2007.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on Topics, 2021  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/04/2018   
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DISABILITY AND CARERS

The ABS is consulting to seek views on the information to be collected in the next Census and this topic brief provides detail about what has been previously included on disability and carers.

The opportunity to participate in the consultation will be available from 3 April to 30 June 2018 via consult.abs.gov.au


WHAT WAS INCLUDED IN THE 2016 CENSUS?

Disability and carers topics on the Census included:

  • need for assistance
  • unpaid care (due to the disability, long term illness or old age of another person).

For more information view 2901.0 - Census Dictionary


HOW IS THIS INFORMATION USED?

The Census can help to determine the number and characteristics (for example, age and geographic location) of people requiring assistance or supervision to perform core everyday activities (self care, mobility and ability to communicate), whether due to a disability, long term health condition or ageing.

This information helps service providers and governments plan what local facilities, services and support are required, such as in-home support, respite care and support to carers.

The Census also collects information about the provision of unpaid care in the community. This helps provide an understanding of the assistance needed and the support being provided by informal or unpaid carers. For more information on unpaid care and other kinds of unpaid work, read the Unpaid work and care topic brief.


THE QUESTIONS ASKED ON THE 2016 CENSUS
  • Does the person ever need someone to help with, or be with them for, self care activities?
  • Does the person ever need someone to help with, or be with them for, body movement activities?
  • Does the person ever need someone to help with, or be with them for, communication activities?
  • What are the reasons for the need for assistance or supervision?
  • In the last two weeks did the person spend time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long term health condition or problems related to old age?


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2016 CENSUS ON DISABILITY AND CARERS

Infographic showing the increase in need for assistance by Australian household type from 2006 to 2016.
Infographic showing the increase in need for assistance by Australian household type from 2006 to 2016. Source: ABS, Census of Population and Housing


WHAT HAVE WE HEARD FROM YOU ABOUT THE 2021 CENSUS?

The ABS has undertaken initial discussions and reviewed feedback from the 2016 Census in preparation for this consultation.

Initial feedback from stakeholders has indicated that ‘Need for assistance’ and ‘Unpaid care’ due to the disability, long term illness or old age of another person are still relevant and important topics to include on the 2021 Census. However, we have heard that there is potential to expand the topic to better meet national data needs.

Emerging themes include:
  • collecting information about whether the person uses aids and equipment to assist with core activities
  • collecting more detailed information on reasons for needing assistance
  • capturing whether the respondent is participating in the National Disability Insurance Scheme or not.

This consultation is an opportunity for you to provide your views on what disability information should be collected on the 2021 Census.


OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON THIS TOPIC:

The ABS collects data on disability and carers through a number of different collections. Listed below is a selection of ABS publications. For the comprehensive list of ABS products, please visit the ABS website.

4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015
The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers is a national survey conducted every three years. This survey:
  • measures the prevalence of disability in Australia
  • measures the need for support of older people and those with disability
  • provides a demographic and socio-economic profile of people with disability, older people and carers compared with the general population
  • estimates the number of, and provides information about, people who provide care to: people with disability and older people.

4159.0 - General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2014
The General Social Survey (GSS) is conducted every four years and provides an understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of relative advantage and disadvantage across the population, and facilitates reporting on (and monitoring of) people's opportunities to participate fully in society. Themes include how Australia has progressed on aspects of social capital such as participation, support, feelings of safety and trust. The GSS also draws attention to overall life satisfaction, focusing on characteristics of population groups with low reported life satisfaction (people with a mental health condition, people with disability, recent and other migrants, people living in one parent families and those with different sexual orientations).

4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) is run every six years and collects information from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in non-remote and remote areas, including discrete communities.

This survey provides broad, self-reported information across key areas of social interest for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The NATSISS provides a range of information about the social and economic circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over living with disability or a restrictive long-term health condition.

What are your disability and carers needs? Share your views with us on the most useful information we should collect in the 2021 Census. Make your submission to our review of 2021 Census topics at the ABS Consultation Hub.