Key statistics

Chapter 1 Introduction to NSW children

At the 2011 Census of Population and Housing:

  • There were 1,600,840 children aged 0–17 years[1] living in NSW in 2011, representing 23.1 per cent of the NSW population.
    • 58.4 per cent of these children lived in Sydney.
    • The areas with the highest proportion of children are Riverina (25.6%), followed by the Far West and Orana (25.4%).
    • Within Sydney, the areas with the greatest proportion of children are Blacktown (28.1%), Outer South West Sydney (27.4%), and South West Sydney (26.5%).

Population growth

  • The population of children in NSW grew by 2.0 per cent between 2006 and 2011.
    • Child population numbers in Sydney grew by 4.0% overall.  Within Sydney, Central Western Sydney (9.4%), the Eastern Suburbs (9.2%) and the Northern Beaches (9.0%) experienced the greatest growth.
    • The population of children in most areas outside of Sydney declined over the same period. The Far West (-10.4%) and the Murray (-5.3%) experienced the greatest decline.
  • The proportion of children within the total NSW population decreased between 2006 and 2011 (24.0% to 23.1%).
  • By 2056 the proportion of children in the NSW population is estimated to be 19.3 per cent.

Births

  • In 2011 there were 99,054 births in NSW, an increase of 3,136 births from 2010.
    • The number of births increased between 2010 and 2011 in most areas of NSW, with the greatest relative increases recorded in North Western NSW (11.9%), the Hunter (9.9%) and the Mid-North Coast (8.5%).  The number of births decreased in the Murray (-4.0%) and South Eastern NSW (-0.5%).
    • Within Sydney, the greatest increase was in Blacktown (9.1%) and Central Northern Sydney (7.9%).  The greatest decrease was in the Central North Sydney (-4.5%), followed by the Eastern Suburbs (-4.1%).
  • Over the period 2006–2011 the median maternal age remained stable at 31.0 years.
    • In 2011, Far Western NSW had the lowest median maternal age (27.4 years) and Sydney had the highest (31.6 years).

Chapter 2 Diversity of NSW children

Aboriginal children

  • In 2011, 4.9 per cent of the 1.6 million children living in NSW identified as Aboriginal. This is nearly double the proportion of Aboriginal people in the total NSW population (2.6%).
    • The Far West and Orana, New England and North West, and the Mid North Coast have the highest proportion of children who were identified as Aboriginal.
    • Within Sydney, the areas with the highest proportion of Aboriginal children were Outer South West Sydney, Outer Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, and Blacktown.

Place of birth

  • In 2011, 7.7 per cent of children living in NSW were born outside of Australia.
  • The Sydney area had the highest proportion of children born overseas, with the highest proportions in North Sydney and Hornsby and Parramatta.

Language spoken at home

  • In 2011, 19.7 per cent of children lived in households where English was not the main language spoken.
    • In Sydney, 31.2 per cent lived in households where English was not the main language.
    • In 2011, within the Sydney area, Parramatta had the highest proportion of children living in households where English was not the main language, followed by Inner South West Sydney and South West Sydney.

Religion

  • The majority of children in NSW were described as Christian in 2011 (66.8%). One in five children was described as having no religious belief.

Migrant children

  • Between January 2012 and January 2013, 6,602 children migrated to live in NSW. Over one-fifth of these children come from Southern Asian countries.
    • Over half (52.2%) migrated with their parent(s) as part of the skilled migration program, around a third (35.1%) arrived through the family stream, and 12.7 per cent migrated as part of the humanitarian program.
    • In general, older children were more likely to have arrived through the family migration stream than younger children.  Younger children were more likely to have arrived through the skilled migration stream.
    • The Sydney area had the greatest number of child migrants, followed by the Hunter and Illawarra areas. Within Sydney, the areas with the highest number of migrant children were Central Western Sydney, Fairfield–Liverpool, Central Northern Sydney, and Canterbury-Bankstown and Blacktown.

Children with a disability

  • In NSW, 8.0 per cent of children aged 1–17 years had a disability in 2009.
    • More than one in 12 children aged 1–8 years and nearly one in 10 children aged 9–14 years had a disability.
    • Just over half of the children with a disability had a profound or severe disability (52.2%).
    • A greater proportion of children aged 1–8 years had a profound or severe core-activity limitation compared with other age groups.
    • The most common profound or severe core limitations were sensory and speech for 1–8 year olds and intellectual or psychological limitations for 9–14 year olds
    • In 2011, 2.1 per cent of NSW Children had a need for assistance in a core activity.

Chapter 3 Family diversity

Household types and family size

  • In 2006, almost all of the 1,578,700 children living in NSW lived at home.
    • The 19,600 children (1.2%) who do not live at home lived in a range of dwellings including hotels or hostels, school residences (e.g. boarding schools), hospitals, childcare institutions or corrective institutions (e.g. prison or juvenile justice).
  • In 2006, most children (79.4%) lived in households with one or two children. Aboriginal children were slightly more likely to live in households with more children.
    • The average number of children per household was highest in the Northern, Far West and North Western and the Central West, Murray and Murrumbidgee areas of NSW.
    • Households in the Sydney area were, on average, largest in Canterbury–Bankstown and smallest in Inner Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs areas.

Children in out-of-home care

  • At June 30 2010, 17,400 children were in out-of-home care. This is a rate of 10.7 children in every 1,000. Half of these children lived with a relative or kin.
    • Aboriginal children made up almost one-third of children in out-of-home care.
    • The rates of children in out-of-home care ranged from 5.1 in every 1,000 infants aged less than one year to 12 in every 1,000 children aged 5–8 and 9–14 years old.
    • At June 30 2002 to June 30 2010, the number of children in out-of-home care increased by 87.6 per cent.

Housing tenure

  • In 2006, most children lived in accommodation that was fully owned or being purchased.
    • Almost one-third (31.6%) lived in rented housing. Aboriginal children were more likely to live in rented accommodation than average.
    • The Northern, Far West, North Western (all 36.0%), Richmond and Mid-North Coast (both 35.8%) areas had the highest proportions of children living in rental accommodation.
    • Within Sydney, children were most likely to live in rental accommodation in Central Western Sydney (41.1%) and least likely in Central Northern Sydney (19.6%).

Educational attainment of parents

  • In 2006, most mothers and fathers of dependent children had completed education to at least Year 12 or equivalent.
    • A higher proportion of fathers (77.5%) had completed Year 12 or equivalent education than mothers (65.9%). The proportion of mothers and fathers of Aboriginal children who had attained Year 12 was lower than average.
    • Areas with low proportions of parents who had completed Year 12 or equivalent were the Far West and North Western.
    • In the Sydney area, Fairfield–Liverpool and Outer South Western Sydney had a lower than average proportion of parents who had completed Year 12; while there was a higher proportion in the Eastern Suburbs, Lower Northern Sydney and Central Northern Sydney.

