Closing the Gap Prime Minister's Report 2018


For ten years Closing the Gap has lifted the expectations of what we can achieve. It has harnessed our resolve and focused our efforts, and enabled us each to play a role in creating our shared future. This data indicates that three of the seven Closing the Gap targets are on track to be met. The last year in which at least three targets were on track was in 2011.

  • The target to halve the gap in child mortality by 2018 is on track. Over the long term (1998 to 2016) the Indigenous child mortality rate has declined by 35 per cent, and there has been a narrowing of the gap (by 32 per cent). Improvements in key drivers of child and maternal health over the past few years suggest there are further gains to be made.
  • The target to have 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 is on track. In 2016, around 14,700 Indigenous children (91 per cent) were enrolled in early childhood programs.
  • The target to close the gap in school attendance by 2018 is not on track. In 2017, the overall attendance rate for Indigenous students nationally was 83.2 per cent.
  • The target to halve the gap in reading and numeracy by 2018 is not on track. In 2017, the proportion of Indigenous students achieving national minimum standards in NAPLAN is on track in only one (Year 9 numeracy) of the eight areas (reading and numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9).
  • The target to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020 is on track. Nationally, the proportion of Indigenous 20-24 year-olds who had achieved Year 12 or equivalent increased from 47.4 per cent in 2006 to 65.3 per cent in 2016.
  • The target to halve the gap in employment by 2018 is not on track, with Indigenous employment rates falling slightly over the past decade. In 2016, the Indigenous employment rate was 46.6 per cent.
  • The target to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031 is not on track. Between the periods 2005-2007 and 2010-2012 there was a small reduction in the gap of 0.8 years for males and 0.1 years for females. Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined by 14 per cent since 1998.
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