Data on young people’s health

A new report has presented a comprehensive picture of the health and behaviours of Britain’s 11.7 million young people aged 10-24. It offers detailed data to support commissioners and organisations seeking to improve young people’s health and wellbeing.

Of this group more than 20% is from an ethnic minority. Overall 15% of secondary school pupils are claiming free school meals. The majority of young people are in some kind of education until they are 18 (71% in England), with 6.5% of the 16-18 age group not in education, employment or training. One in five school pupils aged 11-15 are obese and teenagers consume on average eight times the recommended daily sugar allowance. Among 15 year olds, 5% report smoking regularly, 15% of boys and 18% of girls report being drunk in the past 4 weeks, and 11% of boys and girls say they have tried cannabis. 15% of 15 years olds reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past two months. One quarter of secondary school pupils say they do not get enough sleep.

A quarter of women aged 16-24 show symptoms of anxiety or depression. Suicide particularly in young men aged 20-24 remains high at 14.9 per 100,000. There is a particular shortage of CAMHS provision; despite at least 10% of the age group having mental health problems, only 24 in 1000 will be referred to CAMHS. A quarter of young people aged 11-19 live in households with the lowest incomes. Young people living in the most deprived areas are more likely to be killed or seriously injured on roads, more likely to be obese, and are more likely to have worse physical, mental and sexual health outcomes.