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1307.6 - Tasmanian State and Regional Indicators, Sep 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/10/2008   
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People with a Need for Assistance in Tasmania, 2006



Introduction
Age and Sex
Geography
Living Arrangements
Home Ownership
Labour Force Participation
Occupation
Sources
Glossary
Explanatory Notes


Introduction

Questions on 'Core Activity Need for Assistance' were asked for the first time in the 2006 Census. The new topic identified people who needed assistance with one or more of the three core activities (self-care, mobility and/or communication), some or all of the time, due to disability, a long-term health condition (lasting six months or more) or old age. The 'Core Activity Need for Assistance' concept is relatable to the profound/severe core activity limitation category in other surveys, and as such, represents the more severe end of the disability spectrum. This article examines the characteristics of people usually resident in Tasmania who reported a need for such assistance in the 2006 Census. It is important to note that 5.3% of Tasmanians did not state whether or not they needed assistance and have therefore been excluded from the population when calculating rates.

The 2006 Census of Population and Housing revealed that 23,655 Tasmanians, or 5.2% of the population, required daily assistance with self-care, mobility or communication because of a long-term health condition, disability or old age. This was higher than the national average of 4.4%. A need for assistance was reported by 5.6% of all females and 4.9% of all males.



Age and Sex

Tasmania has an the oldest and fastest ageing population of all the states and territories. The likelihood of disability and the severity of disability both increase with age, along with a need for assistance due to frailty and illness. More than half (53.6%) of all people aged 85 years and over reported a need for assistance, compared with 13.4% of those aged 65-84 years, 5.2% of those aged 45-64 years, 2.5% of those aged 25-44 years, 1.7% of those aged 15-24 years, and 1.7% of children aged 0-14 years.

While over half of all people aged 85 years and over reported a need for assistance, only 1.8% of Tasmanians are in this age group and so they only account for 17.2% of all people in Tasmania who reported such a need. People aged 65-84 years, however, account for around a third (33.0%) of all Tasmanians who reported a need for assistance. This is due to both a substantial percentage of Tasmanians of this age reporting a need for assistance (13.3%) and the number of Tasmanians in this age group (13.1% of the total population).

More than half (54.6%) of all people who reported a need for assistance in Tasmania were female. This was largely due to the high proportion of females surviving to older ages; females represented 55.3% of all persons aged 65 years and over in Tasmania. Females were far more likely to have a need for assistance from the age of 65 years onwards, whereas males were more likely to have a need for assistance before the age of 65 years.

Of all females reporting a need for assistance, 59.4% were aged 65 years and over, 23.1% were aged 45-64 years, 10.5% were aged 25-44 years, 3.0% were aged 15-24 years, and 4.0% were children aged 0-14 years.

Of all males reporting a need for assistance, 39.3% were aged 65 years and over, 32.0% were aged 45-64 years, 13.7% were aged 25-44 years, 5.4% were aged 15-24 years, and 9.6% were children aged 0-14 years.


DISTRIBUTION OF PEOPLE WITH A
NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, Tasmania, 2006(a)

Graph: Distribution of People with a Need for Assistance, Tasmania, 2006



Geography

Tasmania had the highest proportion of people with a need for assistance of all the states and territories (5.2%), followed by South Australia (5.1%). This higher than the national average result reflects the older population profile of these two states. The median age for both Tasmania and South Australia was 39 years, compared with 37 years for Australia.


PROPORTION OF POPULATION WITH A NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, By State, 2006(a)

Graph: Proportion of Population with a Need for Assistance, 2006


Of Tasmania's 29 Local Government Areas (LGAs), 13 had a higher proportion of all persons with a need for assistance than the state average. Break O'Day (7.9%) had the highest proportion, followed by Tasman (7.4%), Glenorchy and Waratah/Wynyard (both 6.4%) and Devonport (6.2%).


PROPORTION OF ALL PERSONS WITH A
NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, by LGA, 2006(a)

Graph: Proportion of all persons with a need for assistance, by LGA, 2006



Living Arrangements

Almost one third (31.6%) of people with a need for assistance in Tasmania lived with a spouse or partner in a couple family without children, followed by those living alone (22.4%) and those living with a spouse or partner in a couple family with children (11.6%).

Most children, aged 0-14 years, with a need for assistance lived in a couple family with children (67.8%), followed by those living in a one parent family (30.4%).


LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, People with a need for assistance,
Tasmania, 2006(a)

Graph: Living Arrangements, People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006


According to the 2006 Census, of all people with a need for assistance in Tasmania, 22.4% lived alone in a private dwelling, compared with 10.4% of people who did not have a need for assistance. Of the people living alone with a need for assistance, almost two thirds (66.0%) were aged 65 years and over, compared with 35.8% of those of the same age without a need for assistance.

Females in Tasmania were more likely to live alone than males, no matter whether they had a need for assistance or not. In particular, older females were very likely to live alone. Almost three-quarters (72.9%) of people with a need for assistance aged 65 years and over who lived alone were female.


