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Wellbeing of Australian Children and Youth

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) recently released its third report card on the wellbeing of young Australians. This report provides data relating to how Australian children and youth are faring in six areas; loved and safe, material basics, healthy, learning, participating, and positive sense of identity and culture. These six areas form The NEST framework, which are the areas considered as the priority investment areas for children and youths wellbeing.

One major injury area highlighted in the report is the growing issue of mental health for young Australians. Statistics provided indicate that there has been a 3.6% increase in the rate of high or very high psychological distress reported by youth from 11.8% in 2011 to 15.4% in 2014-15. Similarly, the rate of suicide among Australians aged 15-24 has increased from 2007 to 2016, from 10.3 per 100,000 population to 12.7 per 100,000 population. The 2016 rate of youth suicide is more than three times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth at 39.2 per 100,000 population.

Other injury related statistics outlined in the report include;

  • The rate of injury deaths for children aged 0-14 years has reportedly decreased from 6.2 per 100,000 in 2004-06 to 4.3 per 100,000 in 2013-15.
  • 7% of grade 8 students and 30.6% of grade 6 students reported feeling unsafe or very unsafe when walking in the local area after dark in 2014.
  • The rates of offensive acts intended to cause injury has decreased for 15-19 year olds (965 per 100,000 in 2009-10 to 654 per 100,000 in 2016-17).

Statistics regarding some contributing factors to injury are highlighted in the report including; education status, alcohol and other drug intake levels, imprisonment rate, discrimination, social support and median household income.

To view these statistics and to access the full ARACY report click here.