Parental employment

  • In 2006, most dependent children had either one or both parents in employment.
    • Two per cent of dependent children had one or both parents unemployed; 0.5 per cent of dependent children in couple households had unemployed parents, compared to 8.4 per cent of dependent children in single-parent households. A higher proportion of Aboriginal dependent children had one or both parents unemployed (6.1%).
    • The Mid-North Coast and Far West areas of NSW had a higher proportion of dependent children with unemployed parents than average.
    • Within the Sydney area, Gosford–Wyong, Fairfield–Liverpool, Outer South Western Sydney, Blacktown and Canterbury–Bankstown had the highest proportion of dependent children with unemployed parents.

Healthy family functioning

  • In 2007–2008, most families with children aged 0–15 years (91.9%) lived in homes with healthy family functioning.
    • Children living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of NSW were less likely to live in homes with healthy family functioning.

Family activities

  • In 2008, a greater proportion of children aged 4–5 years old were read to by an adult on a regular basis (45.5%) compared with children aged 8–9 years (9.5%).
    • Just over two-thirds of children aged 4–5 years and 8–9 years were involved in everyday activities such as cooking or caring for pets.

Chapter 4 Physical health

Infant health

  • In 2008, 5.6% of live-born infants in NSW did not have a healthy weight at birth (less than 2,500 grams).
  • Over the 15 years to 2008 the proportion of live-born infants who did not have a healthy weight at birth had shown little change.

General health

  • In 2007-2008, 90.4% of 5–15 year olds had excellent, very good or good health.
    • A higher proportion of children in the North Coast Area Health Service[2] had their health rated positively, than the population of 5-15 year olds in NSW.
  • In the eight years to 2007-2008 there was a significant decrease in the proportion of children aged 5–15 years that had excellent, very good or good health.

Immunisation

  • In 2010, the proportion of children aged two years immunised in NSW was above that required to interrupt the spread of vaccine preventable illnesses within communities.[3]
    • The immunisation target was not achieved in the Richmond-Tweed area or in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

Communicable diseases

  • In 2010, among 0–17 year olds 4.0 in every 1,000 had a vaccine preventable illness, 2.4 in every 1,000 had other infectious diseases and 1.1 in every 1,000 had a sexually transmitted infection.
    • A greater proportion of children aged 5–10 years had a vaccine preventable illness.
    • A greater proportion of older children than younger children and female children than male children had a sexually transmitted infection.[4]

Infant mortality (less than 1 year)

  • In the 14 years to 2009, 4.4 in every 1,000 infants died.
    • Male infants were more likely to die than female infants, Aboriginal infants were more likely to die than non-Aboriginal infants, and infants living in outer regional areas were more likely to die than infants living in major cities.
  • In the same period the mortality rate for infants has fluctuated, with a recent notable decrease between 2008 and 2009.

Child mortality (1-17 years)

  • In the 14 years to 2009 among 1–17 year olds 0.094 in every 1,000 died with a disease or morbid condition.
    • Younger children were more likely to die in these circumstances than older children, and male children were more likely to die than female children.
  • In the same period there was a decline in the death rate for 1–17 year olds from a disease or morbid condition.

Oral health

  • In 2007, 51.8% of children aged 5–12 years examined in NSW primary schools had no past tooth decay.
    • A smaller proportion of Aboriginal children than non-Aboriginal children had no past decay.
    • A greater proportion of children living in major cities than those living in inner and outer regional areas or remote and very remote areas had no past decay.
  • Children aged 11–12 years had less unmet need for dental treatment than 5–6 year olds.

Chronic health conditions

  • In 2009, an estimated 15.9 per cent of children aged 0–17 years had a long-term health condition.
    • Half these children had a disability.
    • A greater proportion of older children than younger children had a chronic health condition.

Access to health care

  • In 2007-2008, one in five parents had difficulty getting health care for their children.
    • The most common difficulty was the waiting time for a GP appointment.
    • A lower proportion of parents of 0–4 year olds had difficulties in accessing health care than parents of 5–8 year olds.
    • A greater proportion of children living in rural areas than those living in urban areas had difficulty getting health care when needed.
    • A lower proportion of children living in the least and second socioeconomically disadvantaged areas[5] had difficulty getting health care when needed than the population of 0–15 year olds in NSW.
    • A greater proportion of children in the NSW Health Areas[6] of Hunter & New England, North Coast, Greater Southern, and Greater Western, had difficulty getting health care when needed than the population of 0–15 year olds in NSW.
  • Over the four years to 2007-2008 there was a significant increase in the proportion of parents of children who had difficulty getting health care for their children when needed.

Chapter 5 Mental health

Emotional well-being

  • In 2008, the majority of children aged 8–9 years reported feeling happy a lot of the time.
    • A greater proportion of female children reported these feelings compared with male children.
  • In 2007, almost all 16–17 year olds reported feeling happy or very happy with their lives as a whole.
    • The areas where these children felt less happy were in the work they do at study, home or in a job, their career prospects, and the money they get each week.

Psychological distress

  • In 2008, 13.3% of 12–17 year old school students had experienced high levels of psychological distress in the last six months.
  • A substantial number of school students aged 12–17 years who experienced distress did not talk to anyone about how they felt. When they did, most talked to family or friends; rarely did they seek support from a helpline or the internet.
    • A higher proportion of male students than female students did not talk to anyone about how they felt.
  • Over the 12 year period to 2008 the proportion of 12–17 year old school students who had experienced high psychological distress in the last six months decreased significantly.

Behaviour difficulties

  • In 2007–2008, fewer than 1 in 10 children aged 4–15 years were at risk of developing a clinically significant behavioural problem.
    • A higher proportion of male than female children were at risk.
  • There was no significant change in the proportion of 4–15 year olds at risk between 2003–2004 and 2007–2008.

Mental health disorders

  • In 2007, just under a quarter of children aged 16–17 years had a lifetime mental health disorder.

Intentional self-harm

  • In 2009–2010, intentional self-harm resulted in 801 admissions to hospital for children aged 15–17 years, or 2.84 in every 1,000 children in that age group.
    • Admission rates were 3–4 times greater among female children compared with male children.
  • Over the period 2000–2001 to 2009–2010 admission rates peaked in 2005–2006 at 3.76 in every 1,000 children aged 15–17 years.

Suicide death

  • Over the period 1996–2010, 264 children aged 12–17 years died by suicide, or approximately 0.03 in every 1,000 children in that age group.
  • Over the period 1996–2009:
    • Male children were almost twice as likely to die by suicide compared with female children.
    • Children aged 14–15 years and 16–17 years were significantly more likely to die by suicide compared with 12–13 year olds.
    • The suicide mortality rate among Aboriginal children was not statistically different to non-Aboriginal children.
  • Suicide mortality rates have been mostly constant since 1998.

Chapter 6 Health Behaviours

Nutrition

  • In 2007–2008, the majority of 2–15 year olds had the recommended amount of fruit and dairy, however less than half had the recommended amount of vegetables.[7]
    • 2–8 year olds were more likely than 9–15 year olds to have the recommended amount of fruit, dairy and vegetables.
    • Males were more likely than females to have the recommended amount of dairy, but not fruit or vegetables.
    • Children in rural areas were more likely than those in urban areas to have consumed the recommended amount of vegetables.
    • Children in the most disadvantaged areas were less likely than the population of 2–15 year olds in NSW to have consumed the recommended amount of vegetables.
  • Over the eight year period to 2008, the proportion of 2–15 year olds who had the recommended amount of vegetables and dairy increased significantly.
    • Fruit consumption decreased among 9–15 year olds and increased significantly among 2–8 year olds.

