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Snapshot 2008: Children and Young People in Queensland
This recently released report from the Queensland Commission for Children Young People and Child Guardian provides a picture of the safety and wellbeing of children in Queensland by looking at data and research from various sources.

The report updates and expands on the information provided in the commission's previous Snapshot reports. It looks at statistics on a range of issues relating to children and young people, including data about population and family characteristics; health, disability, and mortality; child protection; child care; education and employment, drug use, homelessness and crime.

The report's findings include news of:

  • a spike in the number of child and young people accompanied by an adult using homeless services
  • persistent disadvantage being experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait
  • Islander children as opposed to their to non-Indigenous counterparts;
  • the ongoing needs of children in alternative care.

The report can be downloaded from: (Source: email, Child Protection List, 13 November 2008.)

Snapshot 2007: Children and young people in Queensland
The 2007 edition of this annual 'snapshot' of children and young people in Queensland, produced by Queensland's Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, updates and expands on the information provided in previous years. It draws on multiple sets of data and statistics related to children and young people, including information about population and family characteristics, health, disability and mortality, child protection, child care, education and employment, drug use, homelessness and crime.

Selected findings (taken from Chapter 2: Key statistics):
  • In 2006, there were 529,891 young people aged 0-9 years (13.1% of total population) and 458,417 young people aged 10-17 years (11.3% of total population) in Queensland. In total, young people aged under 18 years made up 24.4% of the total Queensland population, while young Indigenous people (aged under 18) made up 44.8% of the Indigenous population in the state.

  • Births to teenage mothers in Queensland decreased from 6.6% of all births in 1997 to 5.4% in 2005, while the teenage fertility rate (number of births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years) fell from 25.6 in 1997 to 20.5 in 2005 (in the same period, the Indigenous teenage fertility rate fell from 84.9 to 66.7).

  • Transport-related mortality rates for 15- to 17-year-old Queenslanders decreased from 19.7 per 100,000 in 1995-1997 to 13.2 per 100,000 in 2004-2006.

  • In the period from 1995-1997 to 2004-2006, suicide rates among 15- to 17-year-olds in Queensland increased from 3.8 per 100,000 to 4.9 per 100,000 for females and decreased from 14.3 per 100,000 to 6.5 per 100,000 for males. The suicide rate among indigenous young people is three to five times higher than that of non-Indigenous young people.

  • Year 12 apparent retention rates moved from 77.9% in 1997, to a peak 81.5% in 2003, to 78.5% in 2006. Between 1997 and 2006, Year 12 apparent retention rates for Indigenous students increased from 47.2% to 54.2%.

  • The rate of 10- to 17-year-old Queenslanders in juvenile detention fell from 25.1 per 100,000 in 1997 to 21.7 per 100,000 in 2005. In 2005, the Indigenous youth detention rate of 188.1 per 100,000 was close to nine times that of Queensland youth generally.

Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (Queensland) 2007, Snapshot 2007: Children and young people in Queensland, Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (Queensland), Brisbane, viewed 30 August 2008,

Queensland Key Statistics, Aug 2006

Queensland Key Statistics 1388.3 is a web-based product created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, containing the latest important summary data on Queensland.

Queensland Key Statistics contains data on: population; employment and unemployment; wages and prices; building; finance; trade; and tourism. This web page is regularly updated to provide the most recent Queensland data available. It also contains links to source publications on the ABS web site to enable readers to explore particular topics in more detail.
(Replaces: 1304.3)

Queensland Key Statistics

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1388.3 - Queensland Key Statistics, Aug 2006 [viewed 25/01/2007].

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Kids Help Line Queensland 2005 Report

General information

  • In 2005, Kids Help Line received 105,926* telephone and online contacts from Queensland and were able to respond to 52,005* of these contacts (47,957* telephone contacts and 4,048 online contacts).
  • 47% of calls to Kids Help Line required counselling or support.
  • 349 young people from Queensland reported current thoughts of suicide, while 1,090 young people reported having deliberately injured themselves (as distinct from suicidality).
  • 17% of telephone callers were referred to other support services in their local area. Duty-of-Care actions, such as contacting an emergency service or child protection agency, were required for 107 Queensland callers.

* Estimation due to 6 days of missing data.

