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4123.4 - South Australia's Young People, 1996  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/1998   
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INTRODUCTION

This publication provides a comprehensive range of statistics on young people aged 12-25 years in South Australia, using data from the 1996 Census of Population and Housing. The report is one of a series produced for each Australian State and Territory, jointly published by the National Youth Affairs Research Scheme (NYARS) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). NYARS was established in 1985 as a cooperative funding arrangement between the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments to facilitate nationally based research into current social, political and economic factors affecting young people. NYARS is administered under the auspices of Youth Ministers through a working group of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. Research undertaken assists in the formulation, implementation and assessment of policy by Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers for Youth.

A similar series, using 1991 Census data, was jointly published by the ABS and NYARS during 1992 and 1993.

The publication features summary tables of selected characteristics of young people at national and local government area levels. More detailed information is presented in five subject-based chapters: population, cultural diversity, living arrangements, education and working life.

Within these broad subject headings, the publication also considers young people in the context of age, sex, and cultural diversity. Comparative data from the 1986 and 1991 Censuses are also included in some tables to provide a time dimension.

CHAPTER 1 SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS

NATIONAL SUMMARY

Main findings

On census night 1996, 3,636,900 12-25 year-olds were counted in Australia, representing over one-fifth (21%) of Australians of all ages.

In New South Wales, the most populous State, they numbered 1,201,800, representing one-third of Australia's young people. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of young people (24%).

Young males outnumbered young females in all States and Territories. Nationally, there were 48,800 more 12-25 year-old males than females.

Cultural diversity

Almost 3% (99,500) of Australia's young people were of Indigenous origin. In the Northern Territory, people who reported that they were of Indigenous origin comprised almost one-third (32%) of all 12-25 year-olds, but in Victoria, they made up fewer than 1% of young people.

Just over 14% of young people in Australia had been born overseas. For 5%, their country of birth had been one of the main English-speaking countries (Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America). The other 9% had been born in other countries.

A high proportion of young people (15%) spoke languages other than English. More than 28% of the Northern Territory's 12-25 year-olds, and 20% of young people in Victoria, reported speaking a language other than English at home.

Living arrangements

Over 42% of young people in Australia were living with their parents as dependent children-either children aged 15 years or under, or dependent students aged 15-24 years. Another 20% lived with their parents as non-dependent children.

Almost one-quarter (24%) of young people had formed families or partnerships, or were living independently, alone or in group households.

Education

Over 87% of Australian 12-17 year-olds, and almost 30% of 18-25 year-olds, were attending schools or other educational institutions. The highest levels of educational participation were reported in the Australian Capital Territory (92% of 12-17 year-olds, and 43% of 18-25 year-olds), and the lowest, in the Northern Territory - 75% and 14% respectively.

New South Wales had the highest proportion (32%) of any State or Territory of young people (18-25 years) with post-school qualifications. Nationally, the proportion was 29%.

Working life

Almost one-half (48%) of Australian 15-19 year-olds, and 78% of 20-25 year-olds, were in the labour force, that is, they were employed, or looking for work.

Among young people aged 15-19 years, the highest proportion (23%) were working part-time, compared with 14% in full-time work. For 20-25 year-olds, these positions were reversed - 47% were working full-time, and 19% part-time.

Unemployment

Unemployment rates among young people were at 19% for 15-19 year-olds, and 13% for 20-25 year-olds.

Young people's labour force participation is often influenced by their continuing participation in education, and an alternative measure of unemployment levels is the percentage of unemployed in the whole age group. In 1996, this proportion was 9% for 15-19 year-olds, and 10% for 20-25 year-olds.

Income

The median weekly income for 15-25 year-olds in 1996 was $181.

CHAPTER 2 POPULATION

Main findings

On census night (6 August 1996) 277,251 young people aged 12-25 years were counted, constituting 19% of all people in South Australia.

1986 to 1996

Between 1986 and 1996, South Australia's census count increased by nearly 6% (79,761) to 1,422,522. The number of young people fell by 11% (35,331) over the same period.

Young people in South Australia represent a declining proportion of the total, falling from 23% in 1986 to 21% in 1991, and then to 19% in 1996. This trend can be expected to continue, since the proportion aged 0-11 years has also declined, from 17% in 1986 to 16% in 1996.


Sex and age

There were slightly more males than females in the 12-25 years age group (141,096 compared with 136,155). Among people aged 26 years and over, the number of females (472,873) exceeded the number of males (438,780).