Healthy weight

  • In 2007–2008, almost two-thirds of 2–15 year olds had a healthy weight.[8]
    • 2–8 year olds were more likely than 9–15 year olds, males were more likely than females, and children in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were more likely than the population of 2–15 year olds in NSW to be overweight or obese.

Perceptions of weight

  • In 2008, 71.2 per cent of 12–17 year old students thought they were about the right weight, 20.6 per cent thought they were too fat, and 8.2 per cent thought they were too thin.
    • Students aged 12–15 years were less likely than students aged 16–17 years to think they were too fat, and males were less likely than females to think they were too fat.
  • Over the seven year period to 2008 there was no significant change in the proportion of 12–17 year old students who thought they were too fat.

Physical activity

  • In 2009, approximately two-thirds of 5–14 year olds participated in at least one organised sport or physical activity outside of school hours.
  • In 2007–2008, one-quarter of 5–15 year olds met the recommended level of physical activity[9] outside of school hours.
    • A greater proportion of 5–8 year olds than 9–15 year olds met the recommended level of physical activity outside of school hours, and a greater proportion of children living in rural areas than those in urban areas met the recommended level.
  • In 2008, 13.3 per cent of 12–17 year old students met the recommended level of physical activity.
    • A greater proportion of males than females met the recommended level of activity.
  • Over the four year period to 2008 there was no significant change in the proportion of students aged 12–17 years who met the minimum recommended level of physical activity each day.

Sleeping patterns

  • In 2008, less than half of children aged 4–5 years and 8–9 years had a regular sleeping pattern.
    • Sleeping patterns were slightly less problematic for parents of 8–9 year olds than parents of 4–5 year olds.

Sexual and reproductive health

  • In 2008, 31.5 per cent of Year 10 students had had sex.
  • In 2008, there were 904 births to 15–17 year olds, or 0.7 births per 1,000 females in this age group.
    • Aboriginal females had nine times the birth rate of non-Aboriginal females in this age group.
  • Over the 15 year period to 2006, the birth rate among females aged 19 years and younger decreased substantially.

Alcohol use

  • In 2008, 56.1 per cent of 12–17 year old students drank alcohol in the last 12 months.
    • 12–15 year olds were less likely than 16–17 year olds, male students were just as likely as female students, and students living in rural areas were more likely than those living in urban areas to have drunk alcohol in the last 12 months.
  • The main source of alcohol for students aged 12–17 years who had drunk alcohol in the last seven days was parents, closely followed by ‘getting someone to buy it’ and friends.
    • Over the 24 year period to 2008 the proportion of 12–17 year old students who consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months decreased significantly.

Risky drinking

  • In 2008, 8.9 per cent of 12–17 year old students drank at risky levels.[10]
    • 8.0 per cent of students who were injured in the last six months had consumed alcohol in the six hours before they were injured.
    • A higher proportion of 16–17 year old students than 12–15 year old students drank at risky levels.
    • A smaller proportion of students in the former Greater Western Area Health Service[11] and students living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas[12] drank at risky levels than the 12–17 year old student population in NSW.
  • Over the 24 year period to 2008, the proportion of students aged 12–17 years who consumed four or more drinks in one day during the last seven days ranged from 11.5 per cent in 1996 to 8.9 per cent in 2008.

Tobacco use

  • In 2008, 8.6 per cent of 12–17 year old students considered themselves a ‘current smoker’.
    • 12–15 year old students were less likely than 16–17 year old students, and males were just as likely as females, to consider themselves to be current smokers.
  • Over the 24 year period to 2009, the proportion of 12–17 year old students who had smoked tobacco decreased significantly.

Wanting to quit smoking

  • In 2008, 36.4 per cent of 12–17 year old students who were current smokers wanted to quit.
    • 12–15 year old students were less likely to want to quit than 16–17 year olds.

Smoking dependence

  • In 2008, 3.9 per cent of 12–17 year old students had patterns of smoking that indicated smoking dependence.[13]
    • 12–15 year old students were less likely than 16–17 year old students to have dependence-producing patterns.
    • Students in the former Greater Western and Hunter and New England Area Health Services were less likely than the 12–17 year old student population in NSW, to have dependence-producing patterns.
  • Over the nine year period to 2008, the proportion 12–17 year old students with established dependence-producing patterns of smoking decreased steadily.

Illicit drug use

  • In 2008, 14.6 per cent of 12–17 year old students had used an illicit drug sometime in their life.
    • The most common illicit drugs used were inhalants; sleeping tablets, sedatives or tranquillisers other than for medical reasons; and marijuana or cannabis.
    • With the exception of inhalants, 12–15 year old students were less likely than 16–17 year students to have used illicit drugs.
    • Male students were just as likely as female students to have used most illicit drugs, with the exception of using steroids and cocaine where male students were more likely users than female students. Female students were more likely to have used painkillers or analgesics than male students.
    • 5.5 per cent of 12–17 year old students who were injured in the last six months had consumed a drug in the six hours before they were injured.
  • Over the 13 year period to 2009, 160 children aged 12–17 years died in circumstances where an illicit drug was present.
  • Over the 13 year period to 2009, there was no illicit substance where usage increased among students aged 12–17 years.
    • There was a significant decrease in the use of painkillers or analgesics; inhalants; marijuana or cannabis; sleeping tablets, sedatives or tranquillisers other than for medical reasons; amphetamines; hallucinogens; cocaine; and heroin or opiates.
    • There was no change in the use of ecstasy, or steroids without a doctor’s prescription.

Chapter 7 Children and crime

Children suspected of a criminal offence

  • In 2009/10, 2.4 per cent of 10–17 year olds in NSW were suspected of involvement in a criminal incident where police took action[14]:
    • 3.0 times greater for male children compared with female children
    • 4.5 times greater for 15–17 year olds compared with 10–14 year olds
    • These children were involved in 39,943 incidents.
  • Over the 10 years to 2009/10, the number of incidents where police took some action increased by an average of 2.0 per cent each year with a greater increase for female children than male children.

Type of offence

  • In 2009/10, the most common offences for 10–17 year olds suspected of a criminal offence where police took some action were transport regulatory offences, assault, and maliciously damaging property.
    • The most common offences for 10–14 year olds were maliciously damaging property, assault, shoplifting, and breaching bail conditions.
    • The most common offences for 15–17 year olds were transport regulatory offences and assault.
  • Over the 10 years to 2009/10, there was a significant upward trend in the number of breaches of an apprehended violence order (AVO), breaches of bail conditions by not appearing at court, assaults, and malicious damage to property.
    • There was a significant decrease in the number of property crimes such as burglary and motor vehicle theft.

Place and geographic location of offence

  • In 2009/10, the most common places for incidents involving 10–17 year olds suspected of an offence where police took some action were residential premises, outdoors in public places and on public transport premises.
    • The Far West and North Western areas of NSW had the highest rates of child offending for malicious damage to property.
    • The North Western area also had the highest rates of child offending for non-domestic assault and burglary.
    • The Richmond–Tweed area had the highest rate of child offending for shoplifting.

