- In 2018 there were 4.4 million Australians with disability, 17.7% of the population, down from 18.3% in 2015.
- The prevalence of disability increased with age – one in nine (11.6%) people aged 0-64 years and one in two (49.6%) people aged 65 years and over had disability.
- Disability prevalence was similar for males (17.6%) and females (17.8%).
- 5.7% of all Australians had a profound or severe disability.
- Almost one-quarter (23.2%) of all people with disability reported a mental or behavioural disorder as their main condition, up from 21.5% in 2015.
Of those with disability (living in households):
- one-third (33.4%) of those aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent, up from 31.4% in 2015
- one in six (16.1%) aged 15 years and over had a Bachelor degree or above, up from 14.9% in 2015
- 37.9% of those aged 15-64 years said their main source of personal income was a government pension or allowance, down from 41.9% in 2015
- 59.7% of people had their need for assistance fully met, down from 62.1% in 2015
- one in 10 (9.6%) aged 15 years and over had experienced discrimination in the previous 12 months because of their disability, up from 8.6% in 2015
- labour force participation for those aged 15-64 years has remained stable since 2015 at 53.4%, in contrast to an increase in the participation rate for people without disability (84.1%)
- 11.4% of those with a profound or severe disability (aged 15-64 years) were working full-time up from 7.9% in 2015.
- One in every six Australians (15.9% or 3.9 million people) was aged 65 years and over (up from 15.1% in 2015).
- Most older Australians (persons aged 65 years and over) were living in households (95.3%), with 4.6% living in cared accommodation.
- Half (49.6%) of all older Australians had disability (similar to 2015).
- 1.3 million older Australians living at home needed some assistance with everyday activities, and of these, almost two-thirds (65.9%) had their need fully met (down from 69.2% in 2015).
- Two-thirds (68.1%) of older Australians (who reported income) lived in a low income household (a household earning less than $756 per week).
- Almost all older Australians had participated in social activities at home (97.4%) or outside their home (94.4%) in the previous three months.
- There were 2.65 million carers, representing 10.8% of all Australians (down from 11.6% in 2015).
- Females were more likely to be carers (12.3% of all females) than males (9.3% of all males).
- There were 235,300 young carers (under the age of 25), down from 274,700 in 2015.
- 3.5% of all Australians were primary carers.
- Seven in ten (71.8%) primary carers were women.
- Over one-third (37.4%) of primary carers had disability, twice the rate of non-carers (15.3%).
- The most common reason primary carers gave for taking on a caring role was a sense of family responsibility (70.1% of all primary carers).
- Half (50.2%) of all carers lived in a household in the lowest two equivalised gross income quintiles, twice that of non-carers (25.6%).
SOURCE: ABS. “4430.0 Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018.” ABS, 24 October 2019.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia