About the Mission Australia Youth Survey

The Mission Australia Youth Survey is the largest annual survey of young people in Australia. Now in its 20th year, the Mission Australia Youth Survey continues to provide a platform for young people aged 15 to 19 to share their values, aspirations and concerns.

The results of the Youth Survey are shared with governments, non-government organisations, schools and social commentators to inform the debate around the circumstances of young people in Australia and to support the development of policies, services and programs that have the needs of young people at their core.

Highlights from the 2021 Youth Survey

This year 20,207 young people participated in the 20th annual Youth Survey. This landmark report provides rich and compelling evidence collected during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic about young people’s challenges, concerns, experiences and barriers to achieving their goals.

For the first time, COVID-19 is most important national issue according to young people, rising from second place in 2020 (38.8%) to the top spot in 2021 (45.7%). Survey responses reveal the pandemic and associated public health responses have had a negative effect on young people’s health, wellbeing and education in 2021.

Mission Australia’s CEO, James Toomey said: “Without the right supports and policy settings in place, there is a real concern the pandemic will have long-term impacts on our young people.”

Rounding out the top three most important national issues in 2021 were the environment (38.0%) and equity and discrimination (35.4%).

“These responses are given in the context of a crescendo of public dialogue accompanying national and international events such as COVID-19 lockdowns and outbreak responses, climate change campaigns, extreme weather events such as bushfires, drought and floods, and the Black Lives Matter movement,” Mr Toomey said.

Mr Toomey continued: “Our Youth Survey Report 2021 reveals cause for optimism in many respects, and that many young people are doing well while taking on 2021’s challenges.

“But we know that more must be done to ensure young people have ample opportunities to access education, employment and services when they need them, particularly as we move toward pandemic recovery and a ‘COVID-normal’ existence. Regardless of a young person’s background, location or experience, access to appropriate support at the right time can be life changing.

“Young people have the answers. It’s a matter of ensuring they are genuinely listened to, included in decision-making processes, and their concerns acted upon. It’s the brightest way forward for us all.”

Read the report

Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2021

Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2021 overview

Want to get involved?

We are now preparing for the Youth Survey 2022! If you are a school, community organisation, group or young person and are interested in being involved in the Youth Survey 2022, please complete the form below. We will be sending out further information in the coming months.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'