Cautions, fines and Youth Justice Conferencing

  • In 2009/10, 57.5 per cent of the 10–17 year olds suspected of, or admitting to, an offence where police took some action were diverted by police away from the NSW criminal courts.[15]
    • 58.8 per cent of 10–14 year olds and 57.1 per cent of 15–17 year olds were diverted from court.
    • The most common diversion for 10–14 year olds were cautions under the Young Offenders Act 1997.
    • The most common diversions for 15–17 year olds were infringement notices and cautions under the Young Offenders Act 1997.
  • In 2009, 38.3 per cent of the principal penalties[16] imposed by criminal courts were fines, formal cautions and dismissals following Youth Justice conferencing.
  • In 2010 there were 18,981 infringement notices issued by RailCorp, 57.8 per cent of which were for travelling on a train without a valid ticket.
  • Over the five years to 2009/10, the proportion of children diverted by police away from the NSW criminal courts varied between a low of 56.3 per cent in 2007/08 and a high of 57.5 per cent in 2009/10.

Remand (pre-sentence bail)

  • In 2010, at the time of their final court appearance, 3,502 10–17 year olds were on bail and 999 were in custody having been refused bail:
    • 23.5 per cent of male children had been refused bail and were in custody compared with 16.6 per cent of female children.
    • 31.5 per cent of Aboriginal children had been refused bail and were in custody compared with 15.8 per cent of non-Aboriginal children.
  • Over the five years to 2010, the number of children refused bail peaked in 2008 at 1,412 and has subsequently fallen steadily to 958 in 2010.

Community orders

  • On an average day in NSW in 2008/09, 0.21 per cent of 10–17 year olds in NSW were under a community based supervision order.
    • Aboriginal children were 15.0 times more likely than non-Aboriginal children to be under a community based supervision order.
    • Male children were 4.3 times more likely than female children to be under a community based supervision order.
    • Children living in remote or rural areas of NSW were 11.4 times more likely than children living in major cities to be under a community based supervision order.
    • Children living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were 4.6 times more likely than those living in areas of low socioeconomic disadvantage[17] to be under a community based supervision order.

Unsentenced detention

  • On an average day in NSW in 2009/10, 59.1 per cent of the 371 10–17 year olds in juvenile detention were in unsentenced detention.[18]
    • Male children were 8.0 times more likely than female children to be in unsentenced detention on an average day.
    • 15–17 year olds were 6.4 times more likely than 10–14 year olds to be in unsentenced detention on an average day.
    • Aboriginal children were 23.8 times more likely than non-Aboriginal children to be in unsentenced detention on an average day in 2009-10.
  • The areas with the highest rate of children in unsentenced detention on an average day were the Far West, North Western, and Northern areas.
    • Within the Sydney region, Inner Sydney, Eastern Suburbs, Blacktown, and Outer South Western Sydney had the highest rate.
  • The median length of stay in unsentenced detention was three days compared with 60 days for sentenced detention.
  • Over the five year period to 2008/09, a greater proportion of the population of young people in detention were waiting to be sentenced.
  • Over the five year period to 2009/10 the rate of children in unsentenced detention on any given day peaked in 2008/09 at 0.30 per 1,000 children, falling to 0.28 per 1,000 children in 2009/10.

Sentenced detention

  • On an average day in NSW in 2009/10, 165 children were in sentenced detention.
    • Male children were 14 times more likely than female children to be in sentenced detention on an average day.
    • 15–17 year olds were 13.3 times more likely than 10–14 year olds to be in sentenced detention on an average day.
    • Aboriginal children were 28.5 times more likely than non-Aboriginal children to be in sentenced detention on an average day.
  • The areas with the highest rate of children in sentenced detention on an average day were the Far West and North Western areas.
    • Within the Sydney region the Eastern Suburbs, Inner Sydney, Blacktown, and Outer South Western Sydney had the highest rate.
  • In the five years to 2009/10, the rate of children in sentenced detention on any given day has increased steadily to 0.23 in every 1,000 10–17 year olds.
  • In 2009, more than 50 per cent of the young people in custody had a psychological disorder, and/or a history of child abuse and trauma. Just under 50 per cent had had a parent in prison and/or an extremely low or borderline IQ.
    • The average school leaving age for young people in custody was 14.4 years.

Reconviction

  • Almost 80 per cent of 10–17 year olds convicted of an offence in 1994 were reconvicted of another offence within the next 15 years.
    • 40 per cent were convicted of a further offence within 1 year.
    • 54.7 per cent within 2 years.
    • 62.0 per cent within 3 years.
    • Beyond 3 years, as each year passed, fewer and fewer children who were convicted in 1994 were reconvicted.

Chapter 8 Economic well-being of families

Economic hardship

  • In 2006, 53.7 per cent of dependent children lived in households with an equivalised income[19] of less than $600 per week.
    • A higher proportion of Aboriginal children (82.7%) compared with all children (53.7%) lived in households with an average income less than $600 per week.
    • The proportion of children living in lower income households is higher for children living with one parent (85.9%) compared with children living with two parents (46.0%).
    • The NSW areas of Far West, North Western and Mid-North Coast had higher proportions of children living in households with an average income of less than $250 per week compared with the state average.
    • Within Sydney, the Canterbury–Bankstown, Fairfield–Liverpool and Central Western Sydney areas had higher proportions of children living in families where the average weekly income was less than $250.
  • In 2007–08, the median equivalised disposable household income for all households in NSW was $676 per week.
  • In a 12 month period between 2007 and 2008, 6.3 per cent of parents said there were times when they had run out of food and could not afford to buy more (food insecurity).
    • There has been no significant change in this proportion between 2001 and 2007–2008.
    • A higher proportion of parents living in rural areas (7.5%) compared with those living in urban areas (5.7%) reported food insecurity[20].
    • The most commonly reported method for coping with food insecurity for families were cutting down on the variety of foods the family eat (42.3%), followed by asking for help from relatives (32.6%).

Access to adequate housing

  • In 2006 approximately 14.1 per cent of private households with children in NSW were overcrowded[21]. The rate for households with Aboriginal children was higher at 17.0 per cent.
  • In 2006, 0.5 per cent of all 0–18 year olds were homeless, this equated to 7,902 children.
    • Of the total homeless population in NSW, 18.2 per cent were aged 12–18 years (mainly living on their own) and 10.6 per cent were children under 12 years who were with one or both parents.
    • Children aged 12–18 years were most at risk of homelessness, with eight in 1,000 homeless in 2006. This compares with three in 1,000 children under 12 years.
    • A higher proportion of homeless children were female (53.4%) compared with males (46.6%).

