Mission Australia's ninth consecutive annual youth survey report is the largest of its kind in Australia and in 2010 received over 50,000 responses from young people across the country.
The survey asks young Australians aged 11 to 24 about what they value, their issues of personal concern, where they turn for advice and support and their community involvement. Two new questions were included this year, regarding the most important issues facing Australia today and feelings about the future.
As in previous years, there was a great deal of consistency around what young people value and where they go for advice and support, in each case namely their family and friends.
A more complex picture has emerged from the data around young people’s issues of concern. Nationally, body image, family conflict and coping with stress were the top three issues for respondents, with over a quarter identifying each as being a major concern. However, a number of issues were of concern to a substantial proportion of respondents and in 2010 there was no one ‘standout’ issue.
The unprompted responses to the question regarding what young people thought were the most important issues facing Australia today were a little clearer, with the environment and alcohol and drugs being the top two concerns across all ages, both genders, indigenous participants, and across all States and Territories.
An encouraging finding from the youth survey was the responses to one of our new questions, feelings about the future, with approximately two thirds of young people feeling either very positive or positive about the future.
The survey report contains summaries at the national level as well as for each state and territory. There is also a chapter that compares responses from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal respondents. Each of the chapters contains a breakdown of the key data by age and gender.