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Australia

Need for assistance

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This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

1,202,941 people or 5.1% of the population in Australia in 2016, reported needing help in their day-to-day lives due to disability.

Australia's disability statistics relate directly to need for assistance due to a severe or profound disability. The information may be used in the planning of local facilities, services such as day-care and occasional care and in the provision of information and support to carers. Australia's disability statistics help in understanding the prevalence of people who need support in the community, and along with information on Unpaid Care to a person with a disability, how that support is provided.

Please note: A person's reported need for assistance is based on a subjective assessment and should therefore be treated with caution. See the specific data notes for further detail.

Due to changes in ABS rules concerning perturbation and additivity of data to protect the confidentiality of individuals in 2016, counts of individual age groups with a need for assistance in 2016 may not add up to the table total. The table total is independently calculated and will be closer to the true population requiring assistance. Due to ABS adjustments of small numbers, no reliability can be placed on small data cells in 2016. For more information please see the data notes on Data Confidentiality.

Derived from the Census questions:

'Does the person ever need someone to help with, or be with them for, self care activities?', 'Does the person ever need someone to help with, or be with them for, body movement activities?', 'Does the person ever need someone to help with, or be with them for, communication activities?', and 'What are the reasons for the need for assistance or supervision shown in questions 20, 21 and 22?' (as per above).

Total population

Need for assistance with core activities
Australia - Persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Assistance needed by age group (years)Number% of total age groupGreater Capital Cities %Number% of total age groupGreater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
0 to 416,7981.11.114,2221.01.0+2,576
5 to 948,7133.23.134,8532.62.5+13,860
10 to 1983,5743.02.761,7822.22.1+21,792
20 to 59329,7132.62.3273,9602.32.1+55,753
60 to 6483,8506.56.376,4856.36.0+7,365
65 to 6993,1967.87.968,5157.57.4+24,681
70 to 7493,07910.511.072,83910.310.8+20,240
75 to 79104,63416.017.388,69816.317.3+15,936
80 to 84121,73626.428.4114,95726.327.5+6,779
85 and over227,62646.848.3192,22647.748.1+35,400

Need for assistance with core activities
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Assistance needed by age group (years)Number%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
Total persons needing assistance1,202,9415.14.8998,5374.64.4+204,404
Total persons not needing assistance20,535,08387.788.719,285,57589.790.1+1,249,508
Not stated1,663,8677.16.51,220,5765.75.6+443,291

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Need for assistance with core activities, 2016
Need for assistance with core activities, 2016 85 and over, Greater Capital Cities: 48.3% 80 to 84, Greater Capital Cities: 28.4% 75 to 79, Greater Capital Cities: 17.3% 70 to 74, Greater Capital Cities: 11.0% 65 to 69, Greater Capital Cities: 7.9% 60 to 64, Greater Capital Cities: 6.3% 20 to 59, Greater Capital Cities: 2.3% 10 to 19, Greater Capital Cities: 2.7% 5 to 9, Greater Capital Cities: 3.1% 0 to 4, Greater Capital Cities: 1.1% 85 and over, Australia: 46.8% 80 to 84, Australia: 26.4% 75 to 79, Australia: 16.0% 70 to 74, Australia: 10.5% 65 to 69, Australia: 7.8% 60 to 64, Australia: 6.5% 20 to 59, Australia: 2.6% 10 to 19, Australia: 3.0% 5 to 9, Australia: 3.2% 0 to 4, Australia: 1.1%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in need for assistance with core activities, 2011 to 2016
Change in need for assistance with core activities, 2011 to 2016 85 and over, Australia: +35,400 80 to 84, Australia: +6,779 75 to 79, Australia: +15,936 70 to 74, Australia: +20,240 65 to 69, Australia: +24,681 60 to 64, Australia: +7,365 20 to 59, Australia: +55,753 10 to 19, Australia: +21,792 5 to 9, Australia: +13,860 0 to 4, Australia: +2,576
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the need for assistance of people in Australia compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a similar proportion of people who reported needing assistance with core activities.

Overall, 5.1% of the population reported needing assistance with core activities, compared with 4.8% for Greater Capital Cities.

The major differences in the age groups reporting a need for assistance in Australia and Greater Capital Cities were:

  • A smaller percentage of persons aged 80 to 84 (26.4% compared to 28.4%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons aged 85 and over (46.8% compared to 48.3%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons aged 75 to 79 (16.0% compared to 17.3%)

Emerging groups

The major differences in the age groups reporting a need for assistance between 2011 and 2016 in Australia were in the age groups:

  • 20 to 59 (+55,753 persons)
  • 85 and over (+35,400 persons)
  • 65 to 69 (+24,681 persons)
  • 10 to 19 (+21,792 persons)

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