What We Know
According to the Government of Canada, majority of youth in Canada will experience normal transitions to adulthood. However, some will be exposed to adverse factors that negatively impact their psycho-social development. This may contribute to offending behaviour, leading to their involvement with the criminal justice system.
- Nearly 23% (approx. one in four) of the Canadian population consists of children and youth under the age of 20.
- In 2006, approx. 16% of Canadian families were headed by a single parent.
- In 2006, 11.4% of the Canadian population (3.4M individuals) lived in after-tax low-income situations. Of these, over 800k were 17 years of age and under.
- In 2009 the unemployment rate for ages 15 to 24 was the highest among all age groups. Of these, the unemployment rates of Aboriginal youth were at least twice as high as non-Aboriginal youth in the western provinces.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association:
- Only 1 in 5 children who need mental health services receive them.
- Up to 20% of Canadian youth are affected by mental illnesses or disorders.
- 3.2M individuals, between the ages of 12 to 19 are at risk of developing depression.
- In 2007, the suicide rate per 100k population was 1.6 (ages 10 to 14), and 8.3 (ages 15 to 19).
- In 2008, the rates of violent victimization were highest among youth aged 15 to 17.
- As of 2004, approx. 72K children were involved in transfer of custody and/or guardianship.
- Mental disorders among youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure (surpassed by injuries).
The International Youth Survey found that delinquent behaviour was significantly more prevalent among youth who:
- Reported having consumed alcohol (35% vs. 9%);
- Reported having consumed drugs (60% vs. 16%);
- Had delinquent friends (27% vs. 11%); and
- Indicated having little parental supervision (56% vs. 12%)
- In 2009-2010 10% of young men and 7% of young women were dropouts (defined as 20 to 24 year olds, without a high school diploma and not in school).
- Y axis: rate of persons accused per 100k population, and increases from 0 to 16k in increments of 2k.
- X axis: ages of the accused persons from 12 to 55 years in increments of 1 year.
- In 2008 to 2009, youth courts in Canada processed over 58k cases involving over 190k charges.
- Crimes against property (38%), and crimes against the person (26%) were amongst the most common cases.
A Statistical Snapshot of Youth at Risk and Youth Offending in Canada here.