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Insights - Informing policies and services for at-risk children and youth

3.4  Exploring differences across New Zealand

A key strength of Insights is the ability to look at at-risk populations at a detailed geographical level. Figure 4 shows the variation in the proportion of children and youth who are considered to be at risk by region. The patterns exhibited are fairly consistent across age groups, even though the approach to identifying risk is quite different for youth aged 15 to 24 than children aged 0 to 14.

Regardless of age group, the regions with the highest proportions of children or youth at risk are Northland and Gisborne. Around a quarter of children in these regions had two or more risk indicators in 2015, while around one in six youth were in one or more target population risk groups. Tasman region had the lowest proportion of children with 2 or more risk indicators (less than ten percent), while Tasman, Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago all had low proportions of 15 to 19-year-old youth identified as being in a target population (all around 11 to 12 percent). Auckland, Wellington, and Otago had the lowest proportion of 20 to 24-year-olds in a target population, with around six percent.

Figure 4: Proportion of children and youth at risk across New Zealand
Figure 1: Size of child and youth risk groups, December 2015 (0 to 5 year olds with 2+ risk indicators, 6 to 14 year olds with 2+ risk indicators, 15 to 19-year-olds in a target population, 20 to 24 year olds in a target population)  .

More detailed analysis shows that there are smaller areas with high proportions of children and youth at risk in every region. This information could inform the targeting of funding and service provision. Although rates of risk are highest in some regions with relatively small populations, the majority of at-risk children and youth live in Auckland, and large numbers live in the regions associated with the main urban centres, as shown in Appendix A, Table 1.

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