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One in four New Zealanders identified as disabled
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 June 2014

Disability Survey: 2013  –  Media Release

Almost one in four New Zealanders were identified as disabled in 2013, according to the New Zealand Disability Survey released today by Statistics New Zealand. This was up from 20 percent in 2001.

A total of 1.1 million people (24 percent of the population) were identified as disabled. The results show that 11 percent of children and 27 percent of adults were limited in their daily activities by a range of impairments.

“The New Zealand population is ageing, with the proportion of the population aged over 65 years growing, and this group has a higher likelihood of being disabled than younger adults or children,” labour market and household statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

The survey was carried out last year, with 23,000 disabled and non-disabled children and adults, plus 1,000 adults living in residential care facilities, interviewed across the country.

“The Disability Survey is currently the most comprehensive source of information on disabled people in New Zealand. It collects details on the characteristics of disabled people, including the nature and cause of impairments, the type of support they need, and how well they are faring compared with non-disabled people,” Ms Ramsay said.

The most common impairment type for adults was a physical limitation, which affected more women than men. For children, the most common impairment type was difficulty with learning. This affected more boys than girls.

Disability rates varied across the country, with the Auckland region reporting a lower-than-average rate (19 percent). Four regions – Taranaki, Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Manawatu-Wanganui – had higher-than-average disability rates.

“Two in 10 people in the Auckland region were limited in their daily lives by long-term impairment, compared with 3 in 10 people living in the Taranaki and Northland regions,” Ms Ramsay said.

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

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Kelly Mitchell, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 17 June 2014

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