Unequal opportunities; data on adults with disabilities

Some disabled people do not get the same opportunities as non-disabled people. Disabled people have lower incomes, are less likely to have higher qualifications and are more likely to be unemployed. 

The inequalities disabled people face are not inevitable.

We can reduce or even eliminate them. 

You can read about some of the inequalities here. (PDF 160kb).

There is also more data below. The data is from the 2013 Disability Survey, which you can read here.

Data alone does not tell the whole story. You also need to hear the voices of disabled people. One way you can do this is to read the recent Disabled Persons Organisation's draft Shadow Report.

Data

Disability increases with age, but all age ranges have a significant number of disabled people.

Graph showing the disability rate to be 11 per cent for people 0 to 14, 16 per cent for people 15 to 44, 28 per cent for people 45 to 64 and 59 per cent for people 65 plus

Overall there is an estimated 1.1 million disabled people in New Zealand. Around one in four of the population!

Below is data on gender, ethnicity and disability rates. Māori males are over represented at all ages.

Note, some of the data for Pacific peoples and Asian people is unreliable because of low sample sizes.

Graph showing the disability rate for different ethnicity for people aged 0 to 14. Maori males have the highest rate at 19 per cent compared to 13 per cent for average male. Females have a lower disability rate across ethnicities at this age range.

Graph showing the disability rate for different ethnicity for people aged 15 to 44. Maori males and females have the highest rate at 23 per cent compared to 16 per cent for the average across ethnicities

Graph showing the disability rate for different ethnicity for people aged 45 to 64. Maori females have the highest rate at 45 per cent compared to 28 per cent for the average rate across ethnicities

Graph showing the disability rate for different ethnicity for people aged 65 plus. Pacific peoples have the highest rate at 78 per cent compared to 58 per cent for the average rate for males across ethnicities

Disabled people are less likely to be in the labour force and more likely to be unemployed. 

Not in the labour force means you do not have a job and do not want one. Unemployed means you do not have a job, but want one.

Graph showing the employment status of people aged 15 to 64. 45 per cent are full time employed, 16 per cent are part time employed, 7 per cent are unemployed and 32 per cent are not in the labour force.

Graph showing the employment status of people aged 15 to 64. 60 per cent are full time employed, 16 per cent are part time employed, 4 per cent are unemployed and 20 per cent are not in the labour force.

Disabled people are over represented in physically demanding occupations. This could reflect higher rates of injury in these occupations. 

Graph showing the different occupations people work in. Disability people are underrepresented amongst professionals and managers, but over represented with tradespeople, admin, sales, machinery operators and labourers.

As a result of disabled people having higher unemployment, disabled people have lower personal incomes. If you want to know about household incomes, check out the data sheet

Graph showing people's personal income aged 15 to 64. 33.3 per cent of disabled people earn under $15,000 compared to 27.8 per cent of non-disabled people. 9.6 per cent of disabled people earn over $70,000 a year, compared to 17.9 per cent of non-disabled people.

Disabled people are discriminated against more than non-disabled people. This causes some of the inequality in employment and education.

Graph showing people reporting discrimination in the last 12 months. 2.44 per cent of disabled people had been discriminated against once, 4.07 per cent two or three times and 7.78 per cent more than three times. For non-disabled people, 1.98 per cent had been discriminated against once, 2.95 per cent two or three times and 3.88% more than three times.

Only a minority experience active discrimination, however. We can address this discrimination and greatly reduce the inequality some disabled people face. 

A graph showing that 85.6 per cent of disabled people and 91.06 per cent of non-disabled people had not reported discrimination in the last 12 months

To read more have a look at these blogs:

If you tolerate this talks about employment discrimination.

What's happening to my dream talks about the politics of exclusion.

I am here talks about research where twelve people with high and complex needs told their story

Welfare reform; real change or tilting at windmills talks about welfare reform and employment.

 You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions, comments or want to know where to find more data.