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2001 New Zealand Disability Survey: Snapshot 8 (Intellectual Disabilities) - Media Release

New Zealand Disability Survey Snapshot 8
Intellectual Disabilities


  • An estimated 5 percent of disabled adults (32,400) had intellectual disabilities in 2001.
    This was approximately 1 percent of the total adult population of New Zealand.
  • Eighty-nine percent of adults with intellectual disabilities (28,900) were living in households; the remaining 11 percent (3,500) were living in residential care.
  • Approximately 14 percent of disabled children (0 to 14 years) living in households (13,000) had an intellectual disability or a general development delay. This was just under 2 percent of all children in households in 2001.
  • The majority (71 percent) of people with intellectual disabilities were aged under 45 years.
    By comparison, 39 percent of all disabled people were under 45 years old.
  • Some 23,700 adults with intellectual disabilities needed support from other people or organisations, such as IHC or People First, because of their intellectual disability.

    1. Education

    Ninety-six percent of intellectually disabled children, aged 5 to 14 years, (10,800) were enrolled in some type of education. Some 2,300 were attending a special school, or had attended a special school in the past.

    Some 15,700 adults with intellectual disabilities had attended a special school, or received special education, because of their intellectual disability.

    An estimated 11 percent of intellectually disabled children, aged 5 to 14 years, (1,200) had not always been able to enrol at the school of their choice. Reasons for this included the school being unwelcoming, and special services/equipment needed not being available.

    Approximately 7,200 intellectually disabled children, aged 5 to 14 years, had been professionally assessed to determine their developmental or educational needs. Two examples of professional assessment are an Individual Education Programme (IEP), and an Individual Development Programme (IDP).

    More information

    This is the eighth in a series of nine snapshots presenting a selection of findings from the 2001 New Zealand Disability Survey. The survey provides an overview of disability in New Zealand. It covers people living in households and residential care facilities. The results are comparable with those from the 1996–1997 New Zealand Disability Survey.

    The final snapshot, "New Zealand Disability Survey Snapshot 9: Psychiatric and Psychological Disabilities", will be published on 2 August 2002. A technical report containing information about how the survey was conducted, and tables from the 1996–1997 and 2001 New Zealand Disability Surveys was published on 30 May 2002. This report is available free on the Statistics New Zealand website: www.stats.govt.nz.

    Brian Pink
    Government Statistician


    For technical information contact:
    Mary-Anne Stewart or Denise Brown
    Wellington 04 495 4600
    Email: mary-anne_stewart@stats.govt.nz

    24 July 2002
    Cat 01.500 Set 02/03 - 010

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