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As Australians we are, on the whole, better educated and living longer than a decade ago according to the latest 2-yearly national welfare report card from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

But while most Australians at all ages are doing relatively well, some members of some groups are faring less well. Some Indigenous Australians, some older Australians, and some of those who are homeless, have disability,  a mental illness, or experience domestic violence, are among those who may need to draw on welfare services and payments to help them fully participate in all facets of life.

The Institute's report, Australia's welfare 2015, was released in Canberra today by federal Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.

Acting AIHW Director Ms Kerry Flanagan said, 'Our report shows that most children are doing well and that most young people are studying or working. Adult participation in the labour force is higher than 20 years ago, and while some people are staying at work longer, after retirement, the majority of older Australians are not using aged care services.'

'On the other hand, we see that 1 in 37 children are receiving child protection services, around 2 million Australians, mostly women, have experienced partner violence since the age of 15, youth unemployment exceeds 13%, and there's been little improvement in the proportion of young people who are not fully engaged in employment, education or training.'

Ms Flanagan said that for the first time the Institute had taken a 'life course' approach to reporting on Australia's welfare and welfare services, against a background of significant changes in Australian society in recent decades.

The report also provides a comprehensive overview of welfare services, workers, and expenditure in Australia, as well as detailed information on particular population groups and their needs. Highlights are also available, covering the report's key themes, including:

Canberra, 20 August 2015

Further information:  

Belinda Hellyer, 02 6244 1026; 0401 658 465

Elizabeth Ingram, 02 6249 5048; 0431 871 337

Full publication:

Australia's welfare 2015 | online HTML report

Australia's welfare 2015-in brief