The rate of homelessness among Indigenous
Australians fell between 2006 and 2011
Inigenous Australians are
over-represented in the homeless population. On Census night in 2011, an
estimated 26,743 Indigenous people were experiencing homelessness. Taking into
account the size of the Indigenous population, 1 in 20 Indigenous people were
homeless on Census night in 2011-14 times the rate for non-Indigenous people (1
in 284 people).
These data are based on a new method of estimating the
homeless population developed by the ABS which distinguishes between 6 groups of
homeless people according to their living situation. Among Indigenous people who
were homeless in 2011, three-quarters (75%) were living in severely crowded
dwellings- these dwellings contained an average of 12 people each. A further 12%
were living in supported accommodation for the homeless, 6% were staying in
improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out, and the remainder were staying
temporarily with other households, or in other temporary lodgings.
2006 and 2011, the rate of homelessness among Indigenous people fell by 14%. In
contrast, there was a 12% increase in the rate of homelessness among
About 4 in 10 Indigenous homeless people were aged
18 or under
Indigenous people experiencing homelessness were more likely
to be female, and tended to be younger than non-Indigenous people experiencing
homelessness. In 2011, 51% of Indigenous homeless people were female, compared
with 42% of non-Indigenous homeless people. About 4 in 10 (42%) of the
Indigenous homeless population were aged 18 or under, compared with 23% of
non-Indigenous homeless people.
In 2011, 60% of Indigenous people
experiencing homelessness were in Very remote areas. Nearly
all (97%) Indigenous homeless people in Very remote areas were living
in severely crowded dwellings.
One-fifth of specialist homelessness
services clients were Indigenous
Clients of specialist homelessness
services are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In 2012-13, about
1 in 5 (22%) clients were Indigenous-an estimated 54,885 clients. In comparison,
about 3% of the total Australian population were Indigenous.
an estimated 9.2% of the Indigenous population accessed specialist homelessness
services. This was an increase from 8.8% in 2011-12.
were more likely to be female (62%) than non-Indigenous clients (57%), and they
tended to be younger-one-quarter (24%) of Indigenous clients were aged under 10
compared with 14% of non-Indigenous clients.
Domestic and family violence
was the most commonly reported main reason that Indigenous people sought
assistance from specialist homelessness services (22%), as it was for
non-Indigenous clients (21%).
Agencies were able to support some
Indigenous clients into more stable housing. Among Indigenous clients who ended
support in 2012-13, the proportion who were homeless decreased from 48% at the
start of support to 41% at the end of support, while the proportion in social
housing increased from 28% to 35%.