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Last updateSun, 06 Nov 2016 10am

Back You are here: Home Home Site Sections News 13% of population have a disability

13% of population have a disability

Central Statistics OfficeAlmost 600,000 people in Ireland — 13% of the population — have a disability, it has emerged.

More women than men have a disability — 305,607 (51.3%) are female and 289,728 (48.7%) male.

The figures are published in the CSO’s Bill of Health — a profile of the health of the Irish population.

Limerick City had the highest rate of disability at 18.2% in Apr 2011, followed by Cork City (17.7%), Waterford (15.3%), and Dublin (14.9%).

Galway was the only major city to have a lower than average incidence of disability at 11.9%. Lowest rates of disability were found in Fingal (10.2%), Meath (10.7%), and Kildare (11.6%).

There were 56,087 disabled people aged 65 and over living alone.

It was revealed that 35,960 of the elderly disabled had limited physical activity because of their condition. Just over 25,000 were women.

Going outside the home was difficult for 22,989 people while 21,844 found it hard to participate in other activities.

Among disabled people aged 15-49, 16.3% had not gone beyond primary-level education, compared with 5% of the general population.

Secondary school was the highest level attained by 22.3% of disabled people, compared to 15% of those without a disability.

There were 162,681 people with a disability in the labour force — a participation rate of 30%, compared to almost 62% of the overall population.

Of the 542,277 people aged 15 and over with a disability, 112,502, or 21%, were at work. This compares with half of the overall population.

There were 51,718 people — just over 1% of the population — who were blind or had a sight-related disability with more males up to the 70-74 age group.

Some 92,060 people (2%) were deaf or had a hearing-related disability, and 244,739 people (5.3%) had a difficulty with basic physical activities.

There were 57,709 people (1.3%) with an intellectual disability and the greatest incidence was among 10-14-year-old boys at almost 4,000 — more than double that of girls at 1,900.

The census showed that 187,112 persons, or 4.1% of the total population, were providing unpaid assistance to other last year.

Of the carers 114,113 (61%) were women and 72,999 (39%) men. Some 4,228 children aged under 15 were providing care — 2.3% of all carers.

Bill of health

CSO Bill of Health highlights:

* Limerick has highest rate of disability at just over 18%;

* 30% of people with a disability are in the labour force;

* There are 187,112 unpaid carers — just over 4% of population;

* Women provide two-thirds of unpaid care;

* More than one in 10 women aged 45-49 provide unpaid care.