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4367.0 - Aspects of Disability and Health in Australia, 2007-2008  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/03/2011  First Issue
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Disability is both a health and a social issue.2 The Index of Disadvantage, is an area-based measure of relative disadvantage within society and is derived from attributes such as income, educational attainment, unemployment and dwellings without motor vehicles. For more information see Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0).

There are significant differences between people with Profound/severe disability and people without disability in the different SEIFA quintiles. Of people with Profound/severe disability, 12.3% were in the highest quintile (ie lived in the areas of least disadvantage), compared to 22.7% of people with no disability. In the lowest quintile, 25.9% were reported as people with Profound/severe disability, compared to 16.5% of people with no disability or restrictive long-term health condition (Graph 3).

3 Disability status, by Index of Disadvantage(a)
3 Disability status, by Index of Disadvantage(a)

There are various social reasons why people living in disadvantaged areas experience poorer health outcomes. People with chronic conditions may have a reduced ability to earn income. Family members may reduce or cease employment to provide care, while people or families whose income is reduced may move to disadvantaged areas in order to access low-cost housing (Australian Social Trends, Mar 2010, cat. no. 4102.0). It is not possible to establish any association or causal relationship between disability and where people with disability live. Nor is it possible to tell from the data whether disability is acquired while living in these locations or whether people move to these areas because of lower costs or other reasons.

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