Geographic distribution

In 1996, the highest number of young people were counted in the Statistical Division of Adelaide (210,568), representing 76% of all young people in South Australia and 20% of people counted in the Adelaide Statistical Division. The next highest concentrations of young people (19%) were reported in the South East and Northern Statistical Divisions. These were followed by the Statistical Divisions of Eyre and Murray Lands (both 18%).

Only one Statistical Division (Outer Adelaide) registered an increase (534) in the number of young people between 1991 and 1996.

Movement

Young people reported being more mobile than older people. Just over 45% 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 23% of young people and only 11% of older people being at a different address.

Most of this movement had taken place within South Australia. Among people who had moved within the previous five years, 89% of both 12-25 year-olds and older people had moved within the State. Similarly, among those who had moved within the previous twelve months, 90% of young people and 89% of older people had moved within the State.

Young females in South Australia were more likely to have moved than young males. In 1996, 51% of young women reported living at a different address from five years ago, compared with 42% of young men. For the older population, 32% of females and 34% of males were living at a different address from five years ago.


CHAPTER 3 CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Main findings

Indigenous people

In the 1996 Census, 5,690 or 2.1% of young people in South Australia reported that they were Indigenous. This proportion was lower than the national average among young people (2.7%). The proportion of Indigenous people in the older population (aged 26 years and over) was much smaller at 0.9%.

Overseas-born

Nearly 10% (27,243) of young people in South Australia were born overseas. Nationally, the proportion was 14%. Among older people the proportion born overseas (29%) was almost three times that of young people.

Countries of birth

More than 37% (10,130) 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), over one-half (52% or 138,515) had been born in the main English-speaking countries.


Among young people in South Australia who arrived in Australia prior to 1986, the highest proportion were born in the United Kingdom (33%), followed by those born in Viet Nam (12%). Among those who arrived between 1986 and 1990, the leading countries of birth were also the United Kingdom (23%) and Viet Nam (13%).

Among those who arrived more recently (1991-1996), 1,542 were born in the main English-speaking countries, and 5,791 (79%) were born in other countries. The highest proportion (12%) were born in Malaysia, followed by Viet Nam and the United Kingdom (11% each).


Birthplace of parents

Among young South Australians who were born in Australia, 63% or 153,116 had both an Australian-born mother and father. Just over 18% (43,966) had at least one parent born in a non-main English-speaking country.

Languages spoken at home

About 11% of young people spoke a language other than English at home. This compares with 13% for people aged 26 years and over. Among those people who spoke a language other than English, the most common languages were Italian and Greek. Italian was spoken by 21% of young people and 28% of people aged 26 years and over. The proportions speaking Greek were 16% and 17% respectively.

Proficiency in English

The majority (87%) of young people in South Australia reported speaking English only. Of those young people who spoke another language, 92% reported that they spoke English very well or well.

CHAPTER 4 LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

Main findings

Marital status

Most 15-25 year-olds (76%) in South Australia were not married. Almost 8% reported being in a registered marriage, and 8% in a de facto marriage. Young females were more likely than young males to be in a partnership (20% compared with 11%).

Living arrangements

Just over 42% of 12-25 year-olds were living with their parents as dependent children. Another 24% of young males, and 16% 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 (19% compared with 9% of young males).



Living arrangements varied between cultural groups. Just over 16% of young women from non-main English-speaking countries, and 25% of Indigenous young women, had formed partnerships, or their own families. More than 10% of Indigenous young women were lone parents compared with just over 3% of all young women. A high proportion (29%) of young people from non-main English-speaking countries were living with their parents as dependent students.

Type of dwelling

About 2% of 12-25 year-olds in South Australia had spent census night in a non-private dwelling. The largest numbers of these young people were in boarding schools or residential colleges (2,758), or staying at hotels and motels (1,177). Another 934 young people reported having no usual address, compared with 1,700 people aged 26 years and over.

Type of tenure

About 62% of young people, and 72% of people aged 26 years and over, occupied dwellings which were owned or being purchased.

In comparison, more young people (32%) than older people (aged 26 years and over) (20%) lived in rented dwellings. About 64% of Indigenous young people, and 38% of those born overseas in non-main English-speaking countries, were in rented dwellings.

CHAPTER 5 EDUCATION

Main findings

Attendance at educational institutions

Over half (53% or 147,448) of all 12-25 year-olds were attending an educational institution in 1996, an increase from 1991 (49%). The participation rate for males (52%) was slightly lower than that for females (54%). Most young people attending an educational institution (55%) were attending secondary school, with a further 15% at primary school.

