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2001 Census Data : ACT has the highest proportion of youth in Australia
 
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MEDIA RELEASE

October 12, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
151/2004


ACT has the highest proportion of youth in Australia


The ACT had the highest proportion (16%) of 15-24 year olds in its population of all the states and territories at 2001, according to new analysis of previously released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

The analysis also showed that ACT youth - those aged 15-24 years - had the highest levels of attendance at an educational institution in the country (61%) in 2001.

Over two-thirds (69%) of ACT youth reported that they had used a computer at home in 2001. This was the highest use within the 15-24 year age group in all states and territories.

ACT youth accessed the Internet more than any other age group in 2001, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of ACT youth accessing, compared with 60% for the ACT as a whole.

Other highlights in the article include:
  • Indigenous youth comprised 1% of ACT young people in 2001.
  • there were 548 youth who were lone parents in 2001.
  • a larger proportion of ACT youth reported no religion (22%) in 2001 than the ACT population as a whole (19%).
ABS Regional Director, Tracy Stewart, said that although the ACT had the highest proportion of youth in the country, the proportion has been declining over recent decades.

"The proportion of youth in the ACT population was lower in 2001 than thirty years earlier (16% compared with 20%), reflecting Australia's ageing population," she said.

YOUTH IN THE ACT

'Youth' in this article is defined as people aged 15-24 years inclusive. Data is mainly drawn from the 2001 Census, although other sources have also been used.

At August 2001, the ACT had 49,856 young people, comprising 16% of the total ACT population. This was the highest proportion of all states and territories. The Northern Territory had the next highest (15%), followed by Western Australia and Queensland (both 14%). Nationally, 14% of the population were aged 15-24 years.

The largest number of ACT youth was 19 year olds (5,449), followed by 20 year olds (5,430) and 21 year olds (5,267). The proportion of males (51%) was greater than the proportion of females (49%).

Other items of interest relating to ACT youth included:
  • there were 548 youth who were lone parents in 2001.
  • 3% of 15-24 year olds lived alone in 2001.
  • a larger proportion of youth reported no religion (22%) than the ACT population as a whole (19%) in 2001.
  • youth comprised 16% of the ACT population in 2001 down from 20% of the population in 1971, indicating that the population is aging.
  • the ACT had 694 Indigenous youth in 2001, comprising 1% of ACT youth. This was the second lowest proportion of all Australian states and territories after Victoria (less than 1%).

Country of birth

Thirteen per cent (6,639) of all ACT youth were born overseas in 2001.

The most common countries of birth of ACT youth born overseas were the United Kingdom (12%), New Zealand (8%), and the United States and China (both 5%).


Educational attendance

Under two-thirds (61%) of all youth in the ACT attended school or some other educational institution in 2001, the highest proportion of any state or territory. This was followed by Victoria (58%) and New South Wales (54%). The Northern Territory had the lowest proportion, with 30% of its youth attending an educational institution.


Individual weekly income

The median weekly income reported by 15-24 year olds in the ACT was $186 in 2001. This was higher than the national median of $179. The Northern Territory recorded the highest median weekly income ($194) for 15-24 year olds, followed by Queensland ($187).
GRAPH: MEDIAN WEEKLY INCOME 15-24 YEAR OLDS—2001



Home Computer Use

In the ACT, youth were the second most likely age group to have used a computer at home (69%) in the week preceding the 2001 Census. The 5-14 year old age group was slightly higher at 70%.

The proportion of youth using a computer at home was higher in the ACT (69%) than nationally (59%).


Internet Access

The ACT recorded the highest proportion of youth (73%) who accessed the Internet in the week preceding the 2001 Census of all states and territories. Victoria was next at 64%. Nationally, 60% of 15-24 year olds accessed the Internet.

In the ACT, youth accessed the Internet more than any other age group. The next highest age group was 25-34 year olds (70%), closely followed by the 35-44 year olds (68%).

Email or chat sites, general browsing and finding information for study were the most popular home Internet activities in 2000 for youth.
GRAPH: COMPUTER USE AT HOME AND ACCESSING THE INTERNET 15-24 YEAR OLDS ACT—2001


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