The 2020 Australian Youth Development Index shows progress in youth development across multiple domains.

The 2020 Australian Youth Development Index (AYDI), commissioned by the Australian Government and developed by Numbers and People Synergy partnering with the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, shows progress in youth development (3.25 million young people aged 15-24) across multiple domains including Health and Wellbeing, Education and Skills, Employment and Opportunity, Civic and Political Participation, Safety and Security, and Community and Culture.

Key findings:

Between 2015-2019:

  • Australia saw an overall improvement in the Australian Youth Development Index.
  • Community and Culture showed the largest improvement
  • Safety and Security showed the largest decline
  • Education and Skills ranked the highest of the Domains while Employment and Opportunity lagged behind in 2019
  • In 2019 New South Wales was the highest-ranking jurisdiction while Northern Territory ranked the lowest.
  • There were wide variations in performance between domains in each state and territory. For example, although scoring lowest AYDI score, the Northern Territory ranked first in Community and Culture out of the 8 jurisdictions.
Findings by State and Territory:
  • New South Wales ranked first in the index, showing the greatest improvement of all eight jurisdictions. NSW also ranked first in Education and Skills for 15-24 year olds in 2019. Health and Wellbeing improved in the state due to a substantial improvement to Alcohol Lifetime Risk, which more than halved since 2015, in spite of Psychological Distress increasing to 20 percent in 2019.
  • Australian Capital Territory suffered the sharpest decline of all eight jurisdictions. Despite this, the territory ranked first in Employment and Opportunity and Civic and Political Participation. The largest improvement was seen in Employment and Opportunity, driven by Adolescent Fertility falling to 0.5 percent, the lowest in all eight jurisdictions in 2019.
  • South Australia improved in overall score, ranking third, it also had the second highest scores in 2019 for Health and Wellbeing and Civic and Political Participation. Health and Wellbeing improvement was largely due to Alcohol Lifetime Risk, which halved in final year. Psychological Distress also improved, falling slightly 15 percent in 2019.
  • Victoria showed a wide variation in performance, ranking first in Health and Wellbeing but last in Safety and Security in 2019. The greatest improvement was in the area of Community and Culture, driven by a rise in both Cultural Participation, increasing to 94 percent and Humanitarian Migrant Employment increased to 35 percent.
  • Western Australia showed a slight decline, placing it at fifth of all eight jurisdictions. The state’s Civic and Political Participation improved over the 5 years due to an increase in Youth Enrolment reaching 87 percent, while Voter Turnout fell to 86 percent in the same year. Western Australia recorded the highest scores of all states and territories in Have a Say at 22 percent in 2019.
  • Queensland’s index score fluctuated over the period, ranking second out of eight jurisdictions in Safety and Security and Community and Culture Domains, but sixth overall. The largest improvement in the state was in the rise in Community and Culture, driven by a substantial increase in Cultural Participation from 49 to 93 percent. It also had the highest score in Family and Friends of the jurisdictions at 90 percent.
  • Tasmania’s AYDI improved overall, ranking first of all eight jurisdictions in Safety and Security, however, last for Community and Culture in the final year. The greatest improvement was seen in Community and Culture, driven by an improvement in Cultural Participation, rising to 92 percent. Humanitarian Migrant Employment, however, remained the lowest of all jurisdictions, reaching just 19 percent for 15-24 year old Tasmanians.
  • Northern Territory ranked lowest across the index, however it showed the greatest improvement of any state and territory in Community and Culture, as a result of a rise in Humanitarian Migrant Employment to 48 percent. While it was ranked last Employment and Opportunity, Education and Skills, Health and Wellbeing, and Civic and Political Domains, Cultural Participation improved dramatically over the 5 years.   

For the full data dashboard and report go to