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Analytical paper

Using Integrated Administrative Data to Understand Children at Risk of Poor Outcomes as Young Adults (AP 15/01)

Issue date: 
Monday, 14 September 2015
View point: 
Publication category: 
JEL classification: 
I38 - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
C55 - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis
Fiscal year: 


This paper summarises the main findings of an exploratory analysis of the Ministry of Social Development's Integrated Child Dataset (ICD). The analysis investigates the characteristics of children who are at risk of poor outcomes as young adults; their patterns of contact with selected government social service agencies; and some of the costs associated with the provision of services by those agencies.

The analysis sought to better understand the numbers and characteristics of children who have contact with government agencies as a result of childhood disadvantage, and the extent to which these children go on to exhibit poor outcomes later in life. The indicators of poor outcomes that are considered include being referred to CYF youth justice services, failing to achieve NCEA at school, long-term benefit receipt, and having convictions that lead to community or custodial sentences.

The main analysis is a birth cohort analysis which focuses on those born between 1 July 1990 and 30 June 1991, who can be observed through to age 21 in the dataset. The future outcomes of this birth cohort out to age 36 are also estimated.

The project generated a wide-ranging set of results on the outcomes of children who experienced one or more types of disadvantage in childhood, by ages five, 13 and 18 years of age. For example, considering children with multiple disadvantages, we found that the outcomes of children who by age five were known to CYF, had a parent or caregiver who had a corrections sentencing history, and had been supported by benefit for most of their childhood, were considerably worse than those of other children. About one percent of children in the 1990/91 birth cohort met all three criteria. Compared with all children they were significantly less likely to achieve NCEA, around five times more likely to have had a CYF youth justice referral, five times more likely to have been on benefit for more than two years before age 21, and seven times more likely to have been in prison before age 21.

Another six percent of children met two of the three criteria, and these children also had relatively poor outcomes. Compared with all children they were around four times more likely to have had a CYF youth justice referral, four times more likely to have been on benefit for more than two years before age 21, and four times more likely to have been in prison before age 21.

Contact for Enquiries

All enquiries about this Analytical Paper should be directed to the Communications Team

John Deal | Communications
Tel: +64 4 971 6163


The research was undertaken while the authors were on secondment to the Ministry of Social Development. The authors would like to thank staff from the Ministry of Social Development who assisted and advised on the project.


The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Analytical Paper are strictly those of the author(s). They do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury or the New Zealand Government. The New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for any errors or omissions in, or for the correctness of, the information contained in this Analytical Paper.


Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1 Introduction

2 Data

  • 2.1 The Integrated Child Dataset
  • 2.2 Linkage of the administrative datasets in the ICD
  • 2.3 Coverage of the youth justice data
  • 2.4 Coverage of the benefit data and the identification of parent/caregiver-child relationships
  • 2.5 Coverage of the care and protection data
  • 2.6 Data on service costs
  • 2.7 Other derived variables

3 The study populations

  • 4 Analysis of risk factors, outcomes and service costs by age 21, using longitudinal data for a single birth cohort
  • 4.1 Outcomes and service costs up to age 21 by characteristics at ages 5, 13 and 18, 1990/91 birth cohort
  • 4.2 Predicting poor outcomes by age 21, 1990/91 birth cohort
  • 4.3 Children with multiple agency interactions

5 Analysis of risk factors, outcomes and service costs using data for all children aged 0–17 years in 2012

6 Estimates of future outcomes and costs up to age 36

  • 6.1 Overview of statistical matching methods used to estimate future outcomes and costs
  • 6.2 Estimated future outcomes and costs up to age 35, for the 1990/91 birth cohort
  • 6.3 Estimated future outcomes and costs up to age 36 for children aged 0-17 years in 2012

7 Limitations and caveats

  • 7.1 Data gaps, population coverage gaps and linkage errors
  • 7.2 Additional limitations related to the estimation of future outcomes and costs

8 Conclusions


  • Appendix 1: Comparison between size of study populations and official estimated resident population
  • Appendix 2: Matching and coverage rates for the ICD component datasets
  • Appendix 3: Regional analysis of the population aged 0-17 years
  • Appendix 4: Details of the statistical matching between cohorts
  • Appendix 5: Additional analysis of the 1990/91 cohort by gender and ethnicity
  • Appendix 6: Matching children aged under 18 years as at 30 July 2012 to individual in the 1993 and 1990/91 cohorts

Tables and Figures - Excluding Appendices

Tables and Figures - Appendices

Last updated: 
Monday, 14 September 2015