The positive health status of young people in Australia is a great feature of our country. Young people make up 14% of our population and are doing well against our national indicators for health, with over 90% of young people rating their own health as good or better, and 95% positive about their future.
The positive health status of young people includes continued declines in death rates, asthma hospitalisations, and hepatitis notifications along with improved cancer survival rates and educational standards. Chronic health conditions amongst young people also continue to improve. Furthermore, our rates of diabetes have remained fairly unchanged since 2000.
However, this does not mean the health status of young people is perfect. We currently have rising rates of STIs, particularly chlamydia. The rates of obesity continue to increase and while 70% are eating the recommended daily intake of fruit, less than 10% are doing the same for vegetables.
Furthermore, though the trend is declining young Australians continue to take risks, particularly young males. Rates of self-harm, suicides and injuries are still high. 19% of young Australians have serious Mental health issues.
Risk taking behaviours have also fallen. Over 98% of young people do not smoke, or drink dangerous amounts of alcohol.
Even in the positive health status of young people Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are at a disadvantage. They are twice as likely to die from all causes, including 6 times as high for assault. They are more than 6 times as likely to have an STI, be a teenage mother or be in child protection.
You can also read about the positive health status of young people on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website here. OR read the publications below:
Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth’s Report Card: The Wellbeing of Young Australians (2018)
Australia’s Health 2016