4123.5 - Western Australia's Young People, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/10/1998   
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October 28, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New picture of young people in Western Australia

A new publication released today uses 1996 Census data to provide a unique insight into 12 to 25 year-olds in Western Australia.

The publication released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the West Australian Office of Youth Affairs, on behalf of the National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, was launched by the Minister for Youth, the Hon Mike Board MLA.

It examines young people in terms of their distribution around the State, their cultural diversity, living arrangements, education status and working life. Additionally, it compares Western Australia's young people with the rest of the nation, and provides summary data on young people for all local government areas in the State.

The National Youth Affairs Research Scheme is a cooperative arrangement between the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments to facilitate research into issues affecting young people.

Among the publication's key findings are that:

  • The number of young people (aged 12-25 years) counted in Western Australia increased by more than four per cent between 1991 and 1996, from 347,300 to 362,900. Over the same period the count of all Western Australians increased by over eight per cent.
  • In Western Australia, 12-25 year-olds represented 21 per cent of people counted, slightly higher than the national average. As the population ages, the proportion of young people is declining, down from 24 per cent in 1986.
  • Almost four per cent (14,200) of young people in Western Australia reported being of Indigenous origin, compared with fewer than two per cent of older people.
  • The proportion (19 per cent) of young people in Western Australia who were born overseas was the highest of any State or Territory - well above the national figure of 14 per cent. For these young people, the leading countries of birth were the United Kingdom (28 per cent), New Zealand (12 per cent) and Malaysia (eight per cent).
  • The majority of 12-25 year olds were reported as still living with their parents, either as dependent children (under 15 years) - 20 per cent; as dependent students (aged 15-24 years) - 20 per cent; or as non-dependent children (aged over 15 years) - 19 per cent.
  • Young Western Australians' attendance at educational institutions increased between 1991 and 1996, from 50 per cent to 52 per cent. Most of these were at school (35 per cent), ten per cent were at universities, and seven per cent were in technical or further education.
  • Levels of qualifications also increased. In 1996, six per cent of young people had attained a bachelor degree or higher, compared with just four per cent in 1991.

Details are in Western Australia's Young People, 1996 (cat. no. 4123.5) available in ABS bookshops in all capital cities. Main features of this publication are available on this site.