4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2013   
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13 November 2013
Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Over 2.7 million Australians provide care

In 2012, there were 2.7 million people in Australia who were providing informal care to an older person or someone with a disability or long-term health condition, according to statistics released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Dr Paul Jelfs, First Assistant Statistician at the ABS, said the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers captures important information about caring in our community.

"Carers not only make a huge contribution to the lives of the people that they care for, but they are also essential in supporting the formal care system in Australia," Dr Jelfs said.

The survey shows that there are more female carers (56 per cent) in Australia than males (44 per cent) and 1 in 5 carers is aged between 55 and 64 years.

"Being a carer can be a substantial commitment, with 40 per cent of carers reporting that they spent 40 hours or more per week providing care."

The number of Australians with disability remained steady at 18.5 per cent of the population or 4.2 million people. Of these, 1.4 million Australians had a profound or severe limitation affecting their mobility, self-care or communication.

The rate of disability increased with age with less than 1 in 20 children under the age of five having a disability compared to almost 9 in 10 people aged 90 years and over.

"Just over half of people with disability aged between 15 and 64 were participating in the labour force in 2012 in comparison to 4 in every 5 people without disability.

"There has been no improvement in the labour force participation rate by people with disability since the survey was last conducted in 2009.

"There is also a significant difference in educational attainment for people with disability compared to people without disability. There has been an improvement in the proportion of people with disability completing Year 12 but there is still a gap when compared with people without disability," Dr Jelfs said.

The number of Australians with disability aged between 15 and 64 years that had completed Year 12 was 36 per cent, compared with 60 per cent of people without disability. In comparing post-school qualifications, 15 per cent of people with disability have a Bachelor Degree or higher, compared with 26 per cent without disability.

Further information is available in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0) available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).

Media note
  • ABS will be hosting a presentation on Monday 2 December 2013 in advance of the International Day of People with Disability, which will include a discussion on the latest findings from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
The ABS invites media to attend the official event on Monday 2 December 2013
Venue: ABS House, on Benjamin way, Belconnen in the Australian Capital Territory
Time: 2.00pm - 3.30pm

RSVP by Thursday 28 November 2013
Please respond to: media@abs.gov.au or contact our media line on 1300 175 070