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Family status

There were 30.3 per cent of disabled persons who were head of a private household in April 2016 (177,181 persons) up 6.3 per cent on 2011. Another 28.1 per cent were not members of the main family, but were instead an 'other relative or non-family resident', up 6.9 per cent on 2011. Just over a fifth (21.3%) of disabled persons were coded as children in a private household.

Figure 2.1 shows the family status by type of disability showing that children in the family unit accounted for the majority of intellectual (61.4%) learning (43.7%) disabilities.

Type of disabilityOthersChildSpouseHead
Blindness or a serious vision impairment173868264898513892
Deafness or a serious hearing impairment3125477431880437073
An intellectual disability142583547033114684
Difficulty with learning, remembering or concentrating34596576851507524549
A difficulty with physical activities81462203455135275509
Difficulty with pain, breathing or other chronic illness74794368706612291303
Psychological or emotional condition31418314201774725334
Difficulty in dressing, bathing or getting around home36307224742150729358
Difficulty in working or attending school/college52623409743592950426
Difficulty in participating in other activities60959387474069254639
Difficulty in going outside the home alone53009318432833537523

Interactive table: StatBank Link E9024

Disabled children aged 25 and over

Table 2.1 shows the number of disabled adult children aged 25 and over (never married and living with a parent) by type of disability.

There were 28,935 persons in this category accounting for 13.1 per cent of all adult children, up from 11.9 per cent in 2011. As in 2011, the most common disability was difficulty working or attending school/college with 12,836 persons affected, up 18 per cent on 2011, followed by  difficulties participating in other activities (10,163 persons, up 18.1%) and difficulty with pain, breathing or other chronic illness or conditions (9,356 persons, up 15.3%).

Table 2.1 Adult children aged 25 and over by type of disability, 2016
Type of disability 
Blindness or a serious vision impairment2,031
Deafness or a serious hearing impairment2,244
A difficulty with physical activities7,080
An intellectual disability8,723
Difficulty with learning, remembering or concentrating9,142
Psychological or emotional condition8,897
Difficulty with pain, breathing, including chronic illness9,356
Difficulty in dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home4,397
Difficulty in going outside the home alone7,724
Difficulty in working or attending school/college12,836
Difficulty in participating in other activities10,163
  
Persons aged 25 and over living at home with parents221,706
Number who had a disability28,935
Percentage who had a disability13.1%

Interactive table: StatBank Link E9028

It's a Fact

  • 30.3% The percentage of disabled persons who were head of a household
  • 13.1% The percentage of adult children aged 25 and over who had a disability

Living alone

A total of 112,904 disabled persons, representing 19.3 per cent of the total disabled population, lived alone in private households in April 2016.  More women than men with a disability lived alone with 61,948 women and 50,956 men, both up just over 6 per cent since 2011.

Over 65's

There were 61,756 disabled persons aged 65 and over. Figure 2.2 shows the number of persons aged 65 and over living alone by type of disability. A condition that limits basic physical activities affected 39,124 people, of whom 26,505 (67.7%) were women. Substantial numbers also suffered from pain, breathing or other chronic illnesses (28,237 persons), had difficulty in going outside the home alone (24,767 persons) and difficulty in participating in other activities (24,498).

Those with intellectual disabilities were 55 per cent male, whereas in all other categories women outnumbered men by around two to one.

Type of disabilityFemaleMale
Blindness or serious vision impairment5081-2899
Deafness or a serious hearing impairment11011-6257
A difficulty with basic physical activities 26505-12619
An intellectual disability692-842
Difficulty in learning, remembering or concentrating6122-3663
Psychological or emotional condition2164-1586
Difficulty with pain, breathing or chronic illness18420-9817
Difficulty in dressing, bathing or getting around home11286-5193
Difficulty in going outside the home alone17966-6801
Difficulty in working or attending school/college9076-4960
Difficulty in participating in other activities17048-7450

Interactive table: StatBank Link E9025

Disabled - Living AloneDisabled - Living with othersNo disability
Male2165762769192977
Female4009965600204182

It's a Fact

  • 26.7% The percentage of persons aged 65 and over who lived alone
  • 39.4% the percentage of persons aged 65 and over who lived alone and had a disability

Lower level of education for persons with a disability

Figure 2.4 shows the highest level of education completed for disabled persons and the general population aged between 15 and 50. The results show that the level of education completed by disabled people was substantially lower.

Amongst disabled persons aged 15 to 50 (inclusive), 13.7 per cent had completed no higher than primary level education, compared with 4.2 per cent of the general population. 

