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A Historical Perspective On Indigenous Socioeconomic Outcomes In Australia, 1971-2001


  • Jon C. Altman
  • Nicholas Biddle
  • Boyd H. Hunter


Current debate in Indigenous affairs in Australia often involves the assertion that the last 30 years has been a period of policy failure. This article examines trends across a number of socioeconomic outcomes for Indigenous Australians from the 1967 referendum to the present, using census data. Overall, there has been steady, although not spectacular improvement in outcomes over time. These improvements are especially marked for education, which was coming from an exceptionally low base. This finding is somewhat at odds with the common perception of the 'failure' of Indigenous policy. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon C. Altman & Nicholas Biddle & Boyd H. Hunter, 2005. "A Historical Perspective On Indigenous Socioeconomic Outcomes In Australia, 1971-2001," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 45(3), pages 273-295, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ozechr:v:45:y:2005:i:3:p:273-295

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    Cited by:

    1. Boyd Hunter, 2007. "Conspicuous Compassion and Wicked Problems: The Howard Government’s National Emergency in Indigenous Affairs," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 35-54.

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