FACTS ABOUT INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS

l In 2006 there were an estimated 517000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Australia (2,5percent of the total population). The overwhelming majority of indigenous Australians (65percent) live outside the country's major cities.

l Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are spoken by 12percent of the indigenous Australian population (aged five years and over). More than 150 indigenous Australian languages are spoken.

l The Australian government's expenditure on indigenous-specific programmes in 2008-09 is estimated to be R28,34billion.

l Approximately 20percent of the Australian land mass is now owned and controlled by indigenous Australians, and it is generally accepted that humans have lived in Australia for 60000 years.

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