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
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CHARACTERISTICS OF HOUSEHOLDS IN THE REGION


The following commentary relates to “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households” in the Torres Strait Region (footnote 11) unless otherwise specified.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HOUSEHOLDS IN THE REGION

  • Median weekly household income increased 13% between 2011 and 2016.
  • The percentage of households spending more than 30% of their income on rental payments doubled between 2011 and 2016.
  • One-quarter needed one or more extra bedrooms, while almost half had one or more bedrooms spare in 2016.
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HOUSEHOLD INCOME

Median weekly household income has increased
The median weekly household income for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households rose by 13%, or $124, between 2011 ($969) and 2016 ($1,093) – this increase was smaller compared to the national income for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households (up 21% or $212). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in the Inner Islands reported the highest median weekly income ($1,434 in 2016, up from $1,274 in 2011 – an increase of $160 or 13%), while those in the Top Western Islands reported the lowest ($820, up from $722 in 2011).

Percentage of household income spent on rent

Increase in households at risk of experiencing household financial stress
Households spending more than 30% of their household income on rent are at greater risk of experiencing household financial stress. In 2016, one in nine (11%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in the Region had rental repayments greater than 30% of the household's income. This was an increase from 5% in 2011, but was still lower than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in the rest of Queensland (23%) and Australia (21%). Compared to “Other households” (footnote 12) in the Region, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households experiencing household financial stress was twice as high.

Graph Image for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households(a)(b) with rent greater than 30 per cent of household income, 2011-2016

Footnote(s): (a) Includes households with at least one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who is a usual resident and who was present on Census night. (b) Based on place of enumeration Census counts. Excludes visitor only, non-classifiable and not applicable households. (c) Includes No Usual Address, Migratory-Offshore-Shipping and Other Territories. Note: Percentage total excludes where rent payments as a percentage of household income was unable to be determined.

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



Household financial stress
In 2011, the Inner Islands (7%) and Western Islands (6%) had the highest percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households spending more than 30% of household income on rent. This changed in 2016 to the Eastern Islands (17%) and Top Western Islands (15%) having the highest.


OVERCROWDING

Not enough bedrooms in the house? (footnote 13)
In 2016 almost one-quarter (24%) of households across the Region reported needing one or more extra bedrooms – more than double that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in the rest of Queensland (10%). While new houses are being built in the Region, the growth in the population continues to out-pace the available infrastructure. While not measurable by the Census, this may be explained by temporary mobility of people into and across the Region and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households acting as a key base for relatives, leading to overcrowding (footnote 14). In contrast, almost half (47%) of households had one or more bedrooms spare and 1 in 5 (20%) had no bedrooms needed or spare.


INTERNET CONNECTION

The following analysis is based on all households, not just Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households, for a more complete picture of household internet connection across the Region (footnote 15).

Just over two-thirds (68%) of households in the Region had an internet connection in 2016, much lower than the rest of Queensland (84%) but an increase from 2011 (49%). The island group with the lowest household internet access was the Top Western Islands, with 58%, while the majority (80%) of occupied houses in the NPA had access in 2016. These findings highlight the link between remoteness and internet access, with the mainland communities (NPA) having higher levels of access than the Islands.

Graph Image for Households(a)(b) with internet access, 2011 and 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Includes all households (b) Based on place of enumeration Census counts. Excludes visitor only, non-classifiable and not applicable households. (c) Includes No Usual Address, Migratory-Offshore-Shipping and Other Territories. Note: Percentage total includes those whose internet access was not stated.

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



Footnotes:

11. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households” have at least one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who was reported as living in the household on Census night. Torres Strait Islander only households cannot be analysed separately.

12. “Other households” are those where no Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people were reported as living in the household on Census night.

13. See Glossary for more information on Housing Suitability. Note – this is a new derived item for the 2016 Census.

14. Dockery A.M. and S. Colquhoun 2012, ‘Mobility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: A literature review’, CRC-REP Working Paper CW004, Alice Springs: Ninti One Limited, p. 16.

15. See Glossary for more information about Internet Connection.