Notes on the data: Learning or Earning

Learning or Earning at ages 15 to 24 years, 2021


Policy context: Young people who fail to engage in school, work or further education/ training run a significant risk of school failure, unemployment, risky health behaviours and mental health problems, social exclusion, and economic and social disadvantage over the longer term [1]. The data comprise the number of 15 to 24-year-old people who, at the time of the Census, were engaged in school, work or further education/ training, expressed as a proportion of the population aged 15 to 24 years. At the 2021 Census, the proportion was 85.4% [2].


  1. Taylor J. Stories of early school leaving: pointers for policy and practice. Fitzroy: Brotherhood of St Laurence; 2009.
  2. Data from PHIDU workbooks, data release November 2022, available from

Notes: Note that the data published by PHIDU for this indicator from the 2011 Census was for the 15 to 19-year age group.


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Quintiles within PHNs, and Remoteness Area

Numerator: 15 to 24 year olds engaged in school, work or further education/ training


Denominator: 15 to 24 year olds


Detail of analysis: Percent


Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2021.


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