Looking forward: trends in South Australia’s Indigenous population to 2026  

Mark Trevithick

Mark is an economist who joined .id in 2018. Having previously worked at the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, he is experienced with applied microeconomic research. His work at .id focusses on preparing small area population forecasts for local councils across Australia. Mark has undertaken consulting projects for a number of private and public organisations including South Australian councils, State Government departments, Regional Development Australia and Natural Resource Management Boards. A major focus of his research has been regional development and local governance giving him a detailed understanding of the role, function and changing needs of councils.

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4 Responses

  1. Joe Lane says:

    Are you sure about this ‘rapid growth rate ? Most of the ‘growth’ is from re-identification. If you check out the 0-4 to 15-19 age-groups, they are not growing all that fast, certainly not the 0-4 age-group. If you adjust for that re-identification factor, the growth in numbers in that 0-4 age-group is barely 10 % between censuses, perhaps a lot less. And it’s been that way ever since the 1971 Census, an annual birth-rate growth of much less than 2 %. Please get back to me if I’m wrong.

    • Mark Trevithick says:

      Hi Joe,
      Annual growth rates for Indigenous persons by age group have been updated in Table 2. Updated numbers show the Indigenous population is projected to grow significantly faster than the rest of South Australia. In terms of the projected population increases for states/territories and growth rates for SA these represent one possible growth scenario produced by the ABS (Series B – Medium Growth). They are based on assumptions regarding births/deaths/migration and do not adjust for re-identification. What is important/interesting to highlight from the growth scenario is trends over time regarding aging i.e., median age and share of Indigenous persons aged over 65 years would increase faster than the rest of SA. These trends also show up in the other ABS growth scenarios (i.e., Series A and Series C).

  2. George says:

    What’s interesting is the NT’s comparatively low growth. Is this due to interstate migration, higher deaths and lower births, or something else?

    • Mark Trevithick says:

      Hi George,
      Northern Territory’s lower annual growth rate is due to an assumed low Indigenous “paternity rate” i.e., the number of births to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, where the mother’s Indigenous status is non-Indigenous or not stated, per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man. Across other states/territories natural increase is higher due to higher paternity rates – resulting in more births. The Northern Territory is assumed to have a negative net interstate migration over the growth scenario but this has only a small effect on the annual growth rate and fertility rates are comparable to national rates. So the lower annual growth rate is primarily attributable to higher births in other states/territories where the father is Indigenous and mother is Non-indigenous.

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