Location of callers

Region % of calls
Brisbane metropolitan 25%
Brisbane mobiles 12%
Gold Coast 9%
Cairns and Cape York 5%
Central Coast QLD 6%
North Coast QLD 12%
Western QLD 5%
South West QLD 6%
QLD regional mobiles 20%

The following figures are based on data gathered from 8,948 telephone counselling sessions with children and young people in Queensland aged 5-25 years:

Age and sex of callers

Age Females Males Total
5-9 years 3.0% 1.6% 4.6%
10-14 years 27.0% 7.3% 34.3%
15-18 years 42.2% 11.6% 53.8%
19-25 years 5.1% 2.2% 7.3%
Total 77.2% 22.8% 100.0%

10 Most frequent concerns of Queensland KHL clients, 2005

Concern Proportion of Queensland contacts Proportion of national contacts
Family relationships 19.4% 17.7%
Peer relationships 11.8% 13.4%
Partner relationships 9.8% 10.0%
Emotional/behavioural management 8.6% 7.1%
Mental health issues 6.4% 6.9%
Child abuse 6.1% 4.9%
Homelessness/leaving home 6.1% 4.0%
Bullying 4.3% 5.8%
Pregnancy 2.6% 3.0%
Drug or alcohol abuse 2.5% 2.7%

The report is available for download from the Kids Help Line website:

Source: Kids Help Line 2006, Queensland 2005 Report, Kids Help Line, Milton, QLD [viewed 25/01/2007].

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'A Profile of Young people in Brisbane 2005'

Brisbane City Council's Youth Profile has comprehensive data and statistics on where and how young people in Brisbane are living. This report updates and builds on the Brisbane City Council's 'A Profile of Brisbane's Young People 1999'.

Summary of findings

Overview of Brisbane's young people:

  • There are almost 200,000 young people living in Brisbane City.
  • Brisbane has the third largest number of young people, and the third highest proportion of young people, compared to other capital cities in Australia.
  • 22% are aged 10-24 (projected to continue in 2011).
  • Indigenous young people make up 2% of all young people in the city.
  • Over 30,000 (15.7%) were born in a non-English-speaking country.
  • Over 34,000 (17.9%) speak a language other than English at home.


  • The majority of young people live in a family unit.
  • 1,552 young people aged 15-24 years were living as single parents in 2001.


  • The majority of young people (76%) live in a detached house. 19% live in either a townhouse or unit.
  • At the time of the 2001 Census, 7,129 (3.6%) young people were living in public housing.
  • 70 young people were in juvenile detention centres and 443 in adult prisons.
  • 732 young people were counted as living in shelters, boarding houses, welfare organisations or sleeping out on the night of the Census in 2001.


  • Top causes of disease and injury for young men – road traffic accidents, alcohol dependence and anxiety disorders. For young women – depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders are the biggest issues.
  • Overweight and obesity affect about 23% of Australian children and adolescents (6% obese).
  • Obesity is more prevalent among young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • About 2,000 (or 1.3%) of Brisbane's young people aged 15-24 receive a Disability Pension from Centrelink because of their physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment.


  • 76.2% of Brisbane's young women aged 18-24, and 71.6% of young men in the same age group regularly participate in sport and physical activity.
  • The level of computer use by young people appears to be directly related to socioeconomic status.

Crime and safety:

  • Offending rates among young people aged 10-16 years have dropped since the mid-nineties. Males aged 15-24 years are the most likely group in the community to commit a crime,.
  • While young women are far less likely to offend, the rate of female offending has increased since the mid-nineties, as a percentage of all crimes committed.


  • Approximately 27% of all travel on Brisbane buses is travel by students.
  • Car is by far the most popular mode of transport for young people who work, followed by bus and train.
  • 3,775 young people walk to work, while 1,097 use a bicycle to travel to work.


  • Retention rates in Queensland schools have increased from 77% in 2000 to 81% in 2002. For Indigenous students the rate was 56% in 2002.
  • 4,441 young people aged 15-24 have left school before completing Year 10, or have never attended school.
  • 17% of Brisbane's young people aged 20-24 years have obtained Bachelor degrees.


