Summary

  • Census 2006 data suggest that Indigenous Australians aged 0–64 years are 2.4 times as likely to need assistance with the core activities of daily living than non–Indigenous people.
  • Among Indigenous Australians aged 45–54 years the rate of need for assistance with core activities is almost 3 times that of non-Indigenous Australians.
  • The employment rate among Indigenous people with disability aged 15–64 years (13%) is significantly lower than among Indigenous people without disability (51%).
  • Reliance on Government pensions and allowances as the principal source of income among Indigenous people (aged 18–64 years) with severe or profound disability is similar to that for all Australians (of similar age and severity of disability).
  • Indigenous households with a member with severe or profound core activity limitations are clustered in the lowest income levels, in contrast to households without a member with disability which have a more even spread across low- and middle-income levels.
  • Indigenous Australians with severe or profound disability have very low rates of year 12 high school attainment (16%) compared with Indigenous Australians without disability (28%) in the same age range (18–64 years).
  • 30% of Indigenous Australians aged 18–64 years with the most severe levels of disability wanted to pursue further study in the 12 months prior to survey and 13% were unable to do so because of caring or family reasons.
  • On average 14% of Indigenous women and 9% of Indigenous men have caring responsibilities.
  • There are 12,068 Indigenous users of specialist disability services in Australia aged 0–64 years, comprising 5% of all service users. This equates to a service level of about 329 per 1,000 potential population, almost identical to the non-Indigenous service level.
  • Case management (as part of community support) and open employment support are the most commonly used service types by Indigenous Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement-funded service users.
  • 46% of Indigenous Australians aged 18–64 years with severe or profound core activity limitations report problems accessing service providers.
  • Daily smoking is found more commonly among Indigenous Australians with more severe disability (52%) than Indigenous Australians without disability or long-term health conditions (42%) in the 18–64 years age group.