Injury a leading cause of disability for adults

Embargoed until 10:45am  –  04 April 2008
See also:
2006 Disability Survey  –  for more data and analysis

Disability Survey 2006  –  Media Release

An estimated 166,300 adults aged 15 years and over had disabilities caused by accidents or injuries, with the most common type of injury occurring in the workplace. These figures are taken from the first release of information from the 2006 Disability Survey, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Accidents or injuries were the most common cause of disability for adults aged 15 to 44 years (31 percent of people with a disability) and adults aged 45 to 64 years (34 percent). For all people aged 15 years and over, accident and injury was the second largest cause of disability, behind diseases or illness.

More than eight out of 10 people with a disability (539,200 people) were adults living in households. A further 14 percent (90,000) were children aged less than 15 years living in households, while 5 percent (31,100) were adults living in residential facilities.

Physical disability was the most prevalent type of disability for adults, affecting 67 percent of adults with disability, ahead of sensory disability (hearing and/or seeing) (42 percent), and ‘other’ disability (39 percent) such as difficulty speaking, learning, remembering or doing everyday activities.

Among the 10 percent of children aged under 15 years with a disability, 46 percent had special education needs, which was the most common type of disability, ahead of chronic conditions or health problems (39 percent of children with disability). More than half of disabled children had a disability caused by a condition that existed at birth.

The percentage of people with disability increased with age and 45 percent of adults aged 65 years and over had a disability. One-third of all people with disability were in this age group.

The 2006 Disability Survey is the third survey conducted by Statistics New Zealand to examine disability in New Zealand.

 Geoff Bascand 10 October 2007 
 Government Statistician  
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