A vast majority of Indigenous peoples around the world live in poverty and have poorer health outcomes than the rest of the population, a world-first study has found. The United Nations-backed report, which brings together data of Indigenous peoples from 23 countries including Australia and New Zealand, found poorer results in life expectancy, infant mortality rates, and birth weights. It also found the wealth of a country did not mean better health outcomes for Indigenous people.
Infant mortality rates were found to be at least twice as high in Indigenous populations in Brazil, Colombia, Greenland, Peru, Russia, and Venezuela than in the benchmark population. Life expectancy at birth was five or more years lower for Indigenous populations in Australia, Cameroon, Greenland, Kenya, New Zealand, and Panama than for the wider population.
“We have wealthy countries, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, where Indigenous people are still behind on any number of fronts and none of this is a surprise,” Chief executive of the Lowitja Institute, Romlie Mokak said. "We know that little progress has been made to close the gap."
Indigenous Australians die about 10 years earlier on average than non-Indigenous Australians.