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People and communities

Population distribution

In 2016:

  • A third (33% or 265,685 people) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lived in New South Wales, making it home to the largest number of Indigenous Australians.
  • Queensland had the second highest number of Indigenous Australians (28% or 221,276 people), followed by Western Australia (13% or 100,512 people) (Figure PC3).

In 2016, the proportion of people in each state and territory who were Indigenous was:

  • 30% in the Northern Territory
  • 5.5% or less in each of the other jurisdictions, with the lowest proportion (0.9%) in Victoria (Figure PC 3).

A relatively high proportion of Indigenous Australians live in remote parts of Australia. Among Indigenous Australians in 2016:

  • About 1 in 5 (19%, or about 148,700 people) lived in Remote or Very remote areas.
  • About 4 in 5 (81%, or about 649,600 people) lived in Major cities, Inner regional or Outer regional areas (Figure PC.4).

The percentage of the total Australian population who was Indigenous was higher in more remote areas:

  • In non-remote areas, 2.7% of the population was Indigenous.
  • In Remote areas, 18% of the population was Indigenous.
  • In Very remote areas, nearly half (47%) of the population was Indigenous (ABS 2018a).