Between 1991 and 1996 the proportion of all young people who were attending school increased from 34% to 37%. Over the same period, the proportion of young people attending higher education institutions increased from 8% to 10%.


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 of this group (70%) attending government schools. Among 15-17 year-olds, educational participation was lower (78%), with 72% at school and 6% in post-secondary education.

In 1996, similar proportions of young males (6%) and young females (5%) were attending Technical or further educational institutions. In contrast, a higher proportion of young females were attending University or tertiary institutions (11%) than young males (9%).

Non-main English-speaking birthplace

Over two-thirds (69%) of young people in South Australia 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 (53%) and suggests the presence of an overseas student population. Almost 24% of young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country reported attending a university or tertiary institution, compared with only 10% of all young people in South Australia.

Indigenous people

Among Indigenous young people in South Australia, 40% (2,278), were attending an educational institution. Participation was highest among the younger age groups, with 87% of 12-14 year-olds and 50% of 15-17 year-olds in education. Lower levels of educational participation were reported for Indigenous people aged 20-25 years (13%). Just 2% of all Indigenous young people in South Australia reported attending a university or other tertiary institution, and 6% reported attending a technical or further education 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, 54% 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 32% of full-time students were working part-time, reflecting the general increase in part-time work of all young people from 17% in 1991 to 22% in 1996. Of those attending a tertiary or other institution full-time there was an increase of 3 percentage points between 1991 and 1996 in the proportion that were employed.

Qualifications

In South Australia, 25% of people aged 18-25 years had post-school qualifications. Young people in South Australia were more highly qualified in 1996 than they were in 1991. The proportion of 15-25 year-olds with post-secondary qualifications increased from 15% to 19%. Among older persons (aged 26 years and over) the proportion increased from 28% to 31%.

Between 1991 and 1996, the proportion of young females holding a bachelor degree or higher increased from 4% to 7% and for young males, from 3% to 5%.

While similar proportions of young males (18%) and females (19%) held post-school qualifications, the level of qualification varied between the sexes. The most common qualifications held by young males were skilled vocational qualifications (9%), followed by bachelor degrees (4%). For young females, the most common qualifications were bachelor degrees (7%), followed by basic vocational qualifications (5%).


Main Findings

CHAPTER 6 WORKING LIFE

Labour force status

In South Australia, at the time of the 1996 Census, there were 141,904 15-25 year-olds in the labour force; that is, they were either employed or looking for work. They made up 21% of the total labour force (661,066 people). The majority (82%) of these young people were employed.


Participation rates

Between 1991 and 1996 the participation rate for young people decreased by almost 5 percentage points to 65%. In 1996, participation among Indigenous people was lower at 48%, and among young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country, the participation rate was 41%. 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 (63% compared with 68%).

Full-time work

The proportion of young people employed in full-time work fell between 1991 and 1996 from 35% to 31%. 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.

Part-time work

Between 1991 and 1996, the proportion of young people in South Australia who were employed part-time increased from 17% to 22%.

Among the 15-25 year-olds who were employed, 50% of young women, and 31% of young men, were employed part-time.

Unemployment

In 1996, the unemployment rate for young people in South Australia was 18% - that is, 18% of 15-25 year-olds in the labour force reported that they were looking for work. Among young males, the rate was 20%, compared with 16% 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 South Australia in 1996, just over 7% of 15-17 year-olds were looking for work. Among other age groups, this proportion was 16% for those aged 18-19 years, 13% for 20-24 year-olds, and 10% for 25 year-olds. Under 12% of all 15-25 year-olds were unemployed.

Industry

In 1996, the largest proportions of young people were employed in Retail trade (26%); Manufacturing (15%); and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (8%). Retail trade employed the highest proportions of both young men and women (23% and 29% respectively). For young men, the next highest industries were Manufacturing (22%) and Construction (7%). Health and community services (13%) and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (10%) were the next largest employers of young women.



Occupation

In 1996, 20% (23,796) of employed young people in South Australia were employed as Intermediate production and transport workers. The largest proportion (18%) of older people were employed as Professionals. Young men were most frequently employed as Tradespersons and related workers (26%), and Labourers and related workers (19%). For young women the most common occupations were Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (31%), and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers (26%).

Income

A high proportion (14%) of young people reported receiving no weekly income at all. About one-half (51%) of young people received less than $200 per week. Proportionally more young women (53%) than young males (49%) received less than $200 per week. A partial explanation for this is women's greater participation in part-time work.


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