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4123.8 - Australian Capital Territory's Young People, 1996  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/1998   
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INTRODUCTION

This publication provides a comprehensive range of statistics on young people aged 12-25 years in the Australian Capital Territory, 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.

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. This measure is particularly useful for young people, as it takes into account the number of people not participating in the labour force because of their education commitments.

Income

The median weekly income for 15-25 year-olds in 1996 was $181. The highest median incomes were reported in the Northern Territory ($193), Queensland and Western Australia (both $192).

CHAPTER 2 POPULATION

Main findings

On census night (6 August 1996) 71,277 young people (aged 12-25 years) were counted, constituting 24% of all people in the Australian Capital Territory. This was the highest proportion of any State or Territory. Nationally, 12-25 year-olds represented 20% of all people counted.

1986 to 1996

Between 1986 and 1996, the Australian Capital Territory's census count increased by 20% to 297,175. The number of young people rose by 7,359 or almost 12% over the same period.

Young people in the Australian Capital Territory represent a declining proportion of the total, falling from 26% in 1986 to 25% in 1991, and then to 24% in 1996. This trend can be expected to continue, since the proportion aged 0-11 years has also declined, from 20% in 1986 to 18% in 1996.


YOUNG PEOPLE, Proportion of All Persons

Sex and age

There were slightly more males than females in the 12-25 years age group (36,241 compared with 35,036). Among all people counted in the Australian Capital Territory, females outnumbered males by 3,507.

Geographic distribution

In 1996, the highest numbers of young people were counted in the Belconnen (21,917) and Tuggeranong (18,798) Statistical Subdivisions. The areas with the highest concentrations of young people were North Canberra and Belconnen Statistical Subdivisions where they represented almost 28% and 27% respectively.

Movement

Young people reported being more mobile than older people. Almost 48% of 12-25 year-olds reported living at a different address than five years previously, compared with 39% of older people. A similar pattern was evident for residential movement within the previous twelve months, with 27% of young people and only 14% of older people being at a different address.

More than half of this movement had taken place within the Australian Capital Territory. Among people who had moved within the previous five years, 56% of 12-25 year-olds, and 65% of older people, had moved within the Territory.

Young females were more likely to have moved than young males. Just over 50% of young women reported living at a different address from five years ago, compared with 45% of young men. For the older population, 40% of males and 38% of females were living at a different address from five years ago.


PEOPLE WHO HAD A DIFFERENT ADDRESS FIVE YEARS PREVIOUSLY

CHAPTER 3 CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Main findings

Indigenous people

In the 1996 Census, 866 or 1.2% of young people in the Australian Capital Territory identified as Indigenous people. This proportion was much lower than the national average among young people (2.7%). The proportion of Indigenous people in those aged 26 years and over was just 0.6%.

Overseas-born

About 13% (9,455) of young people in the Australian Capital Territory were born overseas, which is slightly lower than the national proportion of 14%. In contrast, 31% of people in the Australian Capital Territory aged 26 years and over were born overseas.

Countries of birth

Just over 30% (2,880) 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), 40% (21,945) had been born in the main English-speaking countries.


OVERSEAS-BORN, Leading Countries of Birth


Among young people in the Australian Capital Territory who arrived in Australia prior to 1986, the highest proportion had been born in the United Kingdom (22%), followed by those born in New Zealand (7%). Among those who arrived between 1986 and 1990, the highest proportion were born in the United Kingdom (13%), New Zealand (7%), and Hong Kong and Viet Nam (6% each).

Among those who arrived more recently (1991-96), only 17% were born in one of the main English-speaking countries. However, the highest proportion (8%) were born in New Zealand, followed by 6% each from Hong Kong and Viet Nam, and 5% from India.


OVERSEAS-BORN YOUNG PEOPLE,
Birthplace and Year of Arrival



Birthplace of parents

Of young people in the Australian Capital Territory who were born in Australia, 35% (21,074) had at least one parent who had been born overseas. Almost 20% (11,898) had at least one parent born in a non-main English-speaking country.

Languages spoken at home

Just over 12% of young people spoke a language other than English at home. Of these, 13% spoke a Chinese language, and another 9% spoke Croatian. Among people aged 26 years and over, the most common languages spoken at home other than English were Italian (11%) and Chinese languages (10%).

Proficiency in English

The majority (86%) of young people in the Australian Capital Territory reported speaking English only. Of those young people who spoke another language, 93% reported that they spoke English very well or well.

CHAPTER 4 LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

Main findings

Marital status

Almost 13% of 15-25 year-olds in the Australian Capital Territory were married, 6% in a registered marriage, and 7% in a de facto marriage. Young females were more likely than young males to be in a partnership (16% compared with 10%).

Living arrangements

Just over 43% of 12-25 year-olds were living with their parents as dependent children. This proportion was higher than the national figure of 42% and was exceeded only by Victoria (45%). The Australian Capital Territory also had the lowest proportion (14%) of young people living with their parents as non-dependent children; this compares with the national figure of 20%. The majority of these were aged 20-24 years.

Young women were more likely than young men to have moved from the family home, forming partnerships and their own families (16% compared with 8% of young males).


YOUNG PEOPLE-Living Arrangements


Among Indigenous young people, higher proportions (22% of females and 10% of males) had formed partnerships, or their own families.

For young people born in non-main English-speaking countries, about 41% were living as dependent children with their parents.

Type of dwelling

About 8% (5,582) of 12-25 year-olds in the Australian Capital Territory had spent census night in a non-private dwelling. Large numbers of these young people were in boarding schools or residential colleges (2,912), or in staff quarters (1,546). Another 235 young people reported having no usual address.

