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You are here:
A report released today by the Australian Institute of Health
and Welfare (AIHW) examines progress made in child and youth health
and wellbeing over the last decade and focuses on both improvements
and future challenges.
'It highlights the areas where progress has been made to ensure
that all Australian children have the best possible start in life,'
said Sushma Mathur of the AIHW's Children, Youth and Families
The report uses a variety of health and welfare indicators
designed to focus policy attention on important issues for children
and youth health, development and wellbeing.
Included in these indicators are the Children's Headline
Indicators, which have been endorsed by Health, Community and
Disability Services Ministerial Councils.
The full set of the Headline Indicators, designed to link data
to policy efforts to improve outcomes for child health and
wellbeing across Australia, will be available on the Department of
Health and Ageing website on Friday 26 September.
The AIHW report, Making progress: the health, development
and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people,
highlights improvements such as the 30% fall in mortality rates for
people under the age of 20, and the fact that teen smoking rates
have halved since 2001.
'It also shows that in the last decade Indigenous infant
mortality rates have fallen, and that more Indigenous students
remain in school until year 12 than ever before,' Ms Mathur
But in addition to reporting progress, the AIHW report also
highlights areas where improvement can be made.
Indigenous children are still twice as likely as others to be
low birthweight, to be hospitalised for various chronic conditions,
and to die before the age of 20.
Findings showed that disadvantage is not limited to Indigenous
children and youth.
The report found that over 95,000 (7%) of 15 to 19 year olds
were neither employed nor studying, putting them at risk for
decreased opportunities to fully participate in society.
In 2005, almost 50,000 children under the age of 5 had unmet
demand for child care or preschool due to lack of available
Teenage girls living in regional areas were twice as likely to
give birth, and those living in remote or very remote areas five
times as likely to give birth, as their peers in major cities.
And 15% of Australian children under the age of 15 live in
International comparisons show that Australia has the second
highest percentage of children living in jobless families in the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Wednesday 24 September 2008
Further information: Ms Sushma Mathur, AIHW,
mob. 0417 140 098.
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW Publications
Catalogue for the availability of Making progress: the
health, development and wellbeing of Australia's children and young