The data collected in Census 2001 indicates that there were 2 255 982 people with various forms of disability.
This number constituted 5% of the total population enumerated in this census. Of this number, 1 854 376 were African, 168 678 coloured, 41 235 Indian/Asian and 191 693 white.
The number of females affected was 1 173 939, compared to 1 082 043 males.
The provincial prevalence levels show that the most affected province was Free State with a prevalence of 6,8% and the least affected Gauteng (3,8%).
The prevalence increased by age from 2% in the age group 0-9 years to 27% in the age group 80 years and above.
Those who had post-secondary education had the lowest prevalence (3%) compared to those who had no schooling (10,5%), primary level (5,2%) and secondary level of education (3,9%).
The prevalence of sight disability was the highest (32%) followed by physical disability (30%), hearing (20%), emotional disability (16%), intellectual disability (12%) and communication disability (7%).
A comparison of the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of disabled and nondisabled persons shows that disabled persons were on average older. About 30% of disabled people had no education while only 13% of the non-disabled population fell in this category. However, the most affected population group in this regard were Africans.
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