Thursday, February 11, 2010

Young New Zealand

Throughout New Zealand, there are Presbyterian churches, elders and ministers who focus much of their time on ways to be in touch with the young people around them. Some churches are more successful than others, often because the right kind of person is in the role of youth leader, or because there is a good team of people reaching out to young people.

Having information about young people is one way in which to improve your ability to work with them. This may be information that's primarily local, or it may be anecdotal or word of mouth.

The Ministry of Youth Development has recently improved their website and one of the pages contains youth statistics for New Zealand. Statistics may not be everyone's cup of tea (particularly not youth leaders at the coal face) but they can give interesting overviews of an area or of trends in relation to a particular subject.

As an example: In the 2006 Census,
19.5 percent of young people aged 12 to 24 identified as Mäori,
9.3 percent as Pacific,
13.1 percent Asian
and 1.2 percent as Other ethnicities.
These figures are all significantly higher than the proportion of the total population that identifies with each of these ethnic groups.
In other words each of these people groups has more young people than old. The only exception are the Europeans.

You can see a graph showing these stats more clearly on the web, and further down the page a table comparing where the different ethnicities predominate.

In another section, the wellbeing of young New Zealanders is discussed.

Take a few minutes to check the site out. It may prove more valuable than you'd expect.

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