The second edition of The State of Western Australia’s Children and Young People highlights important information to increase our understanding about the wellbeing of children and young people.
The data collected in this report shows that most Western Australian children are healthy and their material and physical needs are well met. Generally, WA compares well against national and international data.
However, this report identifies some areas of wellbeing where Western Australian children and young people are behind national and international trends.
The report also highlights areas where improved data collection systems could be introduced to provide a stronger evidence base for decisions regarding policy development, resource allocation and service delivery.
Of most concern, the report identifies the ongoing and, at times, significant disadvantage which continues to be experienced by many Aboriginal children and young people.
Western Australia’s children and young people
In 2013 there were more than 570,000 children and young people under the age of 18 years living in WA. Over the last decade, the number of 0 to 17 year-olds in Western Australia increased by almost 90,000, or 18.5 per cent. The largest increase (28.5%) occurred in the early childhood age group of 0 to eight years.
There were more than 34,000 births registered in Western Australia in 2013, the largest number ever recorded in the State. This is a continuation of the large increase in births in recent years (there was a 43 per cent increase in births between 2002 and 2012).