18 per cent of women. 23 per cent of women were more likely to be working in part-time positions compared to 14 per cent of men.
Professor Tom Calma AO, a former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, said the survey was vital in accurately reflecting Indigenous issues in government policies, programs and services.
The NATSISS is conducted every six years and was first run in 1994, after various recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deaths in Custody for a better information base to understand the socio-economic circumstances and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.