Last year the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the report Australia’s Health 2022. ACHPER NSW has compiled data from the report to support teaching CAFS Groups in Context. Snapshot #1 looks at Youth in Australia.
This snapshot supports the teaching of CAFS HSC Module – Groups in Context – Category A groups – Exploring the four specific groups within the community – Youth (HSC 2023 and 2024 – Cat A). Specifically:
Syllabus learn about:
Exploring the four specific groups within the community
– prevalence of each group within the community
– individual diversity within each group.
Syllabus learn to:
Utilise reliable sources of data to examine the nature of each group by considering the following questions:
– what is the prevalence of the group within Australia?
– what determines whether an individual is part of the group?
– how might individuals vary within the group?
What is the prevalence of the group within Australia?
In 2020, an estimated 3.2 million young people aged 15–24 lived in Australia, making up 12% of the whole population (ABS 2020a):
- 47% (or 1.5 million) of young people were aged 15–19
- 53% (or 1.7 million) were 20–24 in 2020.
Source: Australia’s Youth
What determines whether an individual is part of the group?
Young people 12 – 24 years of age. This age range also includes 3 main stages of adolescence: early, middle, and late.
Source: Health of Young People
How might individuals vary within the group?
Overall demographics (15 -24 year olds)
- 51% (or 1.7 million) were male
- 49% (or 1.6 million) were female
- 6.1% (or 181,000) identified as gay, lesbian or having an ‘other’ sexual orientation in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) General Social Survey in 2019
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people made up 5.1% (or 164,000) of the young person population in 2019, with 2.6% (or 84,300) males and 2.5% (or 80,200) females
- 25% (or 814,000) were born overseas, with the largest populations from:
- China (excluding special administrative regions and Taiwan) (4.5% or 148,000),
- India (2.7% or 87,600)
- New Zealand (1.9% or 63,200)
- England (1.7% or 56,500) in 2019
- Around 3,700 young people aged 12–24 permanently resettled under the Refugee and Humanitarian program in 2019–20
- 6.0% (or 188,000) of young people were informal carers in 2018
- The most common religious affiliations in 2016 were;
- Christianity (45% or 1.3 million)
- no religious affiliation (37% or 1.1 million)
- Islam (3.3% or 97,000)
- Buddhism (2.5% or 75,000)
Source: Australia’s Youth – Demographics
Young people with a disability
In 2018, based on self-reported data from the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers:
- 9.3% of people aged 15–24 had disability (around 291,000 people) (ABS 2019c)
- The prevalence of disability was similar for males (9.2%) and females (9.5%)
- Of young people with disability:
- 3.4% had severe or profound core activity limitations
- 6.9% had schooling or employment restrictions (ABS 2019c).
The prevalence of young people with disability was similar in 2003 and 2018 (9.0% and 9.3%, respectively), with some fluctuation in the intervening surveys (6.6% in 2009 and 7.8% in 2012) (ABS 2019c).
Youth engagement in education or employment
Around 9 in 10 young people aged 15–24 were engaged in education and/or employment (88% or 2.8 million).
- The proportion of young people who were considered NEET (not in employment, education or training) was more than twice as high for those living in the lowest socioeconomic areas as for those in the highest (18% or 96,000 compared with 8.7% or 66,000)
- The proportion of young people aged 15–24 who were fully engaged in education or employment varied across some population groups. It was:
- higher for those living in Major cities than those living in Inner regional areas
- lower for those born in Australia than those born overseas
- lower for those living in the lowest socioeconomic areas than for those living in the highest.
- The proportion of young people who were partially engaged in education or employment was:
- lower for those living in Major cities than those living in Inner regional areas
- higher for those born in Australia than those born overseas
- higher for those living in the lowest socioeconomic areas than those living in the highest.
Where young people live
Most young people lived in:
- New South Wales (31% or 1.0 million)
- Victoria (27% or 850,000)
- Queensland (21% or 658,000)
- Western Australia (10% or 321,000)
- South Australia (6.8% or 216,000)
- Tasmania (2.0% or 62,700)
- Australian Capital Territory (1.8% or 56,500)
- Northern Territory (1.0% or 31,200) (ABS 2020a).
All states and territories had similar proportions of young people, ranging between 12% and 13% (ABS 2020a).
In 2019, young people aged 15–24:
- 75% live in Major cities (2.4 million young people)
- 16% live in Inner regional areas (528,000)
- 7.1% live in Outer regional areas (233,000)
- 1.6% live in Remote or Very remote areas (53,000).
In 2017–18, the majority of young people aged 15–24 lived with their parent or parents as either a dependent student (46% or 1.4 million) or a non-dependent child (a person without a spouse or offspring in their own household who is not a full-time student) (29% or 884,000).
Child protection services
During 2020–21, more than 178,800 Australian children received child protection services. Of these children:
- 68% (around 120,800) were the subject of an investigation of a notification of abuse or neglect and about 49,700 children were the subjects of substantiations in 2020–21.
- At 30 June 2021, more than 46,200 children were in out-of-home care with 91% being in a home-based care placement.
In 2016, young people aged 15–24 made up 21% of the homeless population (around 24,200 young people).
- In 2016, rates of homelessness were substantially higher among young people aged 15–24 living in Remote and Very remote areas (6.2%) than among those living in Major cities (0.8%).
- Between 2006 and 2016, the proportion of young people aged 15–24 experiencing homelessness increased from 0.7% (or 18,500 young people) in 2006 to 0.8% (or 24,200) in 2016.
- In 2019–20, 3 of the main reasons young people aged 15–24 sought assistance from specialist homelessness services were a housing crisis (17%), family and domestic violence (17%) and inadequate or inappropriate dwelling conditions (12%).
This is not an exhaustive list of how individuals might vary among the group.
The National Youth Information Framework (NYIF) indicators also provide information on issues of concern for the four specific groups within the community.