Chapter 9 Work and income of children

  • In 2011, 23.1 per cent of 15–17 year olds enrolled in education, combined education and work. Primarily this employment was part-time.
    • The majority of children combining education and work received an income less than $199 per week reflecting the part-time or casual nature of their work.
    • The proportion of children who combined education and work was higher in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie (37.3%) and Hunter Valley exc Newcastle (35.3%) areas of NSW.
    • In the Sydney area, a greater proportion of children combined education and work in Sutherland (32.4%) and Northern Beaches (29.0%).
  • In 2006, 5.8 per cent of children aged 5–14 years worked in the last 12 months.
    • The proportion of children who worked was lower in Sydney (5.4%) compared to the remainder of the state (6.6%).
  • Almost 4 per cent of 15–17 year olds were not engaged in education or work in 2011.
  • The proportion of children who were not in education and not employed varied by area across NSW and was much higher in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven (56.2%), Mid North Coast (55.1%) and Central Coast (68.4%) areas.
  • In 2011, the majority (85.1%) of 15–17 year olds who combined education and work had a weekly income of $1-$199.
  • Over a quarter (26.2%) of 15–17 year olds who had left school had no income.  Around a quarter (24.5%) had a weekly income of $1–$199, while the remaining 47.2 per cent earned $200 or more.

Chapter 10 Early childhood education and care

Type of early childhood education and care

  • In 2011, an estimated 51.9 per cent of children aged 12 years or less usually attended some type of child care.
  • Informal child care[22] was the most commonly used type of care followed by formal child care.[23] A small proportion of children used a combination of both.
    • A greater proportion of 3-5 year olds than other age groups usually went to formal child care.
    • Formal care for younger children was most likely to be long day care.
    • Grandparents provided the most informal care.
  • The use of child care was higher in one parent families than couple families and in the Sydney area than the rest of NSW.
  • In the three years to 2011 there has been an increase in the proportion of children usually attending some type of child care.
  • Preschool was attended by 69,500 children aged 3–6 years.
    • Most attended for 2 days or less.

Difficulties with early childhood education and care experienced by parents[24]

  • In 2011, over three-quarters of parents with 0-14 year olds experienced difficulties with child care.[25]
    • The most common difficulties were the cost of early education and care, finding it at short notice, or for a sick child.

Cost of formal child care

  • In 2011, the median cost of formal child care for 0–12 year olds was estimated at $50 per week.
    • The median cost is much higher for 0–5 year old children ($61 per week) than 6–12 year old children ($25 per week).

Chapter 11 Education and learning

Profile of schools in NSW

  • In 2010, there were 2,947 schools in NSW with 1,120,430 full-time equivalent enrolments.
    • 55.5 per cent were primary school students and 44.5 per cent were secondary school students.

School readiness

  • In 2009, just over one in five children in the first year of school were developmentally vulnerable in one or more of the five key areas of physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge.

A higher proportion of five year old children than four year old children; male children than female children; Aboriginal children than non-Aboriginal children; children who spoke a language other than English at home than children who spoke English at home (with the exception of the emotional vulnerability domain); and children living in areas of relatively high disadvantage[26] than children living in the least disadvantaged areas; were developmentally vulnerable on all five domains.

Enrolment and attendance

  • In 2010, just over 1.1 million children were enrolled in NSW educational institutions.
    • Government schools accounted for 66.2 per cent of student enrolments; 69.5 per cent of primary school enrolments and 62.1 per cent in secondary school enrolments.
    • Of Aboriginal students, 59.2% were enrolled in primary school and 40.8% in secondary school. Of non-Aboriginal students 55.3% were enrolled in primary school and 44.7% in secondary school.
    • In 2010, the average attendance[27] rate for NSW government primary school students was 93.7 per cent. For high school students, attendance dropped to 89.2 per cent in Years 7–10 and 88.9 per cent in Years 11–12.
    • There was a marked difference in the proportion of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children attending school, which increased with each school year. In Year 1 the percentage difference was five per cent increasing to a 12 per cent difference by Year 10.
    • Across the primary school years, Years 7–10 and Years 11–12 the attendance rate was below the state average in Western NSW, New England, Illawarra/South Coast and Hunter/Central Coast regions.
    • Over the period 2003–2010 the attendance rate showed little change, remaining between 91 and 92 per cent. Since 2008, the attendance rate in Years 11–12 has decreased by 0.2 per cent each year.

Enjoying school

  • In 2008, 89.1 per cent of teachers of children aged 8–9 years reported that the children enjoyed attending school and 85.3 per cent for children aged 4–5 years (those attending child care were included for this younger group).
    • Teachers reported that a smaller proportion of male children than female children enjoyed attending school.
  • In 2010, teachers of 6–7 and 10–11 year old children reported that a smaller proportion of male children than female children were eager to learn new things often and were able to pay attention often.

Stress and pressure

  • One third of the 16–17 year olds taking part in the Longitudinal Study of Australia in 2007 reported that they let study stress get on top of them.
    • A greater proportion of male students than female students felt they could deal with the pressures of schoolwork and exams.
  • In 2008, nearly 40 per cent of high school students had problems studying at home or school that affected their performance in school tests and other work.
    • A greater proportion of male students than female students and 16–17 year olds than 12–15 year olds had problems studying at home or school that affected their performance in school tests and other work.
    • Just over four in 10 children who had study problems spoke to no one about it. When children spoke with someone it was most often a family member or friend.

Time spent doing homework

  • In 2008, one in 10 high school students spent on average more than two hours a day doing homework.
    • A lower proportion of 12–15 year olds than 16–17 year olds spent on average more than two hours a day doing homework.
    • A smaller proportion of students in the Hunter and New England former Area Health Service[28] spent, on average, more than two hours a day doing homework than all NSW 12–17 year old school students.
  • Over the seven years to 2008 the proportion of students spending on average more than two hours a day doing homework fluctuated from 12.7 per cent in 2002, 9.8 per cent in 2005, and 10.8 per cent in 2008.

Disciplinary absences from government school

  • In 2010, 1.7 per cent of students in NSW government schools received a long suspension;[29] one in four of these students had been suspended more than once.
    • Four in every 100 students in Years 7–10 had received a long suspension; one in every 100 students in Years 11–12; and one in every 200 students in Kindergarten to Year 6.
    • Persistent misbehaviour, closely followed by physical violence, were the primary reasons for a long suspension across the years making up between 44.0% and 42.0% of all long suspensions respectively.
    • A greater proportion of students enrolled in the education group of Bourke, Eastern Lake Macquarie, New England West and New England South received a long suspension than other education group areas of NSW.
    • In the six years to 2010 the number of long suspensions increased by 6,181. This increase is largely accounted for by an increase in long suspensions received by students for persistent misbehaviour.

Completing Year 12

  • In 2010, an estimated 67 per cent of all students in NSW completed Year 12 or an equivalent qualification.[30]
    • A higher proportion of female students than male students; students living in metropolitan and remote areas than other areas; and students living in areas of low socioeconomic disadvantage than students living in areas of high socioeconomic disadvantage completed a Year 12 qualification.
  • Over the six years to 2010 the proportion of students in NSW completing a Year 12 qualification remained at 67%. In 2009 the completion rate fell to 65 per cent.

Apparent Retention Rates[31]

  • In 2010, 74.5 per cent of students who started Year 10 continued on to Year 12.
    • A higher proportion of female students than male students, non-Aboriginal students than Aboriginal students who started Year 10 completed Year 12.

