Demographics

In 2017–18, about 288,800 clients used specialist homelessness services. Of all SHS clients, 8.1% (or 23,400) have disability. Around 1 in 3 (34% or 7,900) clients with disability have severe or profound disability (or 2.7% of all SHS clients).

Sex

Clients with disability (53%) are less likely to be female than clients without disability (60%) (Figure 1).

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Disability is less common in female clients than male clients—8.3% have disability, compared with 11% (Table 1).

Table 1: Prevalence of disability in SHS clients for whom disability status is known, by sex, 2017–18 (%)

Disability status

Males

Females

Total

With disability

10.8

8.3

9.3

- Severe or profound disability

3.8

2.7

3.1

- Other disability status

6.9

5.6

6.2

Without disability

89.2

91.7

90.7

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

 Source: SHSC 2017–18; see also Table S1.

Age

Clients with disability are more likely to be older than clients without disability. About 1 in 11 (9.5%) clients with disability are aged 65 and over, compared with 1 in 38 (2.6%) clients without disability (Figure 1).

Disability is more common in older clients. Around 1 in 3 (29%) clients aged 65 and over have disability, compared with around:

  • 1 in 11 (9.4%) aged 15–64
  • 1 in 34 (2.9%) aged 10–14 (Table 2).

Table 2: Prevalence of disability in SHS clients, by age group, 2017–18 (%)

Age group

With disability

With disability—severe or profound

With disability—other disability status

Without disability

Total

10–14

3.9

1.9

2.0

96.1

100.0

15–17

4.9

1.7

3.2

95.1

100.0

18–24

6.4

1.9

4.4

93.6

100.0

25–34

7.0

2.0

5.0

93.0

100.0

35–44

10.1

2.8

7.3

89.9

100.0

45–54

15.4

4.2

11.2

84.6

100.0

55–64

21.8

5.7

16.1

78.2

100.0

65 and over

28.7

7.7

21.1

71.3

100.0

Total

10.0

2.9

7.1

90.0

100.0

Source: SHSC 2017–18; see also Table S3.

Indigenous status

About 1 in 5 (21%) clients with disability are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, compared with 1 in 4 (27%) clients without disability.

Indigenous clients (7.5%) are less likely to have disability than non-Indigenous clients (10.2%). However, Indigenous clients with disability are more likely to have severe or profound disability (38%) than non-Indigenous clients with disability (33%).

Alternative text for Demographics

Figure 1

Column chart showing the sex and age of clients of Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS), with and without disability. The reader can select to display the chart by sex, by age group, including 10-14, 15-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65+ years, and by disability status. The chart shows a higher proportion of SHS clients with disability are aged 55-64 (12%) than those without disability (5%). Back to figure 1