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Data shines spotlight on WA's children and young people

The 2021 Profile of Children and Young People in WA report highlights a 19 per cent increase in the number of children aged six to 11 years living in WA in the last 10 years.

While the number of children and young people in WA continues to grow, there was only a very slight increase in births registered in 2019 (33,754) from 2018 (33,459).

Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit said WA was now home to 610,000 children and young people, representing almost one quarter of the total population.

“In simple terms, this data gives us an insight into who and where our children and young people are,” Mr Pettit said.

“The data assists the government sector, including education, health and planning, as well as providing valuable information for local governments. It also assists non-government service providers that deliver a range of supports for children and their families.

“Importantly, this data also keeps track of any changes in the number of vulnerable children and young people, including those in the child protection and justice systems."

The report contains data across population demographics, including:

  • WA is home to around 40,000 Aboriginal children and young people.
  • An estimated 61,700 children and young people (up to the age of 24) have a reported disability.
  • Just over 14 per cent of children and young people in WA were born overseas, with the majority born in England or New Zealand.
  • Almost 5,500 children and young people are in out-of-home care.
  • At June 30, 2020 there were almost 7,500 children and young people on the public housing wait list.
  • In 2019-20 there was a reduction in the number of children and young people in detention in Banksia Hill Detention Centre on an average day.

Mr Pettit said the data was useful for anyone working on policy and services for children and young people, but it was supported by hearing directly from young people.

“We’re currently surveying children and young people for WA’s second Speaking Out Survey," Mr Pettit said.

“The information from this survey tells us what young people think about their lives, where they get support and what help they need to achieve their potential."

Data in the Profile report has been sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and various WA government departments and research organisations.