  • More than 19,000 young people aged 15-24 receive Youth Allowance from Centrelink.
  • Queensland has a disproportionate number of bankrupts under 25. There were 810 young people declared bankrupt in 2001/02.


  • In 2001, the retail industry was by far the largest employer of young people aged 15-24 years in Brisbane. 16.4% of all young people in this age group work in retail.
  • 990 young men, and 552 young women aged 15-19 were self-employed.
  • More of Brisbane's young people work part-time (40,083) than full-time (39,075).
  • At the time of the 2001 Census, 12,918 of Brisbane's young people aged 15-24 were unemployed.
  • Young men were more likely to be unemployed than young women. However, young women were over-represented in part-time employment.


  • More than one-quarter of all requests for volunteer placements through Volunteering Queensland were from young people aged 18-24 years.

Brisbane City Council has published the profile of young people in Brisbane 2005, available on the home page of

Source: Brisbane City Council.

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The Next Step Report 2005

The Next Step survey was commissioned by the Queensland Department of Education and the Arts as part of the Schools Reporting initiatives. The survey targeted all students who completed Year 12 and gained a Senior Certificate or Certificate of Post-compulsory School Education in 2004, whether they attended a state, Catholic or independent school, or a TAFE secondary college.

The survey shows the initial study and work destinations of young people after leaving school. 23,650 young people completed the survey.

The Next Step Report 2005 documents the results of the survey.
Some of the findings:

  • More than 90% of Year 12 completers were studying or in paid employment.
  • About two-thirds (67.5%) continued in some recognised form of education and training in the year after they left school.
  • Almost as many were studying vocational education and training (VET) as university degrees (30.8% and 36.6% respectively).
  • The majority of campus-based VET students were studying at Certificate IV level or higher (8.7%, compared to 6.1% studying other campus-based VET).
  • Almost one in six (16.0%) were undertaking employment-based training, either as an apprentice (9.1%) or trainee (6.9%).
  • One in three (32.4%) did not enter post-school education or training, and were either employed (25.9%), looking for work (4.6%) or neither working, seeking work or studying (2.0%).

Next Step Report 2005  [viewed 25/01/2007].

Source: The Courier Mail, 13/9/2005, p.9.

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Bankruptcy, 2001-2003


'The Federal Government agency Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA) recorded 24,109 Australians were declared bankrupt in 2001-02.
Of that number, 12% (2,768) were under the age of 25 years.
810 of those young bankrupts were from Queensland, and only 35 of them were bankrupt due to business debts.'


'ITSA recorded 22,639 Australians going into bankruptcy in 2002-03.
Of that number, 9% (2,091) were under the age of 25 years.
While the ITSA did not analyse the number of Queensland bankrupts under 25, it is reasonable to assume that about 700 Queenslanders under 25 years (of a total of 5,796) were declared bankrupt in that year.'


Source: Queensland Government, Office of Fair Trading, media release [viewed 25/01/2007].

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Literacy and numeracy skills, 2000-2003

Analysis of data from 2000 to 2003, released by the Queensland Studies Authority, shows:
  • Girls consistently outperformed boys in reading and writing.
  • Numeracy results over the four years are fairly evenly matched in the early years of schooling, but boys begin to pull ahead as they reach Year 5.
  • Indigenous students lag significantly behind in both literacy and numeracy.
In tests conducted on Year 3 students in 2003:
  • 93.8% met the minimum standard for reading (slightly higher than in 2000).
  • 88% reached the writing benchmark (down from 2000).
During the four years, Year 5 students also improved their reading, while numeracy skills remained the same but writing skills dropped slightly.

The 2004 results, from literacy and numeracy tests on students in August 2004, will not be released until later in 2005.

From 2006, "15- to 17-year-olds who are not in school, in training or at work will be breaking the law under the most significant change aimed at increasing retention rates and improving skills. The school-leaving age will be increased from 15 with students remaining at school until they turn 16 or finish Year 10. They will then have to be involved in some form of education or training for two years or until they turn 17, gain a Senior Certificate or a vocational education qualification.
From 2008, a new Queensland Certificate of Education will replace the Senior Certificate and students will have to meet new literacy and numeracy standards."

