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Department of Human Services

South Australians living with disability

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2012 (SDAC) defines a person with disability as someone who has a functional limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities.

The SDAC figures indicate that in South Australia, more than one in five people (357,100 or 21.5 per cent) reported having a disability in 2012. Of these, nearly 90 per cent had a specific limitation or restriction that meant they were limited in the core activities of self-care, mobility or communication, or restricted in education or employment.

Figure 4 - two people drinking coffeeAround 32 per cent of people with disability had a profound or severe limitation in one or more of the core activity areas, with a further 49.5 per cent having a moderate or mild limitation in core activity areas.

In 2012, there were 22,700 children aged less than 15 years with a disability (7.7 per cent of all children aged less than 15 years).  Of these, 54.6 per cent had a profound or severe limitation in core activity areas and 10.6 per cent had a moderate or mild limitation in core activity areas.

ABS findings indicate that there were 219,000 people providing informal assistance to people with disability (13.4 per cent of population). Of these, 56,000 people identified themselves as being primary carers (3.4 per cent of the population).

The ABS also measures the participation of people with disability in a range of activities away from home. In the previous three months prior to data collection, most people with disability had visited relatives or friends (88.6 per cent). Participation in other specific activities away from home over the previous 12 months was also measured. These included visiting a library, participating in physical activities for exercise or recreation, or attending a sporting event or movie.

Of concern is the finding that nearly one in five (18.0 per cent) South Australians with disability aged less than 65 years did not participate in any of these activities away from home.


Disability SA
Phone: +61 8 8415 4250

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Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
18 Feb 2019
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