Resources

Demographics

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

Types of disability

  • Over 2 million Australians have a physical disability [1]
  • One in six Australians were affected by hearing loss, which included approximately 30,000 Deaf Auslan users with total hearing loss [2]
  • Vision Australia estimated there were 357,000 people in Australia who were blind or had low vision
  • According to Dyslexia Australia, an estimated 10 per cent – or two million people – had dyslexia
  • SANE Australia estimated that 45 per cent of the population would experience a mental health disorder during their lifetime
  • Every week, five Australians sustained a spinal cord injury [6]
  • Every week 10–15 Australians sustained a severe brain injury [6]
  • Every 15 hours, a child was born with cerebral palsy [6]
  • Every seven hours, a child was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder [6]
  • Every two hours, a child was diagnosed with an intellectual disability [6]

Employment of people with disability

  • In 2015, the unemployment rate for people with disability was 10 per cent, compared to 5.3 per cent for people without disability [3]
  • 1 million Australians of working age (15–64 years) lived with disability [3]
  • One million people with disability were employed and another 114,900 were looking for work [3]
  • 4 per cent of people with a disability aged 15–64 years participated in the workforce, compared to 83.2 per cent of people without a disability [3]
  • 6 per cent of people with disability were not in the labour force, compared to 16.8 per cent of people without disability [3]
  • 27 per cent of people with disability worked full-time, while 21 per cent of people with disability worked part-time [3]
  • Almost half of people with disability were not in the labour force (46.6 per cent), compared to 16.8 per cent of people without disability
  • 28 per cent of jobseekers with disability who registered with Disability Employment Services (DES) reached a 26-week outcome
  • 36 per cent of people with a severe or profound disability participated in the workforce [7]
  • One in seven unemployed people with disability needed supports or special arrangements at work
  • Australia ranked 21 out of the 29 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for labour force participation of people with a disability [6]

Disability and education

  • 36 per cent of people with a disability aged 18–64 had completed Year 12, compared to 60 per cent of those without a disability [7]
  • 25 per cent of people with a profound or severe disability aged 15–64 had completed Year 12 [6]

Disability and the community

  • 5 per cent of Australians with disability lived in households [3]
  • 5 per cent of Australians with disability lived in cared accommodation such as hospitals, nursing homes and aged care hostels [3]
  • 4 million people with disability living in households (60 per cent) needed assistance with at least one broad area of activity [7]

Disability and financial circumstance

  • 45 per cent of people with a disability in Australia were living either near or below the poverty line – more than double the OECD average of 22 per cent [6]
  • People with a disability in Australia were 2.5 times more likely to be at risk of poverty, compared to the 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