Headline indicators for children's health, development and wellbeing, 2011 (AIHW)

Headline indicators for children's health, development and wellbeing,2011 provides the latest available information on how Australia's children aged 0-12 years are faring according to the Children's Headline Indicators : 19 priority areas covering health status, risk and protective factors, early learning and care, and family and community environments. The Children's Headline Indicators are designed to help guide and evaluate policy development by measuring progress on agreed priority areas for children, and have been endorsed by Ministerial Councils for health, community and disability services, and education.

Australian children are faring well, but results vary between states and territories, and across particular population groups, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and those in remote or socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. It is clear, therefore, that there is scope for further gains across a number of indicators.

Indigenous children were 2-3 times as likely to be of low birthweight, to die as infants, to die from injury, and to be developmentally vulnerable at school entry.

Children living in remote areas experienced poorer outcomes across many indicators compared to children in major cities. They were 40-50% less likely to meet minimum literacy and numeracy standards, and 30% more likely to be born with low birthweight or to be overweight or obese in childhood. They were also twice as likely to die as infants.

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