Abstract: The relationship between socioeconomic status and health is well established, with people at the lowest socioeconomic levels experiencing the highest rates of illness and death (Lynch & Kaplin in Berkman and Kawachi (eds) 2000). As socioeconomic position improves, health status also improves. This gradient from poorest to wealthiest has been observed for most of the major causes of death (Turrell et al. 1999). This Chapter provides information on the demographic, social and economic characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, using experimental estimates of the resident Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations as well as Census counts. Estimated resident population (ERP) adjusts the count from Census night, 7 August 2001, to 30 June 2001, making allowance for net Census undercount, Australian residents temporarily overseas on Census night, and for instances in which Indigenous status was not reported in the Census. This data provides a context for the health and welfare information in later Chapters.