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The absolute and relative deprivation experienced by Indigenous people in remote and very remote Australia is well known. However, Indigenous people in remote areas are often lumped together as a single national category. There is little understanding of how the different states and territories perform in terms of the economic wellbeing of Indigenous people in remote and very remote areas.

The major finding of this research is that the Northern Territory has the worst economic outcomes for Indigenous people in remote or very remote locations of any state or territory in Australia by some margin, while South Australia has the best.

It could also be argued that general features of the NT affecting both non-Indigenous and Indigenous people might be driving the Territory Gap. These might include lack of economic opportunities, inhospitable climate, small population, or low population density. Proponents of this view may attribute the comparative economic success of non-Indigenous Territorians in remote and very remote areas to the large number of non-Indigenous service providers attracting generous public sector salaries. Either way, the Territory Gap must become a focus for leaders and policy-makers.

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CIS Analysis Paper 39