Academic achievement

  • In 2011, most NSW students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 were at or above the national minimum standard in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation and numeracy.
  • With the exception of reading in Years 7, the proportion of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard generally declined with each school year for reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation and numeracy.
  • In general a higher proportion of female students than male students; non-Aboriginal students than Aboriginal students; and students who live in metropolitan or provincial areas than remote and very remote areas achieved at or above the national minimum standard.
  • On the whole, students who speak a language other than English at home perform similarly to students living in homes where English is the main language spoken.
  • While 15 year olds in NSW ranked among the best in the world in reading, literacy, scientific literacy and mathematical literacy in 2009, performance has declined in reading and mathematics since testing began in the early part of this century.
  • In 2006–2007, Year 4 and Year 8 students ranked at or above the international average in mathematics and science.

Educational deprivation

  • In 2006, just over two in every 100 15 year olds in NSW were educationally deprived.[32] While this compares with an OECD average of 3.5 in every 100 15 year olds, it is close to five times higher than the equivalent figure for Iceland and Germany.

Study areas

  • In 2010, 70,459 HSC students were enrolled in 371,868 Board of Studies endorsed courses.
    • A substantially greater proportion of female students than male students were enrolled in at least one language, creative arts, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) or Vocational Education and Training courses (VET).
    • A substantially greater proportion of male students than female students were enrolled in at least one non-VET Board endorsed course, Life Skills course or Technology course.

Post school engagement in education and learning

  • In 2011, almost half of the 18–24 year olds in NSW were engaged in post school education and learning.

Chapter 12 Unintentional injury and death

Serious childhood injuries

  • In 2009–2010 there were an estimated 22,805 incidents involving 0–17 year olds that resulted in an admission to a NSW hospital due to injury (‘serious injury’), of which 93.6 per cent were unintentional injuries.[33]
    • The most common known location where unintentional injuries occurred was in the home.[34]
    • 15–17 year olds were more likely than 1–4 years olds to be seriously injured, as were male children compared with female children, and Aboriginal children compared with non-Aboriginal children.
    • Children living in remote areas were more likely than children living in major cities to be seriously injured, as were children in third and fourth quintiles of socioeconomic disadvantage compared with children in the least disadvantaged (first) quintile.[35]
  • Over the ten year period to 2009–2010 the rate of serious unintentional childhood injuries in NSW remained fairly steady.

Home

  • In 2009–2010 an estimated 4,300 incidents involving children aged 0–17 years that resulted in a hospital admission due to unintentional injury occurred in the home. [36]
    • 48.0 per cent were involved in an unidentified leisure activity and 32.1 per cent were involved in a vital activity such as sleeping or eating.
    • 28.0 per cent of injuries in the home were to the head, 14.9 per cent were to the elbow and forearm and 11.3 per cent to the wrist or hand.
    • Children aged 1–4 years had the highest rate of unintentional injuries at home. Male children were more likely than female children, and Aboriginal children more likely than non-Aboriginal children, to be injured at home.
    • Children living in remote areas were more likely than children living in major cities to be seriously injured at home.
    • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, those in all other quintiles of socioeconomic disadvantage were more likely to be seriously injured at home. [37]
    • The North Western and the Murrumbidgee regions had the highest rates of serious injuries across all areas in NSW; while Central Western Sydney, Blacktown and Outer Western Sydney had the highest rates of serious injury of all areas in Sydney.
  • Over the ten year period to 2009–2010 the number of incidents of serious injury that occurred at home appears to have slightly declined.

 

Sport or athletic areas

  • In 2009–2010, an estimated 2,495 incidents involving children aged 1–17 years that resulted in a hospital admission due to unintentional injury occurred at a sport or athletics area.[38]
    • 68.5 per cent were involved in team sports at the time of injury.
    • 27.4 per cent of injuries were to the elbow and forearm, 20.8 per cent to the knee and lower leg, 19.2 per cent to the head and 12.3 per cent to the wrist and hand.
    • Male children were more likely than female children to be seriously injured at sport or athletics areas; and rates of injury in sport or athletics areas increased steadily with age.
    • Children living in inner regional areas were more likely than children living in major cities to be seriously injured at sport or athletics areas.
    • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, children in the second and fourth quintiles were more likely to be seriously injured at sport or athletics areas, while children in the most disadvantaged (fifth) quintile were less likely to experience such injury. [39]
    • Murrumbidgee had the highest rate of children seriously injured at sport or athletics area of all NSW regions, and Outer Western Sydney and St George–Sutherland had the highest rates in Sydney.
  • Over the ten year period to 2009–2010 the number of incidents of serious injury that occurred at a sport or athletics area has remained steady.

School

  • In 2009–2010, an estimated 1,453 incidents involving children aged 5–17 years that resulted in a hospital admission due to unintentional injury occurred at school.[40]
    • 32.2 per cent were involved in leisure activities and 30.3 per cent in team sports at the time of the injury.
    • 43.4 per cent of injuries were to the elbow and forearm, 15.2 per cent to the head and 12.3 per cent to the wrist and hand.
    • Male children were more likely than female children to be seriously injured at school, as were 5–8 year olds compared with 15–17 year olds.
    • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, children in the most and second most disadvantaged (fifth and fourth) quintiles[41] were less likely to be seriously injured at school.
    • Murrumbidgee had the highest rate of children seriously injured at school in NSW, and the Northern Beaches and Blacktown had the highest rate in Sydney.
  • Over the ten year period to 2009–2010 the number of incidents of serious injury that occurred at school fluctuated.

Street or highway

  • In 2009–2010 an estimated 1,275 incidents involving children aged 1–17 years that resulted in a hospital admission due to unintentional injury occurred on a street or highway.[42]
    • 28.9 per cent of injuries were to the head, 16.9 per cent to the elbow and forearm, 13.0 per cent to the knee and lower leg and 10.4 per cent to the abdomen, lower neck, spinal and pelvic area.
    • Male children were more likely than female children; 5–8 year olds, 9–14 year olds and 15–17 year olds were more likely than 1–4 year olds; and Aboriginal children were more likely than non-Aboriginal children to be seriously injured on a street or highway.
    • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, those in all other quintiles of socioeconomic disadvantage were more likely to be seriously injured on a street or highway. [43]
    • Rates of serious injury on a street or highway increased with geographic remoteness, with children living in remote and very remote areas the most likely to have been injured.
    • The North Western region had the highest rate of children seriously injured on a street or highway of all areas of NSW, and Blacktown and Outer Western Sydney had the highest rates in Sydney.
  • Over the ten year period to 2009–2010 the number of incidents of serious injury that occurred on a street or highway appears to have slightly declined.
  • In 2010, 843 drivers aged 16–17 years were involved in a crash that resulted in their injury or death.
    • 17 year old drivers were more likely than 16 year old drivers to be injured or die in a crash, as were male drivers as compared with female drivers, and P1 licence drivers as compared with Learner licence drivers.
    • 16–17 year old motorcyclists were more likely than 16–17 year old car drivers to be injured or die in a crash.
    • The Far West and North Western regions of NSW and the Central Coast region of Sydney had the highest rate of drivers aged 16–17 years who were injured or died in a crash.
  • Over the nine year period to 2010, the rate of drivers aged 16–17 years injured or killed in a crash has declined.

