Aboriginal Population Change in Australia

Aboriginal Population in Australia from 1788

Accurate numbers are not available, and estimates vary by different sources.

Aboriginal Population in Australia from 1788..

Accurate numbers are not available, and estimates vary by different sources.

This is one source:

  • At the time of European settlement, there were around 250,000 Aboriginal people in Australia.
  • By 1920, that number had dropped to 80,000, and the race is “rapidly disappearing”
  • Numbers up to 1944 were between 70,000 and 80,000, with the mixed race proportion rising from under 20% in the early 1920s to around 35% in the early 1940s
  • In 2011, the Census stated there were 548,370 people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin

Indigenous Population Estimates

  • 1788: 750,000-800,000 Aboriginal people
  • Numbers fell during the following century, as a result of disease and dispossession, to some 200,000 in the 1890s
  • Federation: 150,000 – 200,000, around 4% to 5% of the total Australian population of around 4.1 million
  • Up to 1940, the total Aboriginal population was stable around 150,000; the proportion of mixed origin rose to 35%
  • The population increased in the last half of the 20th century, at an average rate around 2% per annum
  • Changing propensity to identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and incomplete birth and death records prevent precise estimation over the post 1945 period
  • By 2001, the population was 459,000, around 2.3% of the population

Source: PDF file at: http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129544179

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