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4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010  
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Contents >> Disability >> Torres Strait Islander people


DISABILITY: TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


KEY MESSAGES
  • Nationally, 47% of Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had a disability or a long-term health condition in 2008. Around 7% had a profound or severe core activity limitation.
  • Physical restrictions were the most common type of disability reported by Torres Strait Islander adults (29%) followed by sight, hearing or speech disabilities (18%) and psychological disabilities (11%).

This topic provides a range of information on disability status for Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over (adults) drawing on data from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS). For more information on how disability status is measured in the NATSISS, see the Measuring Disability topic.

This topic includes some comparisons with the overall Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. For a more detailed discussion on disability for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, see the Disability topic. For information on other aspects of Torres Strait Islander peoples' health and welfare, see the Torres Strait Islander people topic.


PREVALENCE OF DISABILITY

Nationally, using the common (remote and non-remote) criteria, close to half (47%) of Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over (adults) had a disability or a long-term health condition in 2008 (Endnote 1). Around 7% had a profound or severe core activity limitation. These rates were similar to those reported by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (50% and 8% respectively).

The proportion of Torres Strait Islander adults with a disability or long-term health condition was similar for males (46%) and females (48%). Overall, rates of disability steadily increased with age, ranging from 33% of those aged 15–24 years to 92% of those aged 65 years and over (graph 5.1). Nearly one-quarter (23%) of those aged 65 years and over had a profound or severe core activity limitation.

5.1 DISABILITY STATUS(a) BY AGE, Torres Strait Islander people—2008
Graph: Disability status by age, Torres Strait Islander people—2008
(a) As determined by the common (remote + non-remote) criteria.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. These estimates are also available for download in the Torres Strait Islander people datacube.


Physical restrictions were the most common type of disability reported by Torres Strait Islander people in 2008, affecting 29% of all adults and 80% of those with a profound/severe core activity limitation. Nearly one in five (17%) had a sight, hearing or speech disability and one in ten (11%) had a psychological disability. Torres Strait Islander males and females reported similar rates for all disability types.

Prevalence of disability and type of disability for Torres Strait Islander people were similar to those for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2008.


ENDNOTES

1. See the Measuring Disability topic for more information on the criteria used to determine disability in remote and non-remote areas.



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