Annual Youth Survey

Youth Survey - Have Your Say

Each year we encourage young Australians aged 15-19 to ‘speak up’ about the issues that really concern them through our annual Youth Survey, the largest of its kind. In 2016 we had close to 22,000 respondents.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the Youth Survey has become a critical piece of research and is used to inform the agendas of governments, policy makers and community organisations. The results can also be reported for specific locations or schools where there are enough respondents.

Youth Survey 2016 results

The Youth Survey 2016 showed that for the record number of 21,846 15 to 19 year olds who took part, alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination were the top two issues facing Australia today, with mental health entering the top three for the first time in its 15 year history. Concerns about mental health have doubled since 2011.

“I need to think more positively about myself and start looking for the good things”. Male, 16, QLD

In the survey, young people continued to nominate coping with stress, school or study problems and body image as their top three issues of personal concern. Mental health issues were also increasingly identified as personal concerns for young people.

“I am concerned about mental health in rural areas, particularly suicide. I think there needs to be more help … particularly low cost or free help”.Female, 17, SA

This year the youth survey looked in more detail at discrimination experienced and witnessed by young people. Over one quarter of young people indicated that they had experienced some form of unfair treatment or discrimination in the last twelve months.

Worryingly, the report shows one in seven females reported experiencing gender discrimination and one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported experiencing discrimination on the basis of race or cultural background.

Of those who reported experiencing discrimination, the main reasons cited were gender (39%) and race/cultural background (31%). Half the young people surveyed had witnessed someone else being unfairly treated or discriminated against in the last twelve months. The discrimination they witnessed was most commonly on the basis of race/cultural background (58%) and sexuality (41%).

Thank you to those who participated in the 2016 Youth Survey. To register your interest for Youth Survey updates, including the 2017 Youth Survey launch, please share your details with us via the ‘Sign up here’ button on this page.


Read the report

2016 Youth Survey Report
2016 Youth Survey Infographic highlights
2016 Youth Survey press release

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