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Participation Rate

The participation rate is the number of persons in a specific age group who are in the labour force, divided by the total population for that age group. It is expressed as a percentage. The labour force includes people who are working, who are looking for work and available to start work.

For example, 145,397 Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over, were employed or looking for work at the time of the 2006 Census, out of a total of 266,757 Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over. Therefore the participation rate was 55% (those in the labour force divided by total number of Indigenous persons 15 years and over).

The participation rate is lower for Indigenous than non-Indigenous persons (55% compared to 65%).

When the population is restricted to people aged 15–64 years,the difference in labour force participation rates is even more striking (57% for Indigenous and 76% for non-Indigenous). The age population is restricted to adjust for the low labour-force participation rates of older people in the non-Indigenous population.

In the 15–17 year age group, the Indigenous participation rate was 9% lower than the non-Indigenous rate. In all other age groups the Indigenous participation rate was about 20% below the non-Indigenous rate.


Participation Rate by Indigenous status and age group (a) (Persons aged 15 to 64), 2006
Age group (years)
15–17
18–24
25–44
45–64
Indigenous %
31.2
62.1
62.2
54.9
Non-Indigenous %
40.3
79.2
82.8
71.9
(a) Excludes 'not stated'.
Source: Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4713)


Participation Rate by Indigenous status and age group (a) (Persons aged 15 to 64), 2006

(a) Excludes 'not stated'.
Source: Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4713.0)



Further Information: See Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4713.0) and Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006 - Data Cubes (cat.no. 4713.0.55.001)


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