Carers in Australia

DATE: 22 October 2015



As part of Carers Week, this infographic looks at the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on the over 2.6 million carers in Australia from the most recent Survey of Disability, Aging, and Carers.

Key findings

  • 11.9 percent of Australians are carers (2.6 million)
  • 1.7 percent of children under 15 are carers
  • 33 percent of carers (over 15 years) have some form of disability themselves
  • females make up the majority (70 percent) of primary carers
  • there are similar proportions of male and female non-primary carers (49 percent and 51 percent respectively).

​What is a carer?

Although the term ‘carer’ is sometimes used to refer to a paid disability support worker or someone in a volunteer program, in ABS statistics, a carer is someone who provides assistance to someone with a disability on an ongoing, unpaid, informal basis.

Carers are often family members of the person with disability. In ABS statistics, ‘disability’ includes people over 65 who have age-related impairments.

What is a primary carer?

If a carer provides a person with disability with most of their disability-related assistance, that person is said to be their primary carer. Persons under 15 can be carers but are not typically labelled as ‘primary carers’.​

Technical notes

'Disability' is used to mean the broad ABS definition of disability, and includes persons over 65. See the ABS website for details.


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