Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Indigenous Statistics for Schools
 


Image: Education EDUCATION


Highest School Qualification

At the time of the 2006 Census, 19% (or more than 55,000) of Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over reported Year 12 as their highest level of school completed, compared to 45% of non-Indigenous persons.

For Indigenous persons across all age levels (15 years and over) the most common level of school completed was Year 10 (28% or 79,000 persons) whereas for non-Indigenous persons the most common level of school completed was Year 12.

However younger Indigenous persons completed a higher level of education than older Indigenous persons. 32% of Indigenous persons aged 18 to 24 years and 28% of those aged 25 to 34 years had completed Year 12. Only 8% of Indigenous persons aged over 55 years had completed Year 12. The rate of Year 12 completion for non-Indigenous persons also declined with age, (71% of non-Indigenous 18 to 24 year olds and 27% of non-Indigenous persons over 55 years of age, completed Year 12).

Highest Level of School Completed by Indigenous status and age, 2006
Age group
18-24
25-34
35-54
55 and over
Total(a)
Highest level
Indigenous (%)
Year 12 or equivalent
32
28
15
8
19
Year 11 or equivalent
14
13
9
2
11
Year 10 or equivalent
25
26
34
16
28
Year 9 or equivalent
11
12
14
11
13
Year 8 or below
8
8
14
38
14
Did not go to school
1
1
2
8
2
Total
90
88
88
83
88
Not stated
10
12
12
17
12
Non-Indigenous (%)
Year 12 or equivalent
71
68
46
27
45
Year 11 or equivalent
10
9
12
7
10
Year 10 or equivalent
13
16
29
26
24
Year 9 or equivalent
2
3
6
11
7
Year 8 or below
1
1
3
18
7
Did not go to school
0
0
1
2
1
Total
97
97
97
90
95
Not stated
3
3
3
10
5
Note: Cells have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data
(a) persons aged 15 years and over
Source: Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 (cat. no. 4713)


The 2006 Census also showed that 14% of Indigenous people reported Year 8 or below to be their highest year of school completed. This was double the rate for non-Indigenous persons (7%). A similar difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons was seen for those who reported Year 9 as their highest school qualification (13% for Indigenous and 7% for non-Indigenous persons).

Highest Year of School Completed by Indigenous status (a), 2006

(a) Persons aged 15 years and over.
Source: Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4713.0).

Overall, Indigenous females were slightly more likely than Indigenous males to stay at school until either years 10, 11 or 12.

Highest Year of School Completed by Indigenous status and sex (a), 2006
Indigenous %
Non-Indigenous %
School year level
Male
Female
Total
Male
Female
Total
Year 12 or equivalent
17.8
20.9
19.4
44.5
45.3
44.9
Year 11 or equivalent
10.0
11.4
10.8
10.8
10.2
10.5
Year 10 or equivalent
27.4
28.5
28.0
24.2
23.6
23.9
Year 9 or equivalent
13.3
12.9
13.1
7.4
7.0
7.2
Year 8 or below
14.8
13.5
14.1
7.2
7.5
7.3
Did not go to school
2.3
2.0
2.2
0.8
1.0
0.9
Not stated
14.3
10.7
12.4
5.2
5.4
5.3
(a) Persons aged 15 years and over.
Source: 2006 Census of Population and Housing, Australia, 2006

Further Information:

Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 (cat. no.4713.0)

Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4713.55.001)

  • School Attendance
  • Highest School Qualification
  • Non-School Qualifications
  • Education and Employment
  • Glossary

  • Commonwealth of Australia 2008

    Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.