Australian Census Results Released. Huge Growth In Aborigines. Is It Fashionable To Identify?

Posted on Sat 07/01/2017 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

I was sued by activists insisting no one could choose their “race”. Yet the latest Census suggests 40,000 just did. There are now 649,171 Aborigines counted, compared to 548,368 just five years earlier.

The ABS believes there are actually 786,689 Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders after adjusting for undercounting.

On the counted numbers alone, that is 18.4 per cent growth – more than can be explained by the birth rate.

On the estimated numbers the growth is a 17.4 per cent since 2011.

In contrast, the rest of the population grew by 8.8 per cent, and with the help of immigration.

Some might assume it’s fashionable to identify as Aboriginal among people who have a choice. Or there are more financial benefits in doing so.

ANU researchers Nicholas Biddle and Francis Markham say:

There are several reasons for the rapidly growing visibility of Indigenous Australians in our population statistics.

The first is the natural increase of the Indigenous population. On average, Indigenous Australians have a slightly higher number of children than non-Indigenous Australians.

In addition, the children resulting from relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians often identify as Indigenous, accelerating the growth of the Indigenous population. However, even after taking these factors into account, the Indigenous population was projected to reach no more than 746,815 by 2016 – around 40,000 people fewer than the latest census-based estimate.

While we won’t know how accurate the assumptions underlying these projections were for some time, the probable explanation for the “extra” 40,000 Indigenous people is that some individuals who chose not to identify as Indigenous in 2011 decided to identify as Indigenous in 2016.

Interestingly, the biggest growth is in Victoria – 25.8 per cent. That’s presumably where intermarriage rates are higher. It’s also our most Left-wing state.

That suggests a real public policy issue. With such huge growth in people identifying as Aboriginal – and in richer states – the demographic profile is being changed.

When we now measure progress in education, for instance, we must be careful to adjust for the fact that there are now many more children being included who would have not been included before. They are more likely to have fewer Aboriginal ancestors and to come from more mainstream families in urban areas.

That means the statistics may exaggerate progress for Aborigines in more traditionally Aboriginal areas.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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