1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Sep 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/10/2007   
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Image: Social Trends SOCIAL TRENDS


In 2006, there were 342,600 full-time students attending primary and secondary schools in Western Australia, an increase of 1.3% from the 338,300 in 2005. The proportion of full-time students in the state's government schools fell from 73% to 67% between 1996 and 2006, reflecting the national trend of increased attendance at private schools. The rate of decline has been more rapid in Western Australia than for Australia, bringing the proportion of the state's students in government schools closer to the national average of 67% in 2006.

FULL-TIME STUDENTS, Percentage enrolled in government schools
Graph: FULL-TIME STUDENTS, Percentage enrolled in government schools


In 2006, 70% of 15-19 year-olds in Western Australia were participating in formal education, similar to the participation rate in 2005 (70%), but below the national average of 78%. The education participation rate of people aged 15-19 years in Western Australia has been consistently below the national average for the past decade. The disparity was lowest in 2000, when 75.5% of 15-19 year-olds were participating in formal education in Western Australia, compared to the national rate of 78%. The state participation rate for 15-19 year-olds fell markedly after this period and has not regained the high reached in 2000. The strong labour market in Western Australia may, in part, be contributing to lower education participation rates for this age group in recent years. Between 2001 and 2006, the labour force participation rate for persons aged 15-19 years in Western Australia increased from 63% to 68% and the unemployment rate decreased from 5.6% to 4.4%.

EDUCATION PARTICIPATION, Persons aged 15-19 years
Graph: EDUCATION PARTICIPATION, Persons aged 15–19 years

Between 2005 and 2006, the proportion of people aged 20-24 years participating in education in Western Australia fell from 35% to 31%. Nationally, the education participation rate for people aged 20-24 years also fell over this period (from 39% to 37%). Overall, education participation of 20-24 year-olds in Western Australia has been increasing over the past decade and the rate in 2006 remains higher than that recorded in 1996 (25%). Nationally, the education participation rate for this age group increased from 32% to 37% over the same period.

The increase in education participation is reflected in the growing proportion of people in Western Australia who have completed a non-school qualification. In 1996, 43% of people aged 15-64 years held a non-school qualification, compared to 52% in 2006.


Educational attainment and labour market outcomes are closely associated, in that, qualified people are less likely to be unemployed. Between 2005 and 2006, the unemployment rate of persons aged 15-64 years without a non-school qualification fell from 6.8% to 4.9%. Despite this large fall, the unemployment rate for people without qualifications remained well above that of those with a non-school qualification (2.3% in 2006).