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Domestic purposes beneficiaries, 1991, 1996 and 2000

From 1991 to 2000, between a half and two-thirds of domestic purposes beneficiaries in the 15 to 24 age group did not have any school qualifications. Domestic purposes beneficiaries under 20 years were also more likely to not have any school qualifications than domestic purposes beneficiaries aged between 20 and 24 years.

The domestic purposes benefit may be paid to a parent over 18 years of age who is caring for a child without the support of a partner. Although the qualifications of beneficiaries applying for the domestic purposes benefit are not recorded, a reasonable indication of qualifications levels can be gained by examining both data from the 1991 and 1996 Censuses, and, since 1999, Department of Work and Income data on beneficiaries who are also job seekers.

At the 1991 Census, around 20,000 women aged 15 to 24 years had received the domestic purposes benefit during the previous 12 months. This was approximately 7 percent of the 275,000 women in this age group. Nearly 13,000 or 63 percent of women aged 15 to 24 who had received the domestic purposes benefit were without any school qualifications. The proportion was slightly higher for women in the 15 to 19 age group, with 66 percent having no qualifications. By the 1996 Census, there were 19,000 women aged between 15 and 24 years who had received the domestic purposes benefit in the previous twelve months, equalling 7 percent of the 266,000 women in this group. The proportion of women who had left school without gaining any qualifications was 55 percent, a decrease of 8 percentage points since the 1991 Census. Again, the proportion for younger women aged between 15 and 19 years with no school qualifications was higher at 64 percent.

During 2000, approximately 18,000 women aged between 18 and 24 years received the domestic purposes benefit at some stage. Around 2,700 or 15 percent of these young women were also registered quarterly as job seekers with the Department of Work and Income. Of these registered job seekers, 48 to 50 percent were recorded as having no school qualifications.

Māori women are over-represented among women in the 15 to 24 age group who received the domestic purposes benefit. In the 1991 Census, young people who identified themselves as having Māori ethnicity made up 17 percent of the 15 to 24 age group. Yet Māori women formed 44 percent of women aged 18 to 24 years who were receiving the domestic purposes benefit during the twelve months before the 1991 Census. Māori women also made up 49 percent of those women who were without any school qualifications. These proportions had changed little by the 1996 Census. Prioritised ethnic data showed that Māori were 19 percent of the 15 to 24 age group, but formed 47 percent of women between 18 and 24 years who had received the domestic purposes benefit. Of those women without qualifications, 52 percent identified as Māori.

Māori women in the 15 to 24 age group who receive the domestic purposes benefit are likely to be without any school qualifications. In the 1991 Census, 70 percent of Māori women in the 15 to 24 age group who were receiving the domestic purposes benefit had no school qualifications. By 1996, the proportion with no school qualifications had decreased to 61 percent.

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