KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly 30% of Malaysia's population of 32 million is under 18 years with the number of boys slightly higher than girls, according to the latest data from the Statistics Department.
It said on Wednesday that in 2017, the composition of children under 18 years was 29.4 per cent, which was 9.4 million children out of the current population. “The number of male children (4.9 million persons) is more than females (4.6 million persons),” it said.
The department said the percentage of children under five years was 8.2% of the total population, with the number of boys exceeding girls by 1.4 million to 1.3 million.
The compilation of statistics in this publication consists of four main fields, namely population, health, education and child protection. The statistics were obtained from secondary sources which involved various government agencies.
In 2017, W.P. Putrajaya recorded the highest percentage of children under 18 years that is at 42.6%.
This is followed by Kelantan (36.7%) and Terengganu (36.5%). Penang state recorded the lowest percentage of children under 18 years at 24.1%.
“In 2016, pupils in pre-school recorded an increase of 2,171 persons from 198,574 persons (2015) to 200,745 persons (2016).
“On the contrary, primary and lower secondary levels decreased by 239 persons and 42,235 persons respectively. Among the upper secondary pupils, the number went up by 19,103 persons from 781,472 persons (2015) to 800,575 persons (2016),” it said.
The number of pupils in private kindergarten increased in 2016 to 332,641; private primary school 36,899 and private secondary school 109,865 persons.
Also the number of students moving up from government and government-aided primary schools rose from 95.5% in 2015 to 96.1%. The transition of enrolment from lower secondary to upper secondary level rose from 93.3% to 96.4% dureing the same period.
Malaysia's literacy rate for women increased from 97.5% in 2015 to 97.8%. The literacy rate is calculated based on the proxy of the labour force survey aged 15 to 24 who are schooling or who have completed formal education.