Research released today by Auckland Council on the profile of young Aucklanders reveals that Auckland’s cultural identity continues to change. More young Aucklanders are identifying as multi-ethnic, speak more than one language and were born outside Auckland, with one in five families identified as sole-parent households.
Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee says the council is preparing for that change by understanding the profile of our children and young people and looking at how to create a future Auckland that will enable them to thrive.
“We know that Auckland is a diverse, multi-cultural city and this research confirms that in the future, it will be even more so.”
The research also highlights concerns that the pandemic has impacted children and young people in areas such as mental health and wellbeing and unemployment. It also shows inequities across South Auckland where higher proportions of Māori and European young people are leaving school with little to no qualifications. Cr Filipaina adds, “Auckland needs to create a fairer future for its children across areas like housing, additional support and resources for low-income households, mental health and wellbeing and education.
“Supporting our vulnerable communities as well as addressing inequity across Tāmaki Makaurau will be important in creating a better future for our children and young people.”
The insights will provide input into a review of Auckland Council’s I am Auckland The Child and Young People’s Strategic Action Plan, to report back to a committee of the Governing Body. It sits alongside other research work, including engaging with children and young people later this year to hear first-hand about their experiences of living and growing up in Tāmaki Makaurau and what is important to them.
- Auckland’s population of children and young people continue to grow Driven by the city’s generally youthful age structure, high fertility rates of some populations, and migration from overseas and other parts of New Zealand.
- Children and young people are increasingly ethnically diverse. The proportion of those identifying as (or being identified as) New Zealand European has declined relative to increasing proportions of Māori, Pacific, and Asian children and young people. There is also an increase in those identifying with multiple ethnicities.
- One in five families with dependent children are sole-parent households. This is critical because sole-parent families typically experience more disadvantages (like housing conditions and socioeconomic disadvantage) than those with two parents, which can affect children’s overall wellbeing. However, the number of one-parent families in Auckland has decreased over time. Teenage birth rates are also declining over time.
The research, updated from a similar report done in 2016 uses a variety of data like Census (2018), the Quality-of-Life Survey and the Youth19 Survey to understand key trends in demography, education, employment, health, housing, safety, and child poverty for children and young people in Tāmaki Makaurau under 25 years old has changed through the pandemic.