4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012 Reissue
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HOUSING AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES: OVERCROWDING
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.
Note: In this section 'children' refers to people aged 0–14 years. The terms 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0).
Living in overcrowded conditions may affect health and wellbeing in a number of ways. For example, having inadequate household facilities to properly meet the needs of occupants can assist the spread of infectious diseases, as well as leading to increased household tension (Endnote 1).
WHO IS LIVING IN OVERCROWDED HOMES?
The Canadian National Occupancy Standard, is an internationally accepted tool that measures the extent to which a dwelling is being utilised and the need (or not) for additional bedrooms in order to adequately house the occupants.
In 2008, an estimated 92,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth (31%) lived in overcrowded housing (based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard).
In remote areas, more than half (58%) of children and youth lived in an overcrowded dwelling compared with just over one-quarter (26%) in regional areas and one-fifth (19%) in major cities.
While a higher proportion of children and young people in remote areas were living in overcrowded conditions, the number of affected children and youth in regional areas was almost as high as in remote areas (34,600 compared with 39,600).
3.1 OVERCROWDING BY REMOTENESS AREA, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 0–24 years—2008
OVERCROWDING BY TENURE TYPE
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people living in housing that was owned with a mortgage were the least likely to experience overcrowding (11% and 18% respectively), while children and young people living in housing rented from an Indigenous housing organisation were the most likely to live in overcrowded conditions (57% and 53% respectively).
The greatest number of children and young people living in overcrowded conditions were living in housing provided by a State or Territory Housing Authority (public housing) (18,900 children and 10,300 young people).
DEGREES OF OVERCROWDING
In 2008, there was a noticeable variation in the degree of overcrowding depending on location.
Of the 228,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth living in non-remote areas, almost one-quarter (23%) lived in an overcrowded dwelling. Of these, just over two-thirds (69%) lived in a dwelling that needed only one extra bedroom in order to adequately accommodate all occupants.
Among the 68,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in remote areas, more than half (58%) were living in a dwelling that was overcrowded. Of these children and youth:
1. Steering Committee for the review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP), 2009, 'Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) - 'Key Indicators 2009' – Chapter Nine: Home Environment', Productivity Commission, Canberra <www.pc.gov.au>.
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