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998,537 people or 4.6% of the population in Australia in 2011, 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.

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)20112006Change
Assistance needed by age group (years)Number% of total age groupGreater Capital Cities %Number% of total age groupGreater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
0 to 414,2221.01.011,0740.90.9+3,148
5 to 934,8532.62.526,4392.02.0+8,414
10 to 1961,7822.22.145,6891.71.6+16,093
20 to 59273,9602.32.1233,6232.11.9+40,337
60 to 6476,4856.36.054,3505.75.4+22,135
65 to 6968,5157.57.448,0036.46.5+20,512
70 to 7472,83910.310.857,5349.49.9+15,305
75 to 7988,69816.317.382,97115.315.9+5,727
80 to 84114,95726.327.5107,50926.627.0+7,448
85 and over192,22647.748.1152,84447.447.0+39,382

Need for assistance with core activities
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
Assistance needed by age group (years)Number%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Total persons needing assistance998,5374.64.4820,0364.13.9+178,501
Total persons not needing assistance19,285,57589.790.117,728,49389.589.5+1,557,082
Not stated1,220,5765.75.61,264,4786.46.6-43,902

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Need for assistance with core activities, 2011
Need for assistance with core activities, 2011 85 and over, Greater Capital Cities: 48.1% 80 to 84, Greater Capital Cities: 27.5% 75 to 79, Greater Capital Cities: 17.3% 70 to 74, Greater Capital Cities: 10.8% 65 to 69, Greater Capital Cities: 7.4% 60 to 64, Greater Capital Cities: 6.0% 20 to 59, Greater Capital Cities: 2.1% 10 to 19, Greater Capital Cities: 2.1% 5 to 9, Greater Capital Cities: 2.5% 0 to 4, Greater Capital Cities: 1.0% 85 and over, Australia: 47.7% 80 to 84, Australia: 26.3% 75 to 79, Australia: 16.3% 70 to 74, Australia: 10.3% 65 to 69, Australia: 7.5% 60 to 64, Australia: 6.3% 20 to 59, Australia: 2.3% 10 to 19, Australia: 2.2% 5 to 9, Australia: 2.6% 0 to 4, Australia: 1.0%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in need for assistance with core activities, 2006 to 2011
Change in need for assistance with core activities, 2006 to 2011 85 and over, Australia: +39,382 80 to 84, Australia: +7,448 75 to 79, Australia: +5,727 70 to 74, Australia: +15,305 65 to 69, Australia: +20,512 60 to 64, Australia: +22,135 20 to 59, Australia: +40,337 10 to 19, Australia: +16,093 5 to 9, Australia: +8,414 0 to 4, Australia: +3,148
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (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, 4.6% of the population reported needing assistance with core activities, compared with 4.4% 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 (26.3% compared to 27.5%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons aged 75 to 79 (16.3% compared to 17.3%)

Emerging groups

The major differences in the age groups reporting a need for assistance between 2006 and 2011 in Australia were in the age groups:

  • 20 to 59 (+40,337 persons)
  • 85 and over (+39,382 persons)
  • 60 to 64 (+22,135 persons)
  • 65 to 69 (+20,512 persons)

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