Indigenous youth are on average as happy with their lives as the general Australian population, a study has found.
The researchers behind the study, conducted by RMIT University in Melbourne, say it is the first time the happiness of Aboriginal teens has been measured.
RMIT lead investigator Dr Adrian Tomyn said there was a perception that because indigenous Australians score poorly on measures of quality life such as health, education, employment and housing, they would have equally poor levels of happiness.
But this survey disproved this among young people, he said.
"Our study has revealed that indigenous adolescents are, on average, as happy with their lives as the general Australian population - a sign of great resilience in the face of adverse circumstances," he said.
The study surveyed 504 indigenous Australians aged 12 to 19 involved in a Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations program for disengaged young people.
It studied their subjective wellbeing (SWB), the scientific term for happiness.