Aboriginal people

Aboriginal people can expect to live up to twenty years less than non-Indigenous Australians. Indigenous life expectancy is so low because Aboriginal health standards in Australia are now so bad that 45% of Aboriginal men and 34% of women die before the age of 45. 71% die before they reach the age of 65. Australian Aboriginal people’s life expectancy is by far the worst. They die 20 years before the average non-Indigenous Australian dies.

The average life expectancy of Australian Aboriginal people is 59. 6 years and has remained steady between 1990 and 2000 The current pattern in employment for Indigenous people is: 36% of Indigenous people in the labour force are in major cities; 25% of those employed are between the ages of 25 and 34 years; 36% of employed Indigenous people work 40 hours or more a week; 94% are employees; 60% are employed in low skill level occupations; and 24% are labourers [9].

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The employment pattern for non-Indigenous workers show 70% have employment in major cities; the majority of workers are between the ages of 35 and 44 years (24%); of those employed, 49% work 40 hours or more a week; 82% are employees; 44% are in low skill level occupations; and 20% are professionals. The health status of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is poor in comparison to the rest of the Australian population. 0 There remains a large inequality gap in Australia across all statistics. For example, there is an estimated gap of approximately 17 years between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectation in Australia11.

For all age groups below 65 years, the age-specific death rates for Indigenous Australians are at least twice those experienced by the non-Indigenous population12. Indigenous peoples do not have an equal opportunity to be as healthy as non-Indigenous Australians. The relative socioeconomic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared to non-Indigenous people places them at greater risk of exposure to behavioural and environmental health risk factors’13 as does the higher proportion of Indigenous households that ‘live in conditions that do not support good health’. 14 Indigenous peoples also do not enjoy equal access to primary health care and health infrastructure (including safe drinking water, effective sewerage systems, rubbish collection services and healthy housing). 15

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