The 2020 Profile of Children and Young People in WA report highlights while the number of children and young people in WA continues to grow, the birth rate has slowed.
Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit said that WA was home to 598,000 children and young people, representing almost one quarter of the total population.
“The profile report is updated annually to assist both government and non-government services to adequately consider and plan for the needs of WA’s children and young people,” Commissioner Pettit said.
“We cannot meet the needs of children and young people now or plan for the future without a strong understanding of who, and where, they are.
“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 needs of children and young people are a consideration across many government sectors, including education, health and planning, as well as local governments and the non-government service sector providing a range of supports for children and their families.”
There are around 385,000 WA households with one or more children and almost 50 per cent of children under two attend either formal or informal childcare.
The report contains data across population demographics, education, housing, disability and poverty, including:
• WA is home to around 40,000 Aboriginal children and young people.
• An estimated 54,000 children and young people have a reported disability.
• 14 per cent of children and young people in WA were born overseas.
• Just over 5,000 children and young people are in out-of-home care.
• At June 30, 2019 there were almost 7,000 children and young people on the public housing wait list.
Mr Pettit said that while the demographics provide important information for anyone working on policy and services for children and young people, this was only one part of the story.
“I will soon table in Parliament the results from WA’s first Speaking Out Survey, which contains the views of thousands of WA children and young people on how they see their lives, where they get support and what help they need to achieve their potential,” Mr Pettit said.
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.