Statistics for people with disability

This page contains demographic information about City of Gold Coast people with a disability. The information is sourced from the 2021 Australian Census of population and housing. Download the pdf version below.

Statistics for people with disability(PDF, 234KB)

Key statistics

  • In 2021, based on the Census there were 34,233 Gold Coast residents with a profound or severe disability, needing assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication, representing 5.5% of the total Gold Coast population. The Gold Coast had a slightly lower proportion of people with disability than Queensland (6.0%).
  • 52.2% of people with disability in Gold Coast City were female and 47.8% were male.
  • Within the City of Gold Coast, Coombabah had the highest proportion of residents with a need for assistance due to disability at 9.1%, followed by Labrador (8.8%) and Southport – North (7.8%). Lowest proportions of residents with a need for assistance due to disability were recorded in Main Beach (3.5%), Mermaid Beach – Broadbeach (3.6%) and Reedy Creek – Andrews (3.7%).
  • As need for assistance due to disability is strongly correlated with age, parts of the Gold Coast with the highest proportions of residents with a disability also have the highest proportions of residents aged 65 years or older.
  • In 2021, 54,366 Gold Coast residents, representing 10.6% of the total population, provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, long term illness or old age. This was lower than in Queensland, where 11.4% of the population provided unpaid care to a person with a disability, long term illness or old age.

View an interactive map showing distribution of residents across the Gold Coast who need assistance due to disability.

Age structure & distribution

The table below demonstrates the age distribution of people with disability in City of Gold Coast and Queensland.

Age Group No. Gold Coast (%) QLD (%)
0-14 years 4119 3.7 4.0
15-24 years 2204 2.9 3.3
25-44 years 3184 1.9 2.3
45-64 years 6044 3.8 4.8
65+ years 18,603 16.9 17.8
Total 34,233 5.5 6.0
  • 3.4% of Gold Coast children and young people aged 0-24 years had a disability (or 6323 people);
  • 1.9% of Gold Coast residents aged 25-44 years had a disability (or 3184 people);
  • 3.8% of Gold Coast residents aged 45-64 years had a disability (or 6044 people), and;
  • 16.9% of Gold Coast seniors aged 65 years and over had a disability (or 18,603 people).
  • 18,603 Gold Coast seniors aged 65 years and over had a disability, representing 54.3% of people with disability.

Birthplace & year of arrival in Australia

  • 69% of Gold Coast’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability were born in Australia, compared to 65% of the total population. 7% of residents with a need for assistance were born in England and 6% in New Zealand.
  • 31% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability were born overseas, of these, most arrived in Australia between 1961–1970 (16.5%) compared to 6.4% of the total overseas born population who arrived in Australia. These statistics also show that need for assistance due to disability is strongly related with age.

Labour force participation

  • 88.4% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability aged 15 years or older were not in the labour force, compared to 33% of all Gold Coast residents aged 15 years and older not in the labour force. By comparison, 86% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability were not in the labour force.
  • Of those residents with a need for assistance who are in the labour force, 25% were employed full-time (compared to 51.6% of the total Gold Coast labour force). By comparison, 26.1% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability were employed full-time.
  • 43.2% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability in the labour force were employed part-time (compared to 33.4% of Gold Coast’s overall labour force). By comparison, 42.5% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability were employed part-time.
  • 16.7% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability in the labour force were employed but away from work (compared to 9.6% of Gold Coast’s overall labour force). By comparison, 15.1% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability were employed part-time.
  • 15.1% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability in the labour force are unemployed (compared to 5.3% of Gold Coast’s overall labour force). By comparison, 16.3% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability were unemployed.

Level of post-school education

  • 7.9% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability aged 15 years or older had a Bachelor or Higher Degree (compared to 21.8% of Gold Coast’s overall population aged 15 years and older). By comparison, 7.3% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability had a Bachelor or Higher Degree.
  • 8.1% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability aged 15 years or older had an Advanced Diploma or Diploma (compared to 11.4% of Gold Coast’s overall population aged 15 years and older). By comparison, 7.5% of Queensland’s residents with a need for assistance due to disability had an Advanced Diploma or Diploma.

Long-term health conditions

  • 75.6% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability had one or more long-term health conditions. This is higher than the proportion of all Gold Coast residents who had one or more long-term health conditions (30.8%).
  • 30.8% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability reported having mental health as a long-term health condition. This is higher than the proportion of all Gold Coast residents with a mental health long-term condition (8.4%).
  • 30.8% of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability also reported having arthritis as a long-term condition, a health condition strongly correlated with age. This is higher than the proportion of all Gold Coast residents with arthritis as a long-term health condition (8.3%).
  • Almost 40% (39.8%) of Gold Coast residents with a need for assistance due to disability had an “other long-term health condition”, which was higher than for all Gold Coast residents who stated having an “other long-term health condition” (7.8%).

More information

If you would like more information, please contact us on 07 5581 6642 or email liveable@goldcoast.qld.gov.au