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This page presents snapshot information on disability and disability services in Australia, taken from:

Australian disability statistics are based on internationally agreed technical definitions of disability.

graphic - increase in disability free years from 2003 to 2009 PNG

Australians are living longer and getting more disability-free years.

Almost all of the increase in life expectancy at birth between 2003 and 2009 was in disability free years.

graphic showing 18.5 percent


of the population have disability. That’s around 4.2 million people.

graphic showing 6 per cent


of the population have severe or profound disability. That’s around 1.4 million people.

graphic showing 2.7 million

2.7 million people

provide informal care to an older person or someone with disability or a long-term health condition. That’s around 12% of the population.

graphic showing 2 to 1

2 to 1

The proportion of Indigenous people who need help with core activities is around double that of non-Indigenous Australians.

Graphic showing 316,500 Australians

316,500 Australians

experience incontinence. The majority are female (66%).

graphic showing 317,600 people

317,600 people

received disability support services in 2011–12.

graphic showing 133,800 users

133,800 users

of disability support services had an informal carer in 2011–12. The number of service users with an informal carer has increased by 24% since 2007–08.

graphic showing 6.9 billion

Around $6.9 billion

was spent by governments on disability support services in 2011–12.

This represents an increase, adjusted for inflation, of 28% since 2007–08 when governments spent $5.4 billion on disability support services.

Further information

Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2011–12  

DS NMDS data cubes