2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2018   
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CORE ACTIVITY NEED FOR ASSISTANCE

In the 2016 Census, 7 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported a core activity need for assistance. This increased slightly from 5 per cent in 2011 and 4 per cent in 2006.

The rate of need for assistance for Aboriginal people (7%) and Torres Strait Islander people (6%) is similar. In comparison, 5 per cent of the non-Indigenous population had a core activity need for assistance.

There is little variation between the sexes with males (7%) and females (6%) having similar rates for needs of assistance. There is also little variation across the States and Territories, with each State and Territory having similar levels of disability. Western Australia and the Northern Territory had the lowest rates at 5 per cent.

Most (69%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a core activity need for assistance lived in one-family households and 28 per cent were in couple families with children. However, more people (13%) with a need for assistance lived in lone-person households than those without a need for assistance (7%).

Graph Image for Core Activity Need for Assistance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



What is Core Activity Need for Assistance?

Core Activity Need for Assistance measures the number of people with a profound or severe disability. People with a profound or severe disability are defined as those people needing help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication, because of a disability, long-term health condition (lasting six months or more) or old age. The Census uses a set of four questions to capture 'Core Activity Need for Assistance'. Responses to the individual questions are then combined to produce the single variable, Core Activity Need for Assistance.

SECTION OF STATE

People living in non-urban areas are less likely to have access to services that provide assistance to people who need help with their core activities. Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (513,000) live in urban areas. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of the population reporting a need for assistance are also in these regions (83%) compared to non-urban areas (17%). However, the rate of people requiring assistance in non-urban areas is much higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (17%) than it is for non-Indigenous people (9%).

DISABILITY AND AGEING

The need for assistance with core activities increased with age and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is no exception. The reported need for assistance was 12 per cent in the 45 to 64 age group and increased to 27 per cent for persons 65 years and over. In contrast, rates in the non-Indigenous population stayed at 5 per cent or below until 64 years and increased to 18 per cent for people 65 years and over. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had higher rates across all age groups.

Graph Image for Core Activity Need for Assistance by Age by Indigenous Status, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016