Disability Statistics and Facts

 

Demographics

  • In 2015, almost one in five Australians reported living with disability (18.3% or 4.3 million people). [3]
  • 18% of men, and 18.6% of women have disability. [3] 
  • Almost one third of people with disability had a profound or severe disability  [3]
  • 43% of people over 55 years have one or more disabilities. [10]
  • 2.1 million Australians of working age (15 – 64 years) have disability.  [3] 
  • People with disability are twice as likely to be in the bottom 20% of gross household incomes [1]

 

Types of Disability

  • 3.4 million (15%) Australians have a physical disability [1]
  • 1 in 6 Australians are affected by hearing loss. There are approximately 30,000 Deaf Auslan users with total hearing loss [2]
  •  Vision Australia estimates there are currently 357,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision [Source: Vision Australia]
  • An estimated 10% of the population has dyslexia. That’s more than two million Australians (Source: Dyslexia Australia).
  • 45% of the population will experience a mental health disorder during their lifetime. (Source: SANE Australia)
  • Every week, 5 Australians sustain a spinal cord injury [6]
  • Every week 10 - 15 Australians sustain a severe brain injury [6]
  • Every 15 hrs, a child is born with cerebral palsy [6]
  • Every 7 hrs, a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder [6]
  • Every 2 hrs, a child will be diagnosed with an intellectual disability [6]

 

Employment of People with Disability                                                                  

  • In 2015, the unemployment rate for people with disability was 10.0%; higher than that for people without disability at 5.3%. This difference was consistent with 2012  [3]
  • 2.1 million Australians of working age (15 – 64 years) have disability.  [3]
  • 1 million people with disability are employed and another 114,900 are looking for work.  [3]
  • 53.4% of people with a disability aged 15-64 years participate in the workforce, compared with 83.2% of people without a disability [3]
  • 46.6% of people with disability are not in the labour force, compared with 16.8% of those without disability. [3]
  • 27.0% of people with disability work full-time, while 21% of people with disability work part-time  [3]
  • Almost half of people with disability were not in the labour force (46.6%), compared with 16.8% of those without disability.
  • 28% of jobseekers with disability who registered with a DES reached a 26 week outcome. Unpublished research from the former DEEWR indicated that only 3% of employers who know about the DES system use it.
  • 36% of people with a severe or profound disability participate in the workforce [7]
  • One in seven unemployed people with disability will need supports or special arrangements at work.
  • Australia ranks 21 out of 29 OECD countries for labour force participation of people with a disability [6]

 

Disability and education

  • 36% of people with a disability aged 18-64yrs, have completed Year 12, compared with 60% of those without a disability [7]
  • 25% of people with a profound or severe disability aged 15 – 64 have completed Year 12 [6]

 

Disability and the community

  • 95.5% of Australians with disability live in households, 4.5% live in cared accommodation such as hospitals, nursing homes and aged care hostels.  [3]
  • 2.4 million people with disability living in households (60%) needed assistance with at least one broad area of activity [7]

 

Disability and financial circumstance

  • 45% of those with a disability in Australia are living either near or below the poverty line, more than double the OECD average of 22% [6]
  • People with a disability in Australia are 2.5 times more likely to be at risk of poverty than other OECD countries [6]

 

Source: except where stated otherwise, data is taken from Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012, Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC).  http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4430.0   

[1] Australian Network on Disability http://www.and.org.au/pages/disability-statistics.html

[2] VicDeaf http://www.vicdeaf.com.au/files/editor_upload/File/Research%20Reports/Final%20Report%20Why%20Auslan%20Interpreting%20Matter.pdf

[3] Source: ABS 4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015 http://linkis.com/www.abs.gov.au/ausst/Il7gj

[5] Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4446.0) and Disability, Ageing and Carers:  Summary of Findings, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4430.0).

[6] Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2011. 'Disability expectations - Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia'.

[7] Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no.4430.0)

[8] General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 4159.0)

[9] Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability and Labour Force Participation, 2012 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4433.0.55.006

[10] Australian Network on Disability http://www.and.org.au/pages/disability-statistics.html