Aboriginal well-being improves, but the gap remains too wide

This week’s Productivity Commission report shows indigenous Australians have improved their economic stability in the last 20 years. But there is still considerable work to be done.

Alongside bad news on incarceration rates and self-harm, there is a good news story in this week’s Productivity Commission report into into indigenous disadvantage.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators Report For 2014 compiles thousands of statistical indicators of well-being, from health to education and employment, and was prepared for the Council of Australian Governments. Among the key findings was this:

“The proportion of adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders whose main income was from employment increased from 32% in 2002 to 41% in 2012-13, with a corresponding decrease in the proportion on income support. Increasing proportions of employed people were employed in full time and managerial positions.”

Drill into chapters 4 and 9 of the report, and you find that this trend is reflected across a range of economic indicators: incomes have increased, home ownership has increased, the proportion of young indigenous people in full-time work or study after leaving school has increased.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.