Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians are the first peoples of Australia

They include Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first peoples of Australia.

They hold a unique place in Australian history and continue to make an essential contribution to our ongoing national development and identity.

Over time, the following definition has been agreed within the community and Australian Government to identify when someone is an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. The person:

  • is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, and
  • is accepted as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person by the community in which he or she lives.

Face the Facts, 2012

It is estimated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent 2.5% of the Australian resident population.

In 2011, there were 548,370 people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin and counted in the Census.

  • 90% identified as Aboriginal peoples
  • 6% identified as Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • 4% identified as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Torres Strait Islanders accounted for 6.4% of the Indigenous population and 0.1% of the total Australian population.

ABS 2011 Census