The natural environment

  • In 2009–2010 an estimated 509 incidents that resulted in a hospital admission for children aged 1-17 years due to unintentional injury occurred in a natural environment.[44] [45]
    • At the time of injury, 44.2 per cent of these children were involved in individual water sports, 21.6 per cent in other leisure activities and 10.6 per cent in wheeled motor sports.
    • 18.3 per cent of injuries were to the ankle and foot, 17.1 per cent were to the head and 13.4 per cent were to the knee and lower leg.
    • Male children were more likely than female children to be seriously injured in the natural environment, as were 9–14 year olds and 15–17 year olds compared with 1–4 year olds.
    • Children living in regional areas were more likely than children living in major cities to be seriously injured in the natural environment.
    • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, children in the second quintile and the most disadvantaged (fifth) quintile were less likely to be injured in the natural environment. [46]
    • The Illawarra had the highest rate of children seriously injured in the natural environment of all NSW regions, and the Northern Beaches and Central Coast had the highest rates in Sydney.
  • Over the eight year period to 2009–2010 there was a slight increase in the number of children seriously injured in a natural environment.

Farm

  • In 2009–2010 an estimated 230 incidents involving children aged 0–17 years that resulted in a hospital admission due to unintentional injury occurred on farms. [47]
      • 34.7 per cent were involved in wheeled motor sports, 25.3 per cent in unspecified leisure activities and 15.8 per cent in equestrian activities.
      • 24.8 per cent of injuries were to the head and 14.8 per cent to the elbow and forearm.
      • Male children were more likely than female children to be seriously injured  on a farm, and rates of serious injury increased steadily with age.
      • Children living in inner regional, outer regional areas, remote and very remote areas were more likely than children living in major cities to be seriously injured on a farm.
      • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, those in all other quintiles of socioeconomic disadvantage were more likely to be seriously injured on a farm. [48]
      • Far West NSW was the area of NSW with the highest rate of children seriously injured on a farm.

Workplaces

  • In 2009–2010 an estimated 106 incidents involving children aged 9–17 years that resulted in a hospital admission due to unintentional injury occurred in workplaces.[49] 
      • 40.5 per cent occurred in the manufacturing industry, 31.0 per cent in wholesale and retail trade, and 21.4 per cent in construction.
      • 60.4 per cent of injuries that occurred in the workplace were to the wrist and hand.
      • Male children were more likely than female children, 15–17 year olds were more likely than 9–14 year olds, and Aboriginal children were more likely than non-Aboriginal children to be seriously injured at a workplace.
      • Children living in inner regional and outer regional areas were more likely than children living in major cities to be seriously injured at a workplace.
      • Compared with children in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged (first) quintile, children in the second, third and fourth quintiles of socioeconomic disadvantage were more likely to be seriously injured at a workplace. [50]
      • Murrumbidgee had the highest rate of children seriously injured at a workplace out of all areas in NSW, and Outer Western Sydney and Outer South Western Sydney had the highest rates in Sydney.
  • Over the eight year period to 2009–2010 rates of serious injury that occurred at a workplace fluctuated.
  • In 2009–2010 there were 417 notifications of workplace injuries concerning 15–17 year olds made to WorkCover.
    • 90.2 per cent resulted in a temporary disability of less than six months.
    • 7.2 per cent resulted in a permanent disability.
    • 2.4 per cent resulted in a temporary disability of six months or more.

 

Unintentional injury deaths

  • In 2010, 64 children aged 0–17 years died due to unintentional injury.
    • Transport incidents were the most common cause of death by injury, accounting for 35 deaths, with over half of these pertaining to children who were passengers.
    • Accidental drowning was the next most common cause of death by injury, accounting for a total of 14 deaths.

Trends in major categories of unintentional deaths

  • Over the 15 year period to 2010, the number of children aged 0–17 years who died from an unintentional injury has decreased.
    • The number of children aged 0–17 years who died in transport incidents has decreased.
Further information about childhood injury can be found in the Commission’s report Serious childhood community injury in New South Wales. This report considers injury occurrence by both unintentional and intentional causes of injury, and outlines factors such as age, sex, and injury severity for each injury cause.  The report was written for the Commission by the National Injury Surveillance Unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 

Chapter 13 Harm to children

Child abuse and neglect

  • In 2011-2012, there were 23,175 substantiated notifications of child abuse or neglect for children aged 0-17 years[51], relating to 14,677 children[52] (9.2 per 1,000 children in NSW).
    • Over two-thirds (68.3%) of substantiated notifications in NSW in 2011-2012 were for one or more forms of abuse, with the remainder being for neglect (31.7%).
    • Just over half (53.0%) of the children[53] who were the subject of a substantiation were female.
    • Aboriginal children were over eight times more likely to be subject of a substantiation than non-Aboriginal children (56.7 per 1,000 compared with 6.8 per 1,000).

Domestic and family violence

  • In 2011, 14,930 children and young people aged 0-17 years (9.0 per 1,000) were protected by an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) in NSW.
    • 36.5 per cent of people protected by ADVOs in 2011 were children.
    • A greater number of females aged 0-17 years were protected by an ADVO than males aged 0-17 years (9.6 per 1,000 compared with 8.4 per 1,000).

Children as victims of certain crimes

  • Assault was the most common type of offence against children and young people recorded by police in 2011. There were 16,472 recorded victims aged 0-19 years (9.3 per 1,000).
    • Almost three-quarters of these assault victims (72.0%) knew the person who assaulted them.
  • Sexual assault was the second most common offence against children and young people recorded by police in 2011. There were 4,151 recorded victims aged 0-19 years (2.3 per 1000 children and young people).
    • Around five in six of these sexual assault victims (83.5%) knew the person who sexually assaulted them.
  • There were 1,129 robberies recorded with a victim aged 0-19 years (0.6 per 1,000 children and young people); 237 recorded victims of kidnapping/abduction (0.1 per 1,000 children and young people); 29 recorded homicides; and seven recorded blackmail/extortion offences.

Hospitalisations due to assault

  • In 2009-2010, 526 children aged 0-17 years were hospitalised with injuries caused by assault (3.2 per 1,000 children).
    • Almost two-thirds of these children (342; 65.0%) were injured due to assault by bodily force.
    • Male children were 3.5 times more likely than female children to have been hospitalised due to an assault.
    • Aboriginal children were 3.0 times more likely to experience an assault-related hospitalisation compared with non-Aboriginal children.

