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There were slightly more males than females in the 12-25 years age group (609,908 compared with 591,871). Among people aged 26 years and over, the number of females (1,939,155) exceeded the number of males (1,825, 904).
In 1996, the highest number of young people were counted in the Statistical Division of Sydney (766,391), representing 64% of all young people in New South Wales. Sydney and Murrumbidgee Statistical Divisions had the highest proportion of 12-25 year-olds (both with 21%). They were closely followed by Central West, Northern, Hunter, and Illawarra Statistical Divisions (all 20%).
Only four Statistical Divisions registered increases in numbers of young people between 1991 and 1996 (Hunter, Illawarra, Richmond-Tweed and Mid-North Coast Statistical Divisions). The strongest growth was in the Richmond-Tweed Statistical Division, which increased by 12% (3,694).
Young people reported being more mobile than older people. Just over 40% of 12-25 year-olds reported living at a different address than five years previously, compared with only 33% of older people. A similar pattern was evident for residential movement within the previous twelve months, with 22% of young people and only 13% of older people at different address.
The greatest level of residential movement in both the last year and the last five years took place within the State of New South Wales. Among people who had moved within the previous five years, 90% of 12-25 year-olds, and 91% of older people, had moved within the State. Similarly, among those who had moved within the previous twelve months, 91% of young people and 92% of older people had moved within the State.
Young females in New South Wales were more likely to have moved than young males. In 1996, 43% of young women reported living at a different address from five years ago, compared with 37% of young men. For the older population, 32% of females and 34% of males were living at a different address from five years ago.
In the 1996 Census, 27,821 or 2.3% of young people in New South Wales identified as Indigenous people. This proportion was slightly lower than the national average among young people (2.7%). The 0-9 years age group had the highest proportion of Indigenous people (3.4%) while the proportion of Indigenous people in the older population (aged 26 years and over) was just 1%.
Almost 16% (190,193) of young people in New South Wales were born overseas. This is one of the highest proportions among the States and Territories. Only Western Australia had a higher proportion (19%), and nationally, the proportion is 14%. In contrast, 30% of people in New South Wales aged 26 years and older were born overseas.
Countries of birth
One-quarter (25% or 47,873) of overseas-born people aged 12-25 years originated from the main English-speaking countries (Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America). Among older people (aged 26 years and over), one-third (33% or 3,765,059) had been born in the main English-speaking countries.
Among those who arrived more recently (1991-1996), 12,045 were born in one of the main English-speaking countries, and 52,926 were born in other countries. However, the highest proportion (9%) were born in New Zealand, followed by 8% from Hong Kong.
Of young people in New South Wales who were born in Australia, 644,753 or 66% had both an Australian-born mother and father. Another 317,082 (33%) had at least one parent who had been born overseas. Almost 21% (208,439) had at least one parent born in a non-main English-speaking country.
Languages spoken at home
Almost one-fifth (19%) of young people spoke a language other than English at home. Of these, 15% spoke a Chinese language, and another 15% spoke Arabic (including Lebanese). Among people aged 26 years and over, the most common languages spoken at home other than English were also Chinese languages (15%).
Proficiency in English
The majority (78%) of young people in New South Wales reported speaking English only. Of those young people who spoke another language, 92% reported that they spoke English very well or well.
Most 15-25 year-olds (76%) in New South Wales were not married. Almost 8% reported being in a registered marriage, and 6% in a de facto marriage. Young females were more likely than young males to be in a partnership (19% compared with 10%).
Almost 43% of 12-25 year-olds were living with their parents as dependent children. Another 26% of young males, and 17% of young females, were living as non-dependent children with their parents. Young women were more likely than young men to have moved from the family home, forming partnerships and their own families (18% compared with 8% of young males).
Type of dwelling
About 3% of 12-25 year-olds in New South Wales had spent census night in a non-private dwelling. The largest numbers of these young people were in boarding schools or residential colleges (18,031), or staying at hotels and motels (8,962). Another 4,692 young people reported having no usual address.
Type of tenure
A high proportion (59%) of young people occupied dwellings which were owned or being purchased, compared with 69% of people aged 26 years and over.
In comparison, more young people (33%) than older people (aged 26 years and over) (22%) lived in rented dwellings. Almost 64% of Indigenous young people, and 45% of those born overseas in non-main English-speaking countries, were in rented dwellings.
Attendance at educational institutions
Over half (55% or 664,049) of all 12-25 year-olds were attending an educational institution in 1996. This is an increase from 1991 (53%). The participation rate was the same for both males and females (55%). Most of these young people (63%) were attending secondary school, with a further 5% at primary school.
Between 1991 and 1996 the proportion of all young people who were attending school increased from 36% to 38%. Over the same period, the proportion of young people attending higher education institutions increased from 8% to 9%.
