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Disability Survey: 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 June 2014
Key facts
  • In 2013, 24 percent of the New Zealand population were identified as disabled, a total of 1.1 million people.
  • The increase from the 2001 rate (20 percent) is partly explained by our ageing population.
  • People aged 65 or over were much more likely to be disabled (59 percent) than adults under 65 years (21 percent) or children under 15 years (11 percent).
  • Māori and Pacific people had higher-than-average disability rates, after adjusting for differences in ethnic population age profiles.
  • For adults, physical limitations were the most common type of impairment. Eighteen percent of people aged 15 or over, 64 percent of disabled adults, were physically impaired.
  • For children, learning difficulty was the most common impairment type. Six percent of children, 52 percent of disabled children, had difficulty learning.
  • Just over half of all disabled people (53 percent) had more than one type of impairment.
  • The most common cause of disability for adults was disease or illness (42 percent). For children, the most common cause was a condition that existed at birth (49 percent).
  • The Auckland regional disability rate, at 19 percent, was lower than the national average. Bay of Plenty and Manawatu-Wanganui (both 27 percent), Northland (29 percent), and Taranaki (30 percent) experienced above-average disability rates.

An easy-read version of key facts and a PDF brochure of key findings from the 2013 Disability Survey are available.

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician
ISBN 978-0-478-42902-2
17 June 2014

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