142/2003  -  5 December 2003

 

 

Closing Ceremony of the European Year of People with Disabilities

One in six of the EU working-age population report disability

 

 

Among the working-age population1 in the EU in 2002, 16.4% - one in every six – reported that they had a long standing health problem or disability2 (LSHPD). Among the eight Acceding Countries3 taking part in the study, the proportion was 14.3%. In total among the 25 countries covered by the study, nearly 45 million persons of working-age reported a long standing health problem or disability.

To mark the European Commission Closing Ceremony for the European Year of People with Disabilities, which will take place from 5 to 7 December in Rome, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, publishes today a report4 on the employment of disabled people in Europe.

The proportion of the working-age population with LSHPD varies widely among Member States, with the highest percentage found in Finland (32.2%) and the United Kingdom (27.2%), and the lowest in Italy (6.6%) and Spain (8.7%). Among the Acceding Countries the highest percentage was found in Estonia (23.7%) and the lowest in Slovakia (8.2%). These large differences between countries should be interpreted with caution. They may partly reflect differences in how respondents perceived the questions and the replies could have been mediated by cultural traits.

Overall there is little difference in the prevalence of disability between males and females. The prevalence rates of LSHPD are higher among those with lower education, and among the widowed, divorced and the inactive. Not surprisingly, the rates of LSHPD increase with age in all Member States.

Percentage of the working age population with LSHPD in 2002

 

Total

Female

Male

 

Total

Female

Male

EU15

16.4

16.3

16.5

ACC*

14.3

14.5

14.0

Belgium

18.4

17.9

18.9

Czech Republic

20.2

21.1

19.2

Denmark

19.9

21.1

18.8

Estonia

23.7

24.2

23.1

Germany

11.2

10.3

12.2

Cyprus

12.2

11.1

13.4

Greece

10.3

10.6

9.9

Lithuania

8.4

8.5

8.3

Spain

8.7

8.0

9.4

Hungary

11.3

11.3

11.3

France

24.6

24.8

24.3

Malta

8.5

7.3

9.7

Ireland

11.0

10.5

11.6

Slovenia

19.5

19.1

19.9

Italy

6.6

6.3

7.0

Slovakia

8.2

8.2

8.1

Luxembourg

11.7

9.6

13.7

 

 

 

 

Netherlands

25.4

26.4

24.5

Norway

16.4

17.4

15.5

Austria

12.8

11.6

14.0

 

 

 

 

Portugal

20.1

21.6

18.5

Romania

5.8

6.5

5.0

Finland

32.2

33.6

30.7

 

 

 

 

Sweden

19.9

21.7

18.2

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom

27.2

27.8

26.7

 

 

 

 

* Excluding Latvia and Poland

 

Disabled persons and employment

Labour force participation is much lower for the severely disabled5: 78% of the very severely disabled, and 49% of the severely disabled, aged 16-64 in the EU were inactive in 2002, against 27% for the non-disabled. Even among those in the labour force, the unemployment rate was higher among the very severely disabled (12.8%) and severely disabled (10.9%) than among the non-disabled (7.2%). Participation in the labour force and unemployment rates for those with moderate or mild disability were, however, similar to those for the non-disabled.

Only 15.7% of working disabled people in the EU, and 11.4% of those in the Acceding Countries, who faced work restrictions, were provided with some assistance to work in 2002. In the EU the assistance provided most often concerned the kind of work to be performed (37%), support and understanding by superiors and colleagues (15%) or the amount of work to be performed (13%). Among the Acceding Countries most of the assistance provided concerned the kind of work (52%) and the amount of work to be performed (33%).

Working persons with LSHPD restriction receiving assistance to work (%) in 2002.

 

EU15

ACC

% receiving assistance to work

15.7

11.4

 

 

 

Type of assistance provided to work

 

 

Kind of work

37.1

51.5

Amount of work

13.1

33.3

Mobility to get to and from work

6.4

1.6

Mobility at work

2.7

3.3

Support and understanding by superiors and colleagues

14.8

6.1

Other

26.0

4.2

All

100.0

100.0

 

 

1.     Persons aged 16-64 years, living in private households. Persons carrying out obligatory military service are not included.

2.     Disabled persons were those who stated in the Labour Force Survey that they had a longstanding health problem or disability for 6 months or more or expected to last 6 months or more.

3.     Acceding Countries taking part were: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia. No data is available for Latvia and Poland.

4.     Eurostat, Statistics in Focus, Population and Social Conditions, 26/2003, "Employment of disabled people in Europe in 2002".

5.     Disability levels: Very severe disability applies to those who replied “considerably” or “to some extent” to all three questions on restrictions in (1) the kind of work that can be done, (2) the amount of work that can be done, and (3) mobility to and from work. Severe disability applies to respondents who replied “considerably” or “to some extent” to two of the three questions.

 


Issued by:

Eurostat Press Office

 

Philippe BAUTIER

 

BECH Building

L-2920 LUXEMBOURG

 

Tel: +352-4301-33 444

Fax: +352-4301-35 349

 

eurostat-pressoffice@cec.eu.int

 

Eurostat news releases on the Internet:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/


For further information on data:

 

Didier DUPRÉ

Tel: +352-4301-35 034

Fax: +352-4301-35 399

didier.dupre@cec.eu.int

 

Antti KARJALAINEN

Tel: +352-4301-32 693

Fax: +352-4301-35 399

antti.karjalainen@cec.eu.int

 

Eurostat Data Shop Network:

List of addresses

http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/

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