5.5 million Australians have disability

Media Release

More than one in five people (21.4 per cent) had disability in 2022, up 3.7 percentage points from 2018, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Linda Fardell, ABS head of health statistics, said: “The increase was seen across most age groups in the most recent Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. As seen in previous surveys, people aged 65 years and older were more likely to have disability, with over half of this age group having disability in 2022.

“Of the people who are 15 years or older with disability and living in households, 45 per cent have completed year 12 or an equal level of education. That’s 2.2 million people in 2022 – up from 1.3 million people, or 33 per cent, in 2018.

“Today’s release also shines light on unpaid carers. There are 3 million unpaid carers across Australia. This represents almost 12 per cent of all Australians living in households.

“The survey results showed that nearly 40 per cent of carers have disability themselves, and there were 391,300 young carers under the age of 25.”

Nearly 90% of older Australians (aged 65 and over), had one or more long term health conditions.

Two in five (40 per cent) older Australians living in households needed some assistance with everyday activities.

“For the first time we asked people living in households about their satisfaction with how often they participate in social activities,” Ms Fardell said.

“Almost two thirds of people aged 15 years and older with disability (64 per cent), and more than three quarters of older Australians (78 per cent) said they were satisfied all or most of the time.”

The ABS would like to thank Australians for their continued support in responding to our surveys.

Media notes

  • “People living in households” includes those living in a private dwelling or self-care retirement village.
  • A carer is a person who provides any informal assistance (help or supervision) to people with disability or older people (aged 65 years and over).
  • When reporting ABS data, you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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