Closing the Gap Prime Minister's Report 2019


As four of the seven targets were due to expire in 2018, the Australian Government has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and state and territory governments to develop the Closing the Gap Refresh. This is a new framework which builds on the original Closing the Gap targets and represents a continued commitment in effort and accountability from all governments for a further ten years. This report both acknowledges the future framework, while reporting progress against the original targets set in 2008.

There are currently seven Closing the Gap targets. Two targets, early childhood education and Year 12 attainment, are on track to be met.

  • The target to halve the gap in child mortality rates by 2018 is not on track. Since the target baseline (2008) Indigenous child mortality rates have declined by 10% (not statistically significant) but the gap has not narrowed as the non-Indigenous rate has declined at a faster rate.
  • The target to have 95% of Indigenous four year olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 is on track. In 2017, 95% of Indigenous four year olds were enrolled in early childhood education.
  • The target to close the gap in school attendance by 2018 is not on track. Attendance rates for Indigenous students have not improved between 2014 and 2018 (around 82% in 2018) and remain below the rate for non-Indigenous students (around 93%).
  • The target to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031 is not on track. Between 2010–12 and 2015–17, Indigenous life expectancy at birth improved by 2.5 years for Indigenous males and by 1.9 years for Indigenous females (both not statistically significant), which has led to a small reduction in the gap.
  • There is no new national data available for three targets and their status remains the same as for the 2018 Report. The target to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment or equivalent by 2020 is on track. The target to halve the gap in reading and numeracy by 2018 is not on track. The target to halve the gap in employment by 2018 is not on track.
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