Facts and figures

Have a quick look at facts and figures from the world of disability. 

What's happening worldwide?

  • Around 15% per cent of the total world's population, or over 1 billion people, live with a disability
  • 80% of persons with disabilities live in developing countries
  • Hearing loss affects up to 17% of the population
  • One child in 88 lives with autism
  • Even in high-income countries, between 20% and 40% of people with disabilities do not generally have their needs met for assistance with everyday activities
  • 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school (UNESCO)
  • An estimated 386 million of the world's working-age people have some kind of disability (ILO)
  • Unemployment is as high as 80% in some countries. Of the 70 million people with disabilities in India, only about 100,000 have succeeded in obtaining employment

 What about New Zealand?

  • 20% or 743,800 people in the general population have a disability
  • 17% of Maori living in New Zealand households are living with a disability
  • 14% of Maori children aged 0–14 years had a disability, compared to 9% of non-Maori children aged 0–14 years. The most common disability type was special education needs and chronic conditions/health problems
  • The rate of disability among Pacific peoples is about 11%. It is estimated two in three Pacific people with disability live in Auckland. Over two-thirds of Pacific people with a disability have a physical disability
  • The most common disability types for adults were physical and sensory disabilities. Disease or illness, and accidents or injuries were the most common causes of disability for adults. The most common type of accident or injury causing disability was one that occurred at work
  • In 2009, almost 125,000 New Zealanders over 40 had vision loss, and around 12,000 were blind
  • 1:6 people are thought to have a hearing disability - over 700,000 New Zealanders are affected
  • In New Zealand, we have one new spinal cord injury every 5 days - motor vehicle accidents account for nearly 40% of these
  • People with intellectual disability are more likely to live in the most socioeconomically deprived areas of New Zealand
  • 39% of disabled adults aged 15–64 years had an annual personal income of less than $15,000, compared to 28% of non-disabled 15–64 year olds
  • Auckland Council has almost one quarter of a million disabled residents

The next Disability Survey will be carried out after the 2013 Census.

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