People with a disability were less likely to complete third level education, with 37 per cent educated to this level, compared with 53.4 per cent of the general population aged 15 to 50 (inclusive).

Male Total populationMale with a disabilityFemale Total PopulationFemale with a disability
Doctorate (Ph.D)-1.1-0.71.10.7
Postgraduate diploma or degree-10.6-6.115.29.2
Honours batchelor degree/professional
qualification or both
-14.1-8.517.911.3
Ordinary batchelor degree/professional
qualification or both
-8.6-5.910.17.9
Higher certificate-5.4-4.46.96.3
Advanced certificate/completed apprenticeship-10.2-7.45.55.2
Technical/vocational-9.3-9.51213.5
Upper secondary-21.3-19.719.319.9
Lower secondary-14.3-21.18.615
Primary-3.9-9.82.66.7
No formal education-1.2-6.90.84.3

Age education completed

Census 2016 shows that people with a disability ceased their full-time education at an earlier age than the total population with 6,335 (5.4%) disabled persons aged 15 to 50 (inclusive) having left full-time education before reaching the age of 15, compared with 1.9 per cent for the State. Also, almost 47 per cent of disabled persons had finished their education between the ages of 15 and 18, compared with 37.7 per cent of the general population.

It's a Fact

  • 26.2% The percentage of disabled people aged 15 to 50 educated to third level
  • 37.2% The percentage of general population aged 15 to 50 educated to third level

Working with a disability

There were 176,445 persons with a disability in the labour force giving a labour force participation rate of 30.2 per cent, compared with a rate of 61.4 per cent for the overall population.

However, given the disproportionally large number of people aged 65 and over among the disabled population (34.9% compared with 13.4% of the general population), it is informative to examine the data for those aged 15 to 64 only.

Among the total population in this age group participation rates were 78 per cent for men and 65.9 for women, while for those with disabilities the rates were 51.1 per cent and 42.2 per cent respectively.

Figure 2.5 shows the labour force participation rates by age. Clearly illustrated are the lower participation rates for people with disabilities. The peak ages for labour force participation for those with disabilities were 30-34 years for men at 68.6 per cent, and 25-29 for women at 63.4 per cent. In the general population, the male participation rate peaks between 30-34 years at 93.1 per cent, while female participation peaks at 82.7 per cent between the ages of 30 and 34.

Female participation rate (Persons with disability)Female participation rate (Total population)Male participation rate (Persons with disability)Male participation rate (Total population)
15-19 years9.39.210.712.4
20-24 years43.453.546.659.4
25-29 years63.481.76688.5
30-34 years61.182.768.693.1
35-39 years56.580.168.593.8
40-44 years51.276.364.192.9
45-49 years45.674.159.891.4
50-54 years41.172.454.288.7
55-59 years34.964.747.682.2
60-64 years24.245.736.566.4
65-69 years6.312.212.825.3
70-74 years2.64.86.713.2
75-79 years1.52.247.7
80-84 years11.42.74.6
85 years and over0.71.11.73

Type of disability

Figure 2.6 shows the labour force participation rate for those aged 15 to 64 for each type of disability. Those with deafness or a severe hearing impairment had the highest participation rate of all disabilities at 58.4 per cent, up from 56.9 per cent in 2011. At the other end of the scale, those with difficulty in going outside the home alone had the lowest rate of participation at 19.7 per cent (21.1% for males and 18.4% for females). There are substantial differences between participation rates for males and females across all categories, with males recording higher rates across the board.

FemaleMale
Blindness or a serious vision impairment42.4-52.2
Deafness or a serious hearing impairment50.9-64.2
An intellectual disability23-27.4
Difficulty in learning, remembering or concentrating29.9-38.2
Difficulty with basic physical activities 26-32.5
Difficulty with pain, breathing or other chronic illness40.6-49.6
Psychological or emotional condition38.3-41.6
Difficulty in dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home19-22.2
Difficulty in working or attending school/college21.6-27.4
Difficulty in participating in other activities25.9-30.7
Difficulty in going outside the home alone18.4-21.1

Interactive table: StatBank Link E9009

It's a Fact

  • 78% the male labour force participation rate for those aged 15 to 64 (General Population)
  • 51.1% the male labour force participation rate for those aged 15 to 64 who had a disability

Disabled and work

There were 130,067 persons with a disability aged 15 and over at work, accounting for 22.3 per cent of the total disabled working population of 584,045. This compares with 53.4 per cent for the overall population aged 15 and over who were at work.

Figure 2.7 shows the number and percentage of disabled men and women at work in each age group. The percentage of disabled men at work reached a peak in the 35-39 age group with 51 per cent at work, while female participation peaked in the 30-34 age group at 48.6 per cent.