Given the legal age requirement for school attendance, education participation rates were highest for the younger age groups. Almost all (95%) of those in the 12-14 years age group reported that they were still at school, with the majority (166,029) attending government schools. Among 15-17 year-olds, educational participation was lower (81%), with 76% at school and 5% in post-secondary education.
In 1996 equal proportions of young males (8%) were attending University or tertiary institutions and Technical or further educational institutions. In contrast, a higher proportion of young females were attending University or tertiary institutions (10%) than were attending Technical or further education institutions (6%).
Non-main English-speaking birthplace
Two-thirds (67%) of young people in New South Wales who were born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country were attending an educational institution at the time of the 1996 Census. This is much higher than the general level of educational participation for young people (55%) and suggests the presence of an overseas student population. Almost 19% of young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country reported attending a University or tertiary institution, compared with only 9% of all young people in New South Wales.
Among Indigenous young people in New South Wales, 12,275 (44%), were attending an educational institution. Participation was highest among the younger age groups with 91% of 12-14 year olds and 57% of 15-17 year olds in education. Lower levels of educational participation were reported for Indigenous people aged 20-25 years (12%), and just 3% of all Indigenous young people in New South Wales reported attending a University or other tertiary institution.
Education and labour force status
Many young people attending educational institutions were also employed. Among 15-25 year-olds who were attending a tertiary or other institution, 57% were employed either full-time or part-time. In 1996, 37% of young people attending a tertiary or other institution full-time were also working part-time. In 1991, only 29% of full-time students were working part-time, reflecting the general increase in part-time work.
New South Wales had the highest proportion (32%) of people aged 18-25 years with post-school qualifications of all States and Territories.
Also, young people in New South Wales were more highly qualified in 1996 than they were in 1991. The proportion of 15-25 year-olds with post-secondary qualifications increased from 21% to 24%. Among older persons (aged 26 years and over) the proportion increased from 36% to 39%.
Between 1991 and 1996, the proportion of young females holding a bachelor degree or higher increased from 4% to 8% and for young males, from 3% to 5%.
While similar proportions of young males and females held post-school qualifications (21% and 22% respectively), the level of qualification varied between the sexes. The most common qualification held by young males was skilled vocational (11%), followed by a bachelor degree (5%). For young females, the most common qualification was a bachelor degree (7%), followed by basic vocational (4%).
Labour force status
In New South Wales, at the time of the 1996 Census, there were 606,210 15-25 year-olds in the labour force; that is, they were either employed or looking for work. They made up 22% of the total labour force (2,806,544 people). The majority (83%) of these young people were employed.
The labour force participation rate for young people in 1996 was 64%. Participation among Indigenous young people was lower at 55%, and among young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country, the participation rate was 44%. This reflected the much higher level of educational participation by this group.
In 1996, fewer young women were in the labour force than young men (62% compared with 66%).
The proportion of young people employed in full-time work fell between 1991 and 1996 from 36% to 34%. This decrease was experienced equally by both young women and men and reflected the general move in the labour force from full-time to part-time work.
The proportions of both young and older people employed in part-time work have increased. Between 1991 and 1996, the proportion of young people in New South Wales who were employed part-time increased from 15% to 20%.
Among the 15-25 year-olds who were employed, 43% of young women, and 28% of young men, were employed part-time.
In 1996, the unemployment rate for young people in New South Wales was 14% - that is, 14% of 15-25 year-olds in the labour force reported that they were looking for work. Among young males, the rate was 16%, compared with 13% for young females.
Another measure of unemployment among young people, which takes account of the varying labour force participation between age groups, is the proportion of the total population in the age group who were unemployed. In New South Wales in 1996, fewer than 6% of 15-17 year-olds were looking for work. Among other age groups, this proportion was almost 13% for those aged 18-19 years, 10% for 20-24 year-olds, and 8% for 25 year-olds. In the total population of 15-25 year-olds, 9% were unemployed.
In 1996, the largest proportions of young people were employed in Retail trade (25% or 132,084); Manufacturing (11%); and Property and business services (9%). Retail trade employed the highest proportions of both young men and women (23% and 28% respectively). For young men, the next highest were Manufacturing (15%) and Construction (11%). Property and business services, and Health and community services were the next largest employers of young women, each employing 11%.
In 1996, 20% (105,402) of employed young people in New South Wales were employed as Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers. The largest proportion (20%) of older people were employed as Professionals. For young men, the most common occupations were Tradespersons and related workers (29%), and Labourers and related workers (14%). Young women were most commonly employed as Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (30%) and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers (26%).
A high proportion (16%) of young people reported receiving no income at all. In general, there were proportionally more young women at lower income levels and fewer at higher income levels. A partial explanation for this is women's higher participation in part-time work.
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