The National Disability Administrators, in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, has released estimates of disability across Australia. Estimates are based on data collected from the 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers and the 2001 Census – both conducted every five years. Information includes disability by degree of restriction (profound/severe, moderate and mild) and sex, estimates by five-year age groups, estimates by area of restriction (self-care, mobility and communication), and estimates by disability type (physical, sensory, brain damage/head injury, intellectual and psychiatric/psychological).
Quality and Applicability
In early 2006, the National Disability Administrators conducted a series of workshops to explain the quality and limitations of the estimates of disability. Detailed data descriptions are included with the file containing the estimates. It is important that all users of the estimates are aware of the methods used, including a model error that did not take into account certain key variables to arrive at the predictions.
Disability estimates are the best figures to use if you want to know how many people in a given area are living with a disability.
Disability estimates are available for local government areas – by sex or age (five-year age groups).
The most current disability estimates are for the year 2003.
The most current disability estimates were released in 2004. There is no information currently available about the next scheduled update.
Access disability estimates through the 'Small Area Estimates' function available through the National Disability Administrators.
Cost and Format
Disability estimates are downloadable free of charge in excel spreadsheet format.
Additional Data Source(s)
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released information about those who need assistance in their day-to-day lives due to disability, long-term health conditions, or old age. The 'core activity need for assistance' concept was developed for the Census to reveal the disability status of people according to a given area. Whilst the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers is considered to measure the disability population comprehensively, the Census 'core activity need for assistance' concept describes the more severe end of the disability spectrum. The population captured through the Census 'core activity need for assistance' concept is comparable to the population of those with a profound or severe core activity limitation in the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. Information about core activity need for assistance is based on the count of persons (place of usual residence) as revealed through the last Census (2006) and is contained in the Basic Community Profile Cat. No. 2001.0 2006 Table B17. Select the 'Community Profiles' function to search for an area by name then open its Basic Community Profile.
The Victorian Local Governance Association has an online library of social statistics that includes forecasts of the disability population to the year 2031. These forecasts are inferred from disability estimates based on the 2003 National Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. The forecasts use the population estimates from Victoria in Future to determine the disability rate.
The Department of Human Services has published a report of disability estimates for local government areas in Victoria. The estimates are based on the ABS 1998 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. Figures include the rate of disability as a percentage of estimated population in 1996. The report, entitled Disability Estimates for Local Government Areas and Regions in Victoria, was published in 2001 and is available at Disability Services.