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Disability

Prevalence of disability

A person is considered to have a disability if they have at least one limitation, restriction or impairment that restricts everyday activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least 6 months (AIHW 2017).

The severity of a disability is usually discussed in the context of how severely it affects core activities (self-care, mobility and communication). Profound or severe core activity limitation is defined as needing help with one or more of the core activities.

For more information on the different data sources used to estimate prevalence of disability among Indigenous Australians, see Data and notes section.

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians:

  • 38% (306,100) were living with disability.
  • 8% (66,100) were living with profound or severe disability.

Based on age-standardised rates, Indigenous Australians were:

  • 1.5 times as likely to be living with disability as non-Indigenous Australians.
  • 2.5 times as likely to be living with profound or severe core activity limitations as non-Indigenous Australians (Figure DB 1).
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By age group

Indigenous Australians aged 55 and older were most likely to be living with disability (75% or 72,800 people) and profound or severe core activity limitation (19% or 18,200 people) (Figure DB 2).

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