4738.0 - Changing characteristics of the Torres Strait region and its people, 2011 to 2016 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/09/2018  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


CHARACTERISTICS OF PEOPLE IN THE REGION


The following analysis is based on results from the 2011 and 2016 Census for the 18 island communities and two Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) Torres Strait communities, referred to as the ‘Region’.

Information presented below is about Torres Strait Islander people (footnote 7) unless otherwise stated.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE REGION

  • More Torres Strait Islander people reported in the 2016 Census that they had completed year 12 (46%) compared to 2011 (44%).
  • Public administration and safety was the main industry of employment in 2016.
  • The most common occupations in 2011 and 2016 were community and personal service workers, labourers, and clerical and administrative workers.
  • Median personal income increased from $371 to $424 per week.
.


EDUCATION

More Torres Strait Islander people completing year 12
With secondary level education only available from one school on Thursday Island and one in Bamaga, students from other islands have to leave their community to attend school. Almost half (46%) of Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who had completed school, reported in the 2016 Census that they had completed year 12 or its equivalent. This was a marginal increase from 2011 (44%) and higher than for Torres Strait Islander people in the rest of Queensland (43%) and the rest of Australia (32%) in the 2016 Census.

The groups with the highest proportion of people who had completed year 12 were the NPA (51% in 2011 and 54% in 2016) and the Central Islands (51% in 2011 and 53% in 2016), while the Top Western Islands had the largest increase, rising from 40% in 2011 to 46% in the 2016 Census.

While there could be a number of reasons for these completion rates, one possibility is the educational opportunities provided to the high school students in the Region that may help with gaining employment, such as the ability to complete TAFE certificate courses in year 11 and 12.

The graph below demonstrates the increase in people completing year 12 and corresponding decrease in those completing lower level school years, reflecting more students staying on to complete year 12.

Graph Image for Highest year of school completed(a), Torres Strait Islander people(b) aged 15 years and over in the Region, 2011-2016

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes those still attending primary or secondary school. (b) Based on usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. Note: Components will not add up to 100 per cent as the total includes both where the highest year of school completed was not stated and those who did not go to school.

Source(s): 2011 Census of Population and Housing, 2016 Census of Population and Housing


Male and female differences in year 12 attainment
The gap between the rate of male and female year 12 completion is narrowing. The proportion of males completing year 12 in the Region increased from 41% in the 2011 Census to 45% in 2016. In comparison, the proportion of females completing year 12 increased from 46% to 48% over the same period.

Level of highest non-school qualification
A total of 1,720 Torres Strait Islander people living in the Region reported having a non-school qualification in the 2016 Census. There was an increase in people with certificate level non-school qualifications between 2011 (71%) and 2016 (76%) but a slight decrease in people with diplomas (16% in 2011 down to 15%) or bachelor degrees and higher (10% in 2011 down to 8%).

TABLE 2: LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION FOR TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE(a) AGED 15 YEARS AND OVER IN THE REGION, 2011-2016

Percent (%)
Top Western Islands
Western Islands
Central Islands
Eastern Islands
Inner Islands
Northern Peninsula Area Communities
Total Torres Strait Region

2011
2016
2011
2016
2011
2016
2011
2016
2011
2016
2011
2016
2011
2016

Bachelor Degree or above(b)
0.0
8.1
10.8
9.1
5.3
3.9
13.2
2.6
13.4
11.0
10.4
10.0
9.8
8.3
Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level
19.3
12.8
14.9
15.2
13.6
11.8
17.1
7.8
20.9
18.1
10.4
16.9
16.2
15.0
Certificate Level
74.6
81.1
71.8
74.1
79.4
84.9
70.5
88.8
63.8
70.2
76.5
71.8
70.9
75.9

Total (c)
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Based on usual residence Census counts
(b) Includes bachelor degree, graduate diploma, graduate certificate and postgraduate degree.
(c) Includes people whose level of highest non-school qualification was inadequately described.

    Females more likely to have higher levels of non-school qualification
    Females were more likely than males to report having diplomas (21% compared with 7%) and bachelor degrees and above (12% compared with 4%) in the 2016 Census. These findings were similar in 2011. Males with a non-school qualification are most likely to hold a certificate level (87% in 2016), consistent with being employed in occupations such as labourers and technician and trade workers.


    WORK (footnote 8)

    Note- the following information is influenced by the replacement of the 2011 Community Development Employment Projects scheme (CDEP) with the 2016 Community Development Programme (CDP) and the change in classification of participants from employed to not employed (footnote 9).

    People in the labour force (footnote 10) in 2016:
      • Almost half (46%) of Torres Strait Islander people were in the labour force (working or looking for work).
      • 2 in 5 people (39%) were employed.
      • There was an unemployment rate of 15%.

    The unemployment rate in the Region was lower than for Torres Strait Islander people in the rest of Queensland (22%) and similar to the rate of those living outside of Queensland (14%).

    Unemployment rate higher for young people
    In common with young people around the country, people in the Region aged 15-24 experienced a higher rate of unemployment (27% in 2016) than any other age group. In the rest of Queensland, Torres Strait Islander people in this age group also experienced the highest rate of unemployment (32%).