Type of tenure

About 54% of young people in the Australian Capital Territory occupied dwellings which were owned or being purchased, compared with 69% of people aged 26 years and over.

Over one-third (35%) of young people were living in rented dwellings, compared with 24% of older people (aged 26 years and over). In comparison, 63% of Indigenous young people, and 41% of those born overseas in non-main English-speaking countries, were in rented dwellings.

CHAPTER 5 EDUCATION

Main findings

Attendance at educational institutions

Almost two-thirds (62% or 44,542) of 12-25 year-olds were attending an educational institution in 1996. There was a similar overall participation rate for both males (63%) and females (62%).

Educational participation by young people in 1996 remained at similar levels to those reported in 1991. Almost 38% were attending schools and another 7% technical and further education, while attendance at higher education institutions increased by one percentage point to 17%.


ATTENDANCE AT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, 12-25 Years


The proportions of young people aged 12-17 (92%) and 18-25 years (43%) attending educational institutions were above the national proportions of 87% and 30% respectively, and were higher than any other State or Territory.

Given the legal age requirement for school attendance, education participation rates were highest for the younger age groups. Almost all (96%) of those in the
12-14 years age group reported that they were still at school, with the majority of these (60% or 8,039) attending government schools. Among 15-17 year-olds, educational participation remained high, with 84% at school and 5% in post-secondary education.

Non-main English-speaking birthplace

Participation in education was very high among young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country. Almost three-quarters (74%) of them were attending an educational institution. This was much higher than the general level of educational participation for young people (62%) and suggests the presence of an overseas student population. Almost 29% of young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country reported attending a university or tertiary institution, compared with 17% of all young people in the Australian Capital Territory.

Indigenous people

Among Indigenous young people aged 12-25 years, 49% (426) were attending an educational institution in 1996. Most of the participation was in the younger age groups, with 91% of 12-14 year-olds and 59% of 15-17 year-olds in education. Just 9% of all Indigenous young people in the Australian Capital Territory reported attending a university or other tertiary 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 in 1996, 59% were employed either full-time (22%) or part-time (35%). Among young people attending a tertiary or other institution full-time, 38% (32% in 1991) were also working part-time.

Qualifications

In the five years from 1991 to 1996, the proportion of 15-25 year-olds with post-secondary qualifications increased from 16% to 21%. Among persons aged 26 years and over, the proportion increased from 44% to 48% over the same period.

Young people in the Australian Capital Territory were also more highly qualified in 1996 than five years earlier. Among those young people holding post-school qualifications, the proportions who had attained a bachelor degree or higher increased from 40% to 44%.

Among all 15-25 year-olds in 1996, a higher proportion of females than males held post-school qualifications (23% compared with 19%). The qualifications most commonly held by young females were bachelor degrees (10%), followed by basic vocational qualifications (4%). The most common qualifications among young males were bachelor degrees (8%), followed by skilled vocational qualifications (5%).


HIGHEST QUALIFICATION, 15-25 Years

CHAPTER 6 WORKING LIFE

Main Findings

Labour force status

In the Australian Capital Territory at the time of the 1996 Census, there were 38,402 15-25 year-olds in the labour force; that is, they were either employed or looking for work. They made up 24% of the total labour force (161,219 people), down from 25% of the total labour force in 1991. The majority (86%) of these young people were employed.



Participation rates

The labour force participation rate for young people in 1996 was 67%. Participation among Indigenous young people was lower at 58%, and among young people born overseas in a non-main English-speaking country, the participation rate was 46%. This reflected the much higher level of educational participation by this group.

Between 1991 and 1996 the male participation rate fell from 68% to 67%, whereas the female participation rate rose from 66% to 67%.

Full-time work

The proportion of young people employed in full-time work fell between 1991 and 1996 from 34% to 30%. This decrease was experienced by both young females and males and reflected the general move in the labour force from full-time to part-time work, especially for young people.

Part-time work

The proportions of both young and older people employed in part-time work have increased. Between 1991 and 1996, the proportion of young people in the Australian Capital Territory who were employed part-time increased from 21% to 26%, and for older people, from 16% to 17%.

Among the 15-25 year-olds who were employed, 51% of young females, and 38% of young males, were employed part-time.

Unemployment

In 1996, the unemployment rate for young people in the Australian Capital Territory was 14%, that is, 14% of 15-25 year-olds in the labour force reported that they were looking for work. Among young males, the rate was 16%, compared with 12% 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 the Australian Capital Territory in 1996, fewer than 7% of 15-17 year-olds were looking for work. Among other age groups, this proportion was almost 13% for those aged 18-19 years, 10% for 20-24 year-olds, and 7% for 25 year-olds. Among all 15-25 year-olds, 9% were unemployed.

Industry

In 1996, the leading industries of employment for both young males and females were Retail trade (26% and 27%); Government administration and defence (17% and 14%); and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (10% and 11%).


EMPLOYED YOUNG PEOPLE, Leading Industries of Employment


Occupation

In 1996, 23% (7,568) of employed young people in the Australian Capital Territory were employed as Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers. The largest proportion (29%) of older people were employed as Professionals. For young males, the most common occupations were Tradespersons and related workers (18%), and Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (15%). Young females were most commonly employed as Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (31%) and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers (26%).

Income

A high proportion (16%) of young people reported receiving no weekly individual income. Among young males, the next most common weekly income range was $120-$159 (9%), and among young females, $200-$299 (11%). Proportionally more young males (68%) than young females (63%) received less than $300 per week.


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