Young Persons Factsheet

This factsheet provides information about people aged 12-25 years living in the City of Whitehorse.

The ages of 12 to 25 are a period of rapid transition where young people progress from being dependent children to independent young adults. Life events and decisions made can have a significant impact on immediate and longer-term health and wellbeing.  Supporting young people to explore, experience and navigate the many challenges and opportunities that present themselves during this phase of their life is an important responsibility of the entire community.

Youth Population

Young people aged 12-25 account for 19.3 per cent of the total Whitehorse population, which is comparable to the 18.3 per cent across Greater Melbourne.

Although the number of young people is forecast to grow by 12.3 per cent over the next fifteen years, the overall percentage of this age cohort will decrease, as even more population growth is likely to occur in the older age groups.

Location

Most young people aged 12-17 years are located in the suburbs of:

  • Blackburn North (8.6%)
  • Vermont (8.5%)
  • Mont Albert (8.2%)
  • Mont Albert North (7.8%)
  • Blackburn (7.7%)

Most young people aged 18-25 years are located in the suburbs of:

  • Burwood (28.1%)
  • Box Hill (20.9%)
  • Box Hill South (14.3%)
  • Burwood East (13.5%)
  • Mont Albert (12.5%)

Diversity

A total of 31.5 per cent of young people aged 12-25 living in the City of Whitehorse were born in a non-English speaking country, significantly higher than Greater Melbourne (22.1 per cent) and Victoria (18.2 per cent).  In addition, 38.4 per cent of all young people speak a language other than English at home.  The most common country of birth after Australia was China with 15.6 per cent, followed by India (3.0 per cent), Malaysia (2.4 per cent), Hong Kong (1.3 per cent) and Sri Lanka (1.3 per cent).

Figure 1 Top Ten Overseas Countries of Birth for Young People
Figure 1: Top Ten Overseas Countries of Birth for Young People

Young People

Young girl rollerblading at Box Hill Skate Park
Learn about programs and support for young people aged 12-25 and their families

Language Spoken at Home

Figure 2 shows the most common languages other than English spoken at home by Whitehorse young people.  Mandarin and Cantonese rank highest at 16.6 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively, followed by Vietnamese (1.6 per cent) and Chinese (not fully defined) (1.6 per cent).

A total of 4.5 per cent of 12-25 year olds indicated in the 2016 Census that they spoke English ‘not well or not at all’.  This is higher than the equivalent for Greater Melbourne (2.2 per cent) and Victoria (1.9 per cent).

Figure 2 Top Ten Languages Spoken at Home other than English
Figure 2: Top Ten Languages Spoken at Home other than English

Participation in Education

A total of 7 per cent of the population is of secondary school age and retention rates are higher in Whitehorse, with 97.4 per cent of 19 year olds having completed Year 12, in comparison to the Victorian State average of 88.2 per cent.  Over 95 per cent of Year 9 students in Whitehorse are attaining minimum standards of literacy and numeracy, again higher than the Victorian State average of 92 per cent and 96 per cent respectively (Department of Health and Human Services, 2015 Whitehorse Community Profile).

Deakin University and the Box Hill Institute of TAFE attract a large number of young people aged 18-24 years into the municipality, particularly to the suburbs of Box Hill and Burwood and surrounds.  A total of 40.9 per cent of 15-24 year olds in Whitehorse are attending a university, compared to 30.2 per cent for Greater Melbourne.  There is a similar percentage of 15-24 year old students in Whitehorse and Greater Melbourne attending a TAFE (5.5 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively).

Employment

In 2016, 12,112 people aged 12 to 25 years living in the City of Whitehorse were employed, of which 25.7 per cent were working full time and 53.9 per cent part time.  The ages of 15 to 24 has the highest rate of unemployment at 16.4 per cent.

General Wellbeing and Safety

Subjective wellbeing was measured in the 2015 VicHealth Indicators Survey using the Australian Unit Wellbeing Index (AUWBI).  Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with their lives on a number of domains resulting in an aggregated Personal Wellbeing Index ranging from 0-100.  The average Personal Wellbeing Index for 18-24 year olds in Whitehorse was consistent with the Australian average of 75.

Around 6 out of 10 (59.1 per cent) Whitehorse residents aged 18-24 agreed that they felt safe walking alone in their local area after dark, slightly higher than the Victorian estimate for all ages (56.8 per cent).

Mental Wellbeing

Mental wellbeing indicators such as level of resilience, neighbourhood connection and trust, and attitudes of gender equality in relationships were in included in the 2015 VicHeath Indicators Survey.  Whitehorse residents aged 18-24 years reported an average resilience score of 5.2 out of 8.  This is less than Whitehorse’s overall score of 6.1 and the Victorian average of 6.4.

Figure 3 Average resilience score
Figure 3: Average resilience score
Source: VicHealth (2016), VicHealth Indicators Survey 2015 Results, Whitehorse LGA Profile

Physical Activity

Physical activity status was measured in the 2015 VicHealth Indicators Survey which showed that just under half of all 18-24 year olds in the City of Whitehorse perform at least 30 minutes of physical activity for four or more days per week (48.1 per cent).  More than 8 out of 10 persons participate in a non-organised physical activity (82.3 per cent) and almost sixty per cent participate in an organised physical activity (58.4 per cent).  The average number of minutes spent sitting on a usual work day was just over four hours, significantly less than all other age groups.

Indicator 18-24 years All Whitehorse All Victoria
Number of days with at least 30 minutes of physical activity per week (4 or more days per week) 48.1% 40.7% 41.3%
Participation in any organised physical activity 58.4% 36.5% 28.7%
Participation in any non-organised physical activity 82.3% 71.2% 70.5%
Walking 46.2% 52.0% 51.2%
Time spent sitting on a usual work day - minutes (avg) 254.3 314.0 269.0

Source: DHHS (2016), VicHealth Indicators Survey 2015

Healthy Eating

Whitehorse residents aged 18-24 years ate an average of 2.2 serves of vegetables per day, consistent with the Victorian State average. Similarly, Whitehorse residents aged 18-24 years reported eating an average of 1.6 serves of fruit each day, the same as the Victorian State average.  However on average, young people in Whitehorse drank 6.4 cups of water per day, substantially higher than the Victorian average of 5.4.

Links

For more information about Young People please refer to: