Closing the Gap - Prime Minister's Report 2017


This ninth Closing the Gap report showcases real successes being achieved at a local level across the country—by individuals, communities, organisations and government. The Closing the Gap targets address the areas of health, education and employment, and provide an important snapshot of where progress is being made and where further efforts are needed.

The target to halve the gap in child mortality by 2018 is not on track this year. The 2015 Indigenous child mortality rate is just outside the range for the target. Over the longer-term (1998 to 2015), the Indigenous child mortality rate declined by 33 per cent. The child mortality gap narrowed (by 31 per cent) over the same period. The target to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031 is not on track based on data since the 2006 baseline. Over the longer term, the total Indigenous mortality rate declined by 15 per cent between 1998 and 2015, with the largest decline from circulatory disease (the leading cause of Indigenous deaths). In December 2015, COAG renewed the early childhood education target, aiming for 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025. The baseline data for this new target is for 2015. In May 2014, COAG agreed to a new target to close the gap in school attendance by the end of 2018. The attendance rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in 2016 was 83.4 per cent, similar to 2014 (83.5 per cent). The target to halve the gap in reading and numeracy for Indigenous students by 2018 is not on track. The latest data show of the eight areas measured (reading and numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9), only one (Year 9 numeracy) is on track. Nationally the proportion of Indigenous 20-24 year-olds who had achieved Year 12 or equivalent increased from 45.4 per cent in 2008 to 61.5 per cent in 2014-15. This means the target to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020 is on track. The target to halve the gap in employment by 2018 is not on track. While there has been an increase in the Indigenous employment rate since 1994, there has been a decline since 2008

Copyright Information

© Commonwealth of Australia 2017 With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence (CC BY 3.0) (