    INDUSTRY

    Most common industries of employment in the Region
      • Public administration and safety – main industry (27% of the Region’s workforce) and highest in the Eastern Islands (46% of the Eastern Island’s workforce).
      • Health care and social assistance – second most common industry in the Region (19% of the Region’s workforce) and highest in the NPA communities (24% of the NPA’s workforce).
      • Education and training (14%), ‘other services’ such as personal care services or repair/maintenance services (10%) and retail trade (8%) were other key industries in the Region.

    Male and female differences in industry of employment
    Females were most likely working in health care and social assistance (1 in 4 people), while males were most likely to be working in public administration and safety (1 in 3 people). Of Torres Strait Islander people working in public administration and safety, around 1 in 3 live on the Inner Islands (including Thursday Island).

    Graph Image for Industry of employment by sex, Torres Strait Islander people(a) aged 15 years and over in the Region, 2016

    Footnote(s): (a) Based on usual residence Census counts. Excludes overseas visitors. Note: Percentage total includes where industry of employment was inadequately described or not stated.

    Source(s): 2011 Census of Population and Housing, 2016 Census of Population and Housing



    OCCUPATION

    Common occupations
    The most common occupations over the period were:
      • Community and personal service workers,
      • Labourers (almost halved between 2011 and 2016),
      • Clerical and administrative workers, and
      • Professionals

    TABLE 3: OCCUPATIONS OF TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE(a) AGED 15 YEARS AND OVER IN THE REGION, 2016

    Percent (%)
    Top Western Islands
    Western Islands
    Central Islands
    Eastern Islands
    Inner Islands
    Northern Peninsula Area Communities
    Total Torres Strait Region

    Community and Personal Service Workers
    20.7
    21.5
    16.2
    19.7
    19.1
    24.5
    20.4
    Labourers
    18.9
    15.3
    18.0
    14.3
    17.3
    14.0
    16.2
    Clerical and Administrative Workers
    15.3
    12.7
    15.8
    17.0
    17.7
    11.4
    15.4
    Professionals
    13.5
    18.2
    18.0
    20.4
    13.4
    11.1
    14.6
    Technicians and Trades Workers
    4.5
    9.8
    12.3
    9.5
    11.7
    15.2
    11.7
    Sales Workers
    5.4
    8.7
    6.6
    8.8
    6.1
    8.5
    7.1
    Managers
    5.4
    5.8
    7.5
    5.4
    6.9
    7.3
    6.7
    Machinery Operators and Drivers
    2.7
    2.5
    0.0
    2.0
    3.4
    9.3
    3.8

    Total(b)
    100.0
    100.0
    100.0
    100.0
    100.0
    100.0
    100.0

    (a) Based on usual residence Census counts
    (b) Includes people whose occupation was inadequately described or not stated.

    Male and female differences in occupation
    Across the Region, males were more likely to be in occupations such as labourers and technicians and trades workers, while females were more likely to be community and personal service workers or clerical and administrative workers.


    INCOME

    Weekly income
    The Region’s median personal income in 2016 was $35 lower than that of Torres Strait Islander people in Australia ($459). The median personal income for people aged 15 years and over in the Region was $424 in 2016, up from $371 in 2011, an increase of $53 – the same increase as Torres Strait Islander people in the rest of Queensland ($405 to $458). The Central Islands reported the largest increase since 2011, increasing by $76, while the smallest increase was in the Top Western Islands, (up $9).

    TABLE 4: MEDIAN PERSONAL INCOME, TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE(a) AGED 15 YEARS AND OVER, 2011-2016

    2011 ($)
    2016 ($)
    Increase ($)
    Increase (%)

    Top Western Islands
    322
    331
    9
    3
    Western Islands
    313
    375
    62
    20
    Central Islands
    291
    367
    76
    26
    Eastern Islands
    297
    332
    35
    12
    Inner Islands
    524
    535
    11
    2
    Northern Peninsula Area Communities
    455
    490
    35
    8
    Total Torres Strait Region
    371
    424
    53
    14
    Rest of Queensland
    405
    458
    53
    13

    Total Australia
    391
    459
    68
    17

    (a) Based on usual residence Census counts


    Footnotes:

    7. Torres Strait Islander includes people who identified as Torres Strait Islander and both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

    8. Estimates produced from the Census and the Labour Force Survey are not the same. See The 2016 Census and the Labour Force Survey fact sheet for further information.

    9. The CDP is a Government initiative designed to assist job seekers in remote areas to gain the skills, training and capabilities needed to find sustainable employment and contribute to their communities through a range of flexible activities. The change to CDP in 2016 changed the nature of participants’ labour force status. In the 2011 Census, people only participating in this program were considered to be employed. In 2016, they were not considered to be employed unless they also had a non-CDP job. For further detailed information on labour force status and the Community Development Programme, see ‘Labour Force Status (LFSP)’ in Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia, 2016 (ABS cat. no. 2900.0).

    10. For Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over.