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Abstract

Regional centres are an important but often overlooked set of areas with particular policy and population dynamics. In this paper, we identify 43 regional centres which we have defined as having a total population of between 10,000 and 250,000 with at least 1,000 Indigenous usual residents. These areas paper contain substantially more Indigenous Australians overall than remote Indigenous communities (23 per cent of the total Australian Indigenous population in 2011). However, the Indigenous population in these areas tend to make up a greater share of the population than in Australia’s major cities. Despite this, policy interest is very rarely devoted to individual regional centres or to regional centres as a separate geographic grouping. Compared to the rest of the Australian Indigenous population, as well as the non-Indigenous population of the 43 selected regional centres, those Indigenous Australians living there were relatively young. Partly because of this relatively young age distribution, the Indigenous population in the selected regional centres was relatively mobile, both in the short-term and over the long-term. One of the innovations of this paper was the development of an index of mobility which was analysed alongside an index of socioeconomic outcomes. The intersection of these indices identified four regional centres of particular policy concern. Specifically, compared to the other regional centres Port Augusta, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Hervey Bay were identified as having a relatively disadvantaged Indigenous population, as well as a highly mobile population.

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Published year only: 
2013
111
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