Source: Courier Mail, 12/2/2005, p.18.
Queensland Studies Authority web site:

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A Social Profile of Young People in Gold Coast City, 2004

A Social Profile of Young People in Gold Coast City, 2004, presents a demographic analysis of young people from birth to 24 years in Gold Coast City. It is based mainly on data from the 2001 Census and includes information on income, education, internet and computer use, birthplace and language, family and household types, labour force characteristics and marital status.

Source: A Social Profile of Young People in Gold Coast City, 2004, prepared by The Planning Information and Forecasting Unit, Queensland, Department of Local Government and Planning for Gold Coast City Council.

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Causes of young deaths, 1999-2001

The Health Determinants report compiled by Queensland Health and published in August 2004, said that between 1999 and 2001, 21 children aged under five died as a result of environmental tobacco smoke, while three died because of illegal drugs and two because of alcohol, mostly caused by newborn drug toxicity.In 2001 in Queensland, 68 children under 15 died as a result of injuries or poisonings. In 2002-02 16,721 hospital visits were caused by injuries or poisonings, boys being significantly over-represented in the numbers.Other facts from the report:

  • Falls are the most common reason for children being hospitalised.
  • The number of deaths by drowning decreased after the introduction of required fencing around pools in 1992.
  • Asthma is the biggest health burden for children under 15.
  • Girls are more likely to be admitted to hospital after intentional self-harm than boys, and the admission rate for all children has risen over the past 10 years.
  • Boys are more likely to have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Girls are more likely to have eating disorders.
Source: Courier-Mail, 18/08/04, p.10.

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Increasing drug use, 2003

Figures from Brisbane Youth Service's Drug and Alcohol Survey from December 2003, indicate increasing drug use and a lowering of the age of first-time users. Of the 50, mostly homeless, young people aged between 12 and 25 surveyed:
  • the earliest age of first-time intravenous drug use is 8
  • the earliest age for first-time solvents-sniffers is 7
  • 70% were injecting drugs such as heroin
  • average age of first-time drug users is 14
  • one was introduced to injecting drugs by a parent. Half had parents who were drug users.
The survey results also show young people are turning to crime and prostitution to support their habits:
  • almost 40% have dealt drugs
  • 6% have engaged in prostitution
  • almost 50% have stolen
  • 40% have committed break and enters
  • 30% have spent time in jail or detention for drug-related offences
Source: Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 18/7/04, p.14

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Pregnancies in Queensland, 2001

In 2001, Medicare rebates were given for 2,349 abortions for girls aged 15 to 19 in facilities other than a public hospital.

Also in 2001, 2,287 babies were born to Queensland teenagers.

Source: Courier Mail, 10/04/04, p.7.

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Offenders, 2002-03

Most likely to have offended:
… murder or other forms of homicide, or assault: males aged 20-24
… sexual offence: males aged 15-19
… robbery: 85% of robbery offenders were male, 71% of those being aged 15-29
… property offences: males aged 15-19 (almost one-third of all property offenders)
… unlawful entry with intent: males aged under 25 (nearly 70% of all offenders in this category)
… arson: 15-19-year-old males, followed by 10-14-year-old males
… stealing: males and females aged 15-19
… handling stolen goods: males aged 15-19

Source: Queensland Police Service 2003, Statistical Review 2002-03, Queensland Police, Brisbane. 

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Crime victims, 2002-03

Most likely to have been victims:
… of personal offences: females aged 15-19, followed by 15- to 19-year-old males
… of assault: males aged 15-19 and 25-29
… of robbery: males aged 15-19
… of sexual offences: females aged between 10 and 19 (this age-group comprised more than one-third of all victims)

Source: Queensland Police Service 2003, Statistical Review 2002-03, Queensland Police, Brisbane. Available online [23/03/04] in pdf format from the Queensland Police Service.

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Youth population in Queensland, 2001

2001 Census figures

0-14 years 15-24 years
Male 391,011 250,189
Female 371,531 245,046
Total 762,542 495,235
Percentage 21.3% 13.8%
Souce: adapted from Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

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Youth population in Queensland, 1996 Census

Number of people aged 12-25 in Queensland, 1996: 695,754 (about one fifth of all young Australians)

Percentage of Queenslanders aged 12-25 in 1996: 20%

Percentage of Queensland's total labour force aged 12-25 in 1996: 25%

Source: Queensland Department of Families.

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