The early years of a child’s life provide the foundation for future heath, development and wellbeing. The transitions from childhood to adolescence to independent adulthood are also crucial periods for establishing positive health and social behaviours.

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Latest findings

Between 2011 and 2019, the proportion of mothers smoking during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy fell from 13% to 9%

In 2021, most Year 5 students achieved at or above the national minimum standards for reading (95%) and numeracy (95%)

In 2019–20, almost 39,500 children aged 0–12 were the subject of a child protection substantiation

Severe psychological distress among 18–24 year olds increased from 14% in February 2017 to 22% in April 2020

In February 2021, 11% of 15–24 year olds were not in education, employment or training; similar to February 2020

Between 2001 and 2019, rates of 14-24 year olds who drank at risky levels, smoked daily, or used drugs illicitly fell

More reports and statistics on children & youth can be found under Adoption, Child protection, Mothers & babies and Youth justice