By Claire Grealy | 30 May 2016

We welcome the recent release of results and findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15 (NATSISS).

It is our belief  that the NATSISS provides valuable insights into trends in key dimensions of health and wellbeing.

The report tells us something about where the gaps in outcomes are and are not closing. Positive changes are worth celebrating, and we must ensure the path to these successes is understood.

Equally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to continue to inform the design of responses to the remaining poor outcome areas. The sooner these gaps are addressed, the sooner social, wellbeing and economic benefits will be realised.

NATSISS

NATSISS is a six-yearly multidimensional survey providing broad, self-reported information across key areas of social equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, both at the national level and areas of remoteness.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the survey, which collects detailed information on socio-economic circumstances, and reports on Indigenous social and economic well-being.

The most recent survey was conducted between September 2014 – June 2015, with a sample size of 11,178 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Information was collected through personal interviews on a range of social issues. Since the last survey, progress has been made in education, health and health risk factors, and housing.

Some of these findings include:

  • The proportion of people aged 15 years and over who had attained a non-school qualification (such as a Certificate or Diploma) increased to 46.5%, up from 32.3% in 2008 and 21.6% in 2002.
  • In 2014-15, the rate of children aged 0-3 years that had a birth mother who drank alcohol during pregnancy decreased to 9.8%, approximately half the rate found in 2008 (19.6%).
  • Down from 19.2% in 2008, almost one in seven (14.7%) people aged 15 years and over exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption in 2014-15.
  • The proportion of people aged 15 years and over who were daily smokers has decreased from 48.6% in 2002, 44.6% in 2008 to 38.9% in 2014-15.
  • Between 2002 and 2014-15, the proportion of people aged 15 years and over who were living in a dwelling that was overcrowded (requiring at least one more bedroom) decreased to 18.4%, down from 24.9% in 2008 and 25.7% in 2002.

The findings demonstrate that progress is being made for a number of important health indicators, for instance alcohol consumption during pregnancy, smoking, and overall alcohol consumption.

It is extremely pleasing to see the gains made in the areas indicated in the NATSISS. The findings demonstrate that progress is being made for a number of important health indicators, for instance alcohol consumption during pregnancy, smoking, and overall alcohol consumption.

However there are still significant unmet social determinants of health, particularly, but not only for Indigenous people living in rural and remote locations, including overcrowding and access to housing, access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and employment.

Our team specialises in research and advice to clients within the Aboriginal health and social services sectors, including federal government, state government and non-government organisations.

We provide our clients with an understanding of the performance of health systems and the impacts on the social and emotional wellbeing of people and communities.

More information about the NATSISS findings can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

For more information regarding this report, please contact:

Claire Grealy View Profile
Linda Kurti View Profile