Endnote



[1]Unless otherwise stated children refers to all those aged 0–17 years old inclusive.
[2] On 1 January 2011 Local Health Districts (LHD) replaced Area Health Services (AHS) as the NSW Health geographic areas.
[3] Ninety per cent immunisation is considered necessary to interrupt the spread of vaccine preventable illness within communities (Lister, McIntyre, Burgess, and O'Brien, 1999).
[4] Gonorrhoea infections can result from contact with exudates from mucous membranes of infected people, as a result of sexual activity or during childbirth. Non-sexual transmission to infants and young children has been reported.
[5]Certain socioeconomic characteristics of a geographic area can be used to determine its socioeconomic disadvantage (ABS, 2006). Areas can be ranked and then grouped according to their socioeconomic disadvantage. The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles). The least disadvantaged areas are in the first group and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth group.
[6] On 1 January 2011 Local Health Districts (LHD) replaced Area Health Services (AHS) as the NSW Health geographic areas.
[7]The minimum recommended daily consumption of fruit is one serve for 4–11 year olds and three serves for 12–18 year olds. The minimum recommended daily consumption of vegetables is two serves for 4–7 year olds and three serves for children aged eight years and over. The minimum recommended daily consumption of dairy products, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, is two serves for 4–11 year olds and three serves for 12–18 year olds.
[8]Healthy weight is determined by the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is the ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of the height in meters.
[9]The minimum recommended level of physical activity is one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
[10]The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends that children under the age of 18 years not drink alcohol. This recommendation acknowledges that the consumption of any alcohol is risky for children. To provide information on children whose drinking patterns may result in alcohol-related injury, the NHMRC recommendation for healthy adult men and women is used. It recommends drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.
[11]On 1 January 2011 Local Health Districts (LHD) replaced Area Health Services (AHS) as the NSW Health geographic areas. See Appendix Maps of NSW geographical areas used in reporting.
[12]Certain socioeconomic characteristics of a geographic area can be used to determine its socioeconomic disadvantage (ABS, 2006). Areas can be ranked and then grouped according to their socioeconomic disadvantage. The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles): the least disadvantaged areas are in the first group and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth group.
[13]A dependence-producing pattern is defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives.
[14]A criminal incident is defined as an activity detected by or reported to police which: involved the same offender(s); involved the same victim(s); occurred at the one location; occurred during one uninterrupted period of time; falls into one offence category; and falls into one incident type (for example, ‘actual’, ‘attempted’, ‘conspiracy’). Police action can include proceeding against an alleged offender to court, or diverting them away from the court, such as issuing a caution, infringement notice or Youth Justice Conference. Excluded are warnings.
[15]Excludes warnings given by police. In 2009–2010 police gave 5,030 warnings to 10–17 year olds.
[16]A principal penalty is the most serious penalty imposed on the child by the court.
[17]Certain socioeconomic characteristics of a geographic area can be used to determine its socioeconomic disadvantage (ABS, 2008). Areas can be ranked and then grouped according to their socioeconomic disadvantage. Five groups are reported. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first group and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth group.
[18]Unsentenced detention refers to children aged 10–17 years who have not been sentenced, regardless of whether they have been placed in detention following a police referral or a court referral (remand).
[19] Equivalised household income is an indicator of the economic resources available to each member of a household. It can therefore be used for comparing the situation of individuals as well as comparing the situation of households.
[20] In this survey, the term urban means the respondent lived in 1 of the 4 area health services designated as metropolitan: Northern Sydney & Central Coast, South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra, Sydney South West, and Sydney West. The term rural means the respondent lived in 1 of the 4 area health services designated as rural: Greater Southern, Greater Western, Hunter & New England, and North Coast.
[21] Overcrowding is defined as households with three or more people living in a bedsit or one bedroom dwelling; four or more people living in a two bedroom dwelling; or five or more people living in a three bedroom dwelling.
[22]Informal care includes privately provided care either in the child's home or elsewhere, for example, by friends, relatives or nannies. It is not regulated and no government assistance is provided.
[23]Formal child care is provided by a person other than a child's parent or carer, outside of the child's home (e.g. centre-based long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and occasional care). It is regulated and supported by Australian government assistance.
[24]Acknowledgements: This chapter uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHSCIA). The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute) manages the project. The views and findings reported in this paper however are those of the author and should not be attributed to either FaHSCIA or the Melbourne Institute.
[25]Child care is defined to include family day care, long day care, other center based care including preschools; outside of school hours or vacation care; care provided in the child’s home or at the providers home for payment; or care provided by a friend, neighbour or relative for free or payment in kind.

[26]Certain socioeconomic characteristics of a geographic area can be used to determine its socioeconomic disadvantage (ABS, 2006). Areas can be ranked and then grouped according to their socioeconomic disadvantage. Five groups are reported. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first group and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth group.

[27] The student attendance rate means the ratio of the number of enrolled students actually in attendance to the number of enrolled students.
[28]On 1 January 2011 Local Health Districts (LHD) replaced Area Health Services (AHS) as the NSW Health geographic area. See Appendix Maps of NSW geographical areas used in reporting.
[29]A long suspension is for a period up to and including 20 school days.
[30] For NSW completion rates are estimated by calculating the number of students who meet the requirements of a Year 12 certificate expressed as a percentage of the potential Year 12 population. The potential Year 12 population is an estimate of a single year age group which could have attended Year 12 that year, calculated as the estimated resident population aged 15–19 divided by five. Students who complete an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate III qualification or above are not included.
[31]Currently there is no direct measure of school engagement in Australia. The best available measure in Australia is Apparent Retention Rates (ARRs). ARRs provide a useful measure for performance monitoring, retention and progress of students through secondary school.
[32]Children are considered educationally deprived if they have fewer than four of the following items in their homes: a desk to study, a quiet place to work, a computer for schoolwork, educational software, an internet connection, a calculator, a dictionary, and school text books.
[33] This chapter does not cover ‘intentional’ injury, which can be defined as injury resulting from a deliberate act such as assault, self-harm or suicide.  Data on self-harm and suicide can be found in the ‘Health and well-being’ chapter, and data on assault, abuse and neglect can be found in the ‘Children and crime’ chapter.  The primary data source for this chapter, the NSW Admitted Patients Data Collection (APDC), classifies injuries as ‘unintentional’ or ‘intentional’ using the ICD-10-AM coding system.   The Commission is aware that the distinction between intentional and unintentional injury is not always clear-cut, and that the risk factors for intentional and unintentional injuries are often similar.
[34] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence.
[35] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[36] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred at home.
[37] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[38] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred at sport or athletics areas.
[39] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[40] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred at school.
[41]The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[42] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred on a street or highway.
[43] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[44] A child was determined to be injured at a natural environment where the place of occurrence was recorded as an area of still water, stream of water, large area of water, beach, forest, desert, or other specified countryside  (ICD-10AM codes Y92.80 to Y92.86 inclusive).
[45] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred in the natural environment.
[46] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[47] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred on a farm.
[48] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[49] Note that around half of all serious injury cases were recorded with an unspecified or missing place of occurrence. This figure is therefore likely to underestimate the true incidence of serious injuries that occurred in workplaces.
[50] The NSW Department of Health uses five groupings (quintiles) of socioeconomic disadvantage. The least disadvantaged areas are in the first quintile and the most disadvantaged areas are in the fifth quintile.
[51]Substantiated notifications refer to child protection notifications which were investigated, with the investigation concluding that the child was being, or had been, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed. They may also include children who have no suitable caregiver, for example children who have been abandoned. Substantiation does not necessarily mean that there was sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution.
[52] Some children were the subject of more than one substantiated notification.
[53]If a child was the subject of more than one type of abuse or neglect as part of the same notification, the type of abuse or neglect reported is the one considered by the child protection workers to cause the most harm to the child. Where a child is the subject of more than one substantiation during the year, the type of abuse or neglect reported is the one associated with the first substantiation decision during the year.