PEOPLE WITH A NEED FOR ASSISTANCE
LIVING ALONE, Tasmania, 2006 (a)(b)

Graph: People with a Need for Assistance Living Alone, Tasmania, 2006


Most people with a need for assistance (81.6%) lived in a private dwelling. Of those people with a need for assistance who lived in a non-private dwelling, 84.4% were aged 65 years and over, 10.2% were aged 45-64 years, 3.8% were aged 25-44 years, and less than 2.0% were under 25 years of age.


DWELLING TYPE, People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006(a)

Graph: Dwelling Type, People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006


Of those people with a need for assistance who lived in a non-private dwelling, most lived in a nursing home (63.0%), followed by accommodation for the retired or aged (not self-contained) (14.3%), and hospital (10.9%). Of those living in a nursing home, almost three-quarters (72.2%) were females aged 65 years and over.


RESIDENTS OF NON-PRIVATE DWELLINGS,
People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006(a)(b)

Graph: Residents of non-private dwellings, People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006



Home Ownership

Most people with a need for assistance who lived in a private dwelling lived in a fully owned dwelling (48.4%), followed by rented premises (28.9%), and those being purchased (20.4%).

Typically, rates of home ownership increase with age. The highest proportion of people with a need for assistance who lived in a fully owned private dwelling were those aged 65 years and over (60.4%), followed by those aged 45-64 years (28.1%), those aged 25-44 years (7.3%), and less than 5.0% of those under 25 years of age.


TENURE TYPE, Tasmania, 2006(a)(b)


Graph: Tenure Type, Tasmania, 2006



Labour Force Participation

Most people of working age (aged 15-64 years) with a need for assistance were not in the labour force (84.3%), compared with employed (13.7%) and unemployed (2.0%). Participation in the labour force was much lower for people of working age with a need for assistance (13.7% employed, 2.0% unemployed) than for the rest of the population (69.2% employed, 4.9% unemployed), suggesting that severe disability or a long-term health condition continue to pose significant barriers to employment.

Of those people of working age with a need for assistance who stated the number of hours that they were employed, most (65.3%) were employed on a part-time basis, compared with 34.7% full-time. This pattern was the reverse of employed people of working age who did not have a need for assistance, where 65.3% were employed full-time and 34.7% were employed part-time.


LABOUR FORCE STATUS, Tasmania, 2006(a)(b)

Graph: Labour Force Status, Tasmania, 2006

EMPLOYED PERSONS, Tasmania, 2006(a)(b)

Graph: Employed Persons, Tasmania, 2006


Almost half (49.1%) of those people of working age with a need for assistance who were employed were aged 45-64 years, followed by those aged 25-44 years (40.3%), and those aged 15-24 years (10%).

Of employed people of working age without a need for assistance, 39.8% were aged 45-64 years, 43.7% were aged 25-44 years and 16.5% were aged 15-24 years.


DISTRIBUTION OF EMPLOYED PERSONS, Tasmania, 2006(a)(b)

Graph: Distribution of Employed Persons, Tasmania, 2006



Occupation

Of those people with a need for assistance who were employed, most were labourers (29.2%), followed by clerical and administrative workers (16.0%), and professionals (11.6%). This compared with only 12.5% of people without a need for assistance employed as labourers.

Of the 400 labourers with a need for assistance in 2006, some of the most common occupations were factory process workers (21.9%), other miscellaneous labourers (which includes leaflet or newsletter deliverers, mechanic's assistants, etc., 10.3%), kitchenhand (7.7%), commercial cleaners (6.2%), laundry workers (6.2%), garden and nursery labourers (4.1%) timber and wood process workers (3.9%), packers (3.4%), and shelf fillers (2.6%).


OCCUPATION, People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006(a)(b)

Graph: Occupation, People with a need for assistance, Tasmania, 2006



Sources

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 1220.0)
Australian Standard Geographical Classification, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 1216.0)
2006 Census of Population and Housing
People with a Need for Assistance - A Snapshot, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 4445.0)
Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2003 (ABS cat. no. 4430.0)



Glossary

Census Dictionary, 2006 (cat. no. 2901.0)


Explanatory Notes

    1. Census questions on Need for Assistance with Core Activities were based on the criteria used in the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, but the population measured differed as a result of the different collection methodology and reduced question format. As such, data for this topic should be taken as an indication of the characteristics of people who reported a need for assistance, not as the total prevalence of people with a 'profound or severe core activity limitation' as represented in the survey data. The major strength of disability related data from the Census is in the ability to analyse small area and population sub-group data.

    2. The 2006 Census of Population and Housing was held on 8 August 2006. The objective of the Census is to count the number of people in Australia on Census night, identifying their key characteristics and those of the dwelling in which they live.

    3. Unless otherwise specified, this paper includes population counts on a "place of usual residence' basis, that is, numbers of people usually resident in Tasmania on 8 August 2006, regardless of where they were counted on Census night. Therefore, overseas visitors are excluded.


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