From the ages of 20 to 34, the number of female workers with a disability exceeded their male colleagues, but from age 35 onwards the number of male workers exceeded female workers in both number and proportion of disabled workers.

Overall in April 2016, 6.5 per cent of the people at work had a disability.

Age groupFemale PercentageMale PercentageFemaleMale
15-19 years44.4510683
20-24 years29.327.336133441
25-29 years48.343.559295041
30-34 years48.65074576765
35-39 years455181038169
40-44 years40.447.577748382
45-49 years35.643.272658233
50-54 years31.239.271048251
55-59 years25.834.363148142
60-64 years16.925.141756617
65+25.824885611

Unemployment and disability

The unemployment rate amongst persons with a disability was 26.3 per cent, over twice the 12.9 per cent rate for the population as a whole.

Figure 2.8 shows the rate of unemployment amongst persons aged 15 and over by type of disability.

Those with difficulty going outside the home alone had the highest rate of unemployment at 45.8 per cent, while those experiencing deafness or a serious hearing impairment had the lowest unemployment rate at 20 per cent.

Male unemployment exceeded female unemployment for all disability types with those experiencing a psychological or emotional condition showing the greatest difference at 9.3 per cent.

Unemployment rate
Total persons12.9
Disabled Persons26.3
Blindness or a serious vision impairment28.2
Deafness or a serious hearing impairment20
An intellectual disability42.8
Difficulty in learning, remembering or concentrating39.7
A difficulty with basic physical activities35.6
A difficulty with pain, breathing or other chronic illness23.3
Psychological or emotional condition35.6
Difficulty in dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home35.9
Difficulty in working or attending school/college41.2
Difficulty in participating in other activities32
Difficulty in going outside the home alone45.8

It's a Fact

  • 44.7% the percentage of females with difficulty going outside the home alone who were unemployed
  • 5.8% the percentage of disabled persons aged 65 and over who were male and at work
Other incl. not stated-FemaleNursing home/Childrens home-FemaleHospital-FemaleHospital-MaleNursing home/Childrens home-MaleOther incl. not stated-Male
65 years and over2146137913825-3041-6911-1319
45 - 64 years9791417694-879-1696-1428
25 - 44 years869494342-386-711-1423
15 - 24 years524114114-95-157-693
0 - 14 years1092177-62-44-170

Living in communal establishments

A total of 44,531 people with disabilities were enumerated in communal establishments in April 2016, comprising 19,015 males and 25,516 females. This was below the 2011 figure of 44,952 (-421 or -0.9%) and represented 6.9 per cent of all disabled persons. Figure 2.9 breaks down this data by age group and type of establishment.

A total of 49,426 persons in the State aged 65 and over were in communal establishments, with 31,033 (62.8%) of these being persons with a disability. Of these, 20,702 were in nursing homes and 6,866 in hospital. Other types of establishment, including religious institutions, shelters and refuges accounted for 3,465 persons.

Young and old

Less than one per cent (0.8%) of disabled children (483 persons) aged 0-14 lived in a communal establishment.

By contrast, nearly 14 per cent (13.8%) of disabled persons aged 65 and over were living in communal establishments, compared with 7.8 per cent of non-disabled persons in the same age group.

Nursing homes and hospitals

Figure 2.10 shows the percentage of those in communal establishments who were disabled, by age group.

Just over thirty five per cent of those who were in communal establishments were disabled.

For those aged 65 and over, nearly nine in ten (87.8%) of those in nursing homes were disabled and nearly 66 per cent (65.5%) of those in hospital were disabled.

Other incl. not stated-FemaleNursing home/Childrens home-FemaleHospital-FemaleHospital-MaleNursing home/Childrens home-MaleOther incl. not stated-Male
65 years and over25.562835020845788.143934551962267.3890063424947-63.2224532224532-87.1061255356693-18.9375448671931
45 - 64 years9.1375770020533988.728866624921748.8732394366197-51.6754850088183-91.280947255113-11.7135591830039
25 - 44 years8.2377476538060580.06482982171826.5321955003879-47.5369458128079-88.5429638854296-9.40950869536468
15 - 24 years9.5498450883907455.60975609756138.5135135135135-47.029702970297-59.9236641221374-11.0614525139665
0 - 14 years5.1101734646038463.636363636363614.7792706333973-11.5456238361266-63.768115942029-8.13786500718047

It's a Fact

  • 6.9% the percentage of those who were disabled who lived in communal establishments
  • 87.8% the percentage of those aged 65 and over in nursing homes who were disabled