Parents with disability

DATE: 13 May 2015



A little recognised fact is that many Australian children have one or more parents with disability.

This week’s infographic looks at parents with disability raising children under 15, drawing on data from Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012 'Survey of Disability, Ageing, and Carers' data.

There are many different definitions of the terms 'family' and 'parent', 'mother' and 'father'. In this analysis, we have adopted the broad definitions used by the ABS.

Key facts

  • 17% of families with children under 15 include one or more parents with disability.
  • In 2012, there were approximately 35 100 families where both parents had disability
  • There are approximately 1.3 times more mothers with disability raising children under 15 than fathers.

Technical notes

'Disability' is used to mean the broad ABS definition of disability. See the ABS website for details.

For statistical purposes the ABS define disability as: 'Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.' See the ABS website for details.

The ABS definition of parent includes relationships through birth, adoption, step family formation or fostering. See the ABS website for details.

Estimates of mothers and fathers with disability assume that where both parents have disability, male and female same sex couples are equally common.


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