A growing number of Australians are identifying as Indigenous, including an increasing number of older people who are for the first time confirming their cultural origins.

Census data revealed on Tuesday that there are 812,728 people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in Australia. That’s equal to 3.2 per cent of the population.

The figures reflect an increase of more than 25 per cent since census data was last collected in 2016.

Nearly 48,000 are aged 65 years and older which more than doubles the results of the 2011 census.

The statistics for the first time also report on the number of Indigenous Australians who have served in the defence force.

More than 3000 currently serving members identify as having Indigenous origin, totalling 3.7 per cent.

There are 11,000 former ADF members who identify as having Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Traditional languages remain an important part of many Indigenous households.

More than 78,000 people speak an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language at home.

Of the 167 traditional languages spoken at home in 2021, the most widely reported were Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages, Torres Strait Island Languages, Western Desert Languages, Yolngu Matha and Arandic.

The results of the census will help governments and local organisations plan for health, education and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities into the future, statistician David Gruen said.

Further analysis of census data relating to Indigenous Australians is being undertaken, he added.

Of the Indigenous population, 91.4 per cent identified as Aboriginal, 4.2 per cent identified as Torres Strait Islander, and 4.4 per cent identified as both origins.

  • Story by Maeve Bannister, AAP