Share of Indigenous Australians with year 12 or Certificate III Australia 2019

In 2019, 65.9 percent of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population aged 20 to 24 years had attained a year 12 equivalent level of education. Of this group, Indigenous Australians in the ACT and Victoria were leading the other states and territories. Although year 12 equivalent attainment and enrollment rates for Indigenous Australians have been increasing in recent years, they still fall behind that of the non-Indigenous population.

Closing the gap on Education

In an effort to close the gap in disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the federal, state and territory Governments created the Closing the Gap Framework in 2008. The Framework identified seven target areas for improvement, which were early childhood, schooling, health, economic participation, healthy homes, safe communities, and governance and leadership. Only early childhood and schooling were considered to be on target in 2020. Child care enrollment rates were steadily increasing and more Indigenous Australian’s were attaining a bachelor degree. However, the states and territories with the highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations seemed more likely to lag behind.


Another target of the Closing the Gap Framework, which is closely interlinked with education, is the economic participation target. In a 2015 survey, almost a third of Aboriginal jobseekers indicated that their level of education or training was an impediment to finding work. According to the Framework, the Australian federal, state and territory governments are working toward 60 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 to be employed by 2028. However, in 2019 the target was reported to be not on track, with over 50 percent of Aboriginal people unemployed or out of the labor force.

Share of 20 to 24 year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have attained year 12 equivalent, Certificate III, or above in Australia in 2019, by state

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period

July 2018 and April 2019

Age group

20-24 years

Supplementary notes

Data collected from the 2018–19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) was conducted between July 2018 and April 2019.

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Statistics on "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia "

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