Some 6.5 million had one or more disabilities in 2017. (Black Press Media File).

Canada home to 6.5 million people with one or more disability

Women are more likely than men to be living with disability

The face of disability in Canada is female, older and poor.

That is the upshot of sociological data as Canada marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

According to Statistics Canada, 22 per cent of the Canadian population above the age of 15 – about 6.2 million individuals – had one or more disabilities in 2017, with women more likely to have a disability than men. The figures appear as part of the Canadian Survey on Disability Reports released in November 2018.

The report finds that the prevalence of disability increases with age from 13 per cent for those aged 15 to 24 years to 47 per cent for those aged 75 years and over.

Disability also varies with age. While Disabilities related to pain, flexibility, mobility, and mental health were the most common disability types, mental health-related disabilities prevail among youth aged 15 to 24 years.

RELATED: Sidney session highlights work opportunities for people with physical or mental disabilities

Disability also impacts employment and earnings. The report shows that individuals with disabilities were less likely to be employed (59 per cent) than those without disabilities (80 per cent). Individuals with disabilities, in other words, confront an immediate disadvantage when seeking employment.

Generally, the more severe the disability, the lower the likelihood of employment. Among individuals aged 25 to 64 years, 76 per cent of those with mild disabilities worked, compared to 31 per cent of those with very severe disabilities.

And once they have found employment, socioeconomic status depends on the nature of their disability and their gender.

Persons aged 25 to 64 with more severe disabilities (28 per per cent) were more likely to be living in poverty than their counterparts without disabilities (10 per cent) or with milder disabilities (14 per cent).

A break down shows that lone parents and those living alone were the most likely to be living in poverty among any type of household living arrangements. Since eight in 10 lone parents were women, the high risk of living in poverty in this group disproportionately affected women, the report notes.

The report also suggests that it does not have to be. Among those with disabilities aged 25 to 64 years who were not employed and not currently in school, two in five (39 per cent) had potential to work, but are not. This represents nearly 645,000 individuals with disabilities, who could be part of the workforce, only to see their potential wasted.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Process begins to try to get Lantzville lookout trail authorized

Regional District of Nanaimo staff will report back to parks and trails committee

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Supportive housing plan unbalanced

Letter writer worries crime and social disorder will increase from Newcastle area to south end

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Do-over vote has similar result, 280-unit development in Lantzville going to public hearing

Mayor’s motion to rescind Clark/Medd application’s second reading fails 3-2

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Most Read