Notes on the data: Disability

Unpaid assistance provided by Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over to persons with a disability, 2021


Policy context:  Those with informal caring responsibilities provide a crucial role in society, because the absence of an informal carer is a significant risk factor contributing to institutionalisation [1]. Some people with a disability provide unpaid care to others in their family or community.

During the two weeks before the 2016 Census, 13.7% of Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over assisted family members or others due to a disability, long term illness or problems related to old age: this was an increase on the 12.9% at the 2011 Census. These data can be used in the planning of local facilities and disability and aged care respite services, and in the provision of information and support to carers. They can also assist in understanding the way individuals and families balance paid work with other important aspects of their lives, such as family and community commitments.


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Australia’s welfare 2011. (AIHW Cat. no. AUS 93). Canberra: AIHW; 2011.

Notes:  The 'Assistance to a Person with a Disability (unpaid)' variable records people who, in the two weeks prior to Census Night, spent time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long-term illness (lasting six months or more) and/or problems related to older age.

The numerator excludes the 10.0% of the population whose provision of unpaid assistance was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.


Geography: Data available by Indigenous Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic outcomes (based on IRSEO) and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over who provided unpaid assistance to persons with a disability


Denominator:  Aborginal population aged 15 years and over


Detail of analysis:  Per cent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2021 (unpublished data)


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