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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 >> Disability and socioeconomic characteristics


DISABILITY: DISABILITY AND SOCIOECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS
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
  • Around four in ten (42%) people with a disability or long-term health condition had left school at Year 9 or below compared with 26% of those without a disability.
  • People with a disability or long-term health condition were less likely than those without a disability to be participating in the labour force (59% compared with 70%).
  • Half (50%) of all people with a disability or long-term health condition were receiving a government pension or allowance as their principal source of income in 2008.

This topic presents results from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), which provides the most recent data on disability and socioeconomic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This topic covers:

EDUCATION

In 2008, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over with a disability or long-term health condition had completed fewer years of education overall than people without a disability. Around four in ten (42%) people with a disability or long-term health condition had left school at Year 9 or below compared with 26% of those without a disability (graph 4.1). Conversely, only 18% of those with a disability had completed school to Year 12, compared with 27% of those with no disability. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a profound or severe core activity limitation were the least likely to have progressed beyond Year 9, with 52% completing school education to this level or below.

4.1 DISABILITY STATUS(a) BY HIGHEST YEAR OF SCHOOL COMPLETED(b), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over—2008
Graph: Disability status by highest year of school completed,  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over—2008
(a) As determined by the common (remote + non-remote) criteria.
(b) Excludes persons still attending secondary school.
(c) Includes persons who never attended school.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. These estimates are also available for download in the Disability datacube.


Around one-quarter (26%) of people aged 25–64 years with a disability or long-term health condition had a non-school qualification at a Certificate III level or above in 2008. This compared with 32% of those with no disability or long-term health condition. A greater proportion of people with a disability in non-remote areas had a Certificate III or above (30%) than those in remote areas (14%).

WORK

Disability status was strongly associated with employment among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–64 years. People with a disability or long-term health condition were less likely to be employed or to be participating in the labour force than people without a disability or long-term health condition (table 4.2). This was the same for both males and females. However, the unemployment rate for people with and without a disability was similar overall (18% compared with 16%).

People with a profound or severe core activity limitation were the least likely to be employed in 2008, with 34% being employed compared with 59% of those with no disability or long-term health condition. More than half of all people with a profound or severe core activity limitation were not in the labour force (57%).

4.2 DISABILITY STATUS(a) BY LABOUR FORCE STATUS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–64 years—2008

Has profound/
severe limitation(b)
Total with
a disability
No
disability
All persons

%
%
%
%
In the labour force
42.9
59.0
69.7
64.5
Employed
33.7
48.5
58.7
53.8
Full-time
14.6
29.8
35.5
32.8
Part-time
19.1
18.7
23.2
21.1
Unemployed
*9.2
(c)10.4
(c)11.0
10.7
Not in the labour force
57.1
41.0
30.3
35.5
Unemployment rate
21.4
(c)17.7
(c)15.8
16.6
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.
(a) As determined by the common (remote + non-remote) criteria.
(b) People always or sometimes needing assistance with at least one core activity of everyday living.
(c) Difference between total with disability and no disability is not statistically significant.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. These estimates are also available for download in the Disability datacube.


INCOME

Overall, half (50%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability or long-term health condition, including 66% of people with a profound or severe core activity limitation, were receiving a government pension or allowance as their principal source of income in 2008. This compared with 32% of people without a disability or long-term health condition.

People with a disability also had lower household incomes than those without a disability, with 45% having an equivalised gross household income in the lowest quintile in 2008 compared with 35% of those without a disability (graph 4.3). People with a disability were also more likely to be living in a household that had experienced days without money in the last 12 months (33% compared with 23%) or had days without money in the last two weeks (17% compared with 10%).

4.3 DISABILITY STATUS(a) BY EQUIVALISED GROSS HOUSEHOLD INCOME, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over—2008
Graph: Disability status by equivalised gross household income,  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over—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 Disability datacube.




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