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The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.

Disability statistics

Australians with disability

The 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) (ABS 4430.0 2012) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics contains a number of interesting statistics about people with disability in Australia including:

  • 4.2 million Australians are estimated to have disability or 18.5 % of the population. This proportion of the population is the same as the 2009 SDAC results.
  • 17.7% of the Queensland population or just less than 1 in every 5 Queenslanders have a disability. Queensland has a lower incidence of disability than other states including Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
  • An estimated 236,200 Queenslanders of all ages have a profound or severe disability. People with a profound or severe disability require assistance in everyday activities, including core activities such as self-care, mobility and communication. Of that total:
    • 144,400 or 3.6% of Queenslanders aged 0–64 have a profound or severe disability.
    • 91,800 or 15.3% of Queenslanders aged 65 and over have a profound or severe disability.
  • Queenslanders with disability by age group:
    • 0 to 4 years–3.2%
    • 5 to 14 years–8.3%
    • 15 to 24 years–7.9%
    • 25 to 34 years–9.4%
    • 35 to 44 years–11.1%
    • 45 to 54 years–16.6%
    • 55 to 59 years–26.6%
    • 60 to 64 years–31.5%
    • 65 to 69 years–35.8%
    • 70 to 74 years–46.1%
    • 75 to 79 years–55.7%
    • 80 to 84 years–64.9%
    • 85 to 89 years–80.6%
    • 90+ years–88%

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability

The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010  (ABS 4704.0 October 2010) indicates that in 2008:

  • 50% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years or over had a disability or a long-term health condition.
  • Around 1 in 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people required support with everyday activities at this time.
  • In non-remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were 1.5 times as likely as non-Indigenous Australian adults to have a disability or long-term health condition and were more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to require care, services and assistance to meet their self-care, mobility or communication needs.
  • The most common types of disability or long-term conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are:
    • physical disabilities, such as paraplegia and quadriplegia. More than 106,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a physical disability in 2008.
    • disabilities or long-term conditions that restrict everyday activities or require treatment and medication, including Alzheimer's disease, dementia, arthritis and heart disease. More than 79,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a restrictive disability or long-term condition in 2008.
    • sight, hearing or speech disabilities, such as blindness and deafness. More than 55,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a sight, hearing or speech disability in 2008.
    • psychological disabilities, such as schizophrenia and depression. More than 25,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a psychological disability in 2008.
    • intellectual disabilities. More than 25,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had an intellectual disability in 2008.
  • The report also  indicates that in 2008, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were:
    • more than 3 times as likely to have an intellectual disability
    • more than twice as likely to have a long-term condition or disability that means they require support meeting self-care, communication or mobility needs
    • more than twice as likely to have a psychological disability.

Carers and support

According to the  2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) (ABS 4430.0 2012) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are:

  • an estimated 2.7 million carers helping people with disability, or the aged.
  • about 770,000 are primary carers – offering the majority of informal help to people with disability or the aged.
  • Over two thirds of primary carers (70%) were women.
  • People with a disability in Australia needing care, services and assistance in the following ways:
    • 23% needed assistance with mobility
    • 16% needed assistance with self-care
    • 29% needed assistance with health care
    • 34% of Australians aged 65 and over did not need any help with performing daily activities. Older Australians who did require help commonly asked for support with maintaining a home or property and mobility assistance.
  • about 484,400 Queenslanders—or 10.5% of the state's population were carers.

More information

The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare can provide further statistics on disability in Australia.

Disability and work statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released an article about Disability and work, which shows that over 1 million Australians with disability are working in paid employment, making up 10% of the national workforce. A podcast and information about related topics—including disability groups, mental illness, young people with a disability, income support, international comparisons, and barriers and incentives to work—are also available.

Mental health services

Information about mental health services, as well as resources—such as medications and staff—that support the delivery of mental health services is available in the report Mental Health Services: in brief 2011 from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The AIHW also has a website—Mental Health Services in Australia—with detailed statistics, data and information.

Fast fact

Depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance were the 3 mental health issues most often managed by GPs in 2009-10.

Diabetes and mental health

Did you know that diabetes is associated with poor mental health and wellbeing? An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Diabetes and poor mental health and wellbeing: an exploratory analysis, shows a significantly higher proportion of adults with diabetes have medium, high or very high levels of psychological distress.

A focus on youth

Disability and mental health statistics for young Australians are available in Young Australians: their health and wellbeing 2011, a report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated:
17 July 2017
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