KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – 30.4%, or almost one in three Nova Scotians, self-identifies as living with one or more disabilities, new data published by Statistics Canada show.
No other province comes close to those numbers. Canada-wide the percentage is 22.3%, or more like one in five.
The high percentage of Nova Scotians living with disabilities isn’t just because the province has a relatively high share of Canada’s ageing population, as is often assumed. Nova Scotia leads the pack in all age-groups.
|75 years and over||47.4%||47.4%|
25.1% of Nova Scotians with disabilities consider those disabilities to be severe. Once again that’s more than any other province, with a Canadian average of 22.1%
Unsurprisingly, people who live with disabilities have a hard time finding a job. While almost 79% of Nova Scotians are employed, this is only the case for 62.2% of Nova Scotians with one or more disabilities.
Stats Canada also collects data about the types of disability people self-report.
Almost 150,000 Nova Scotians live with chronic pain, some 10,000 Nova Scotians self-reported as living with developmental disabilities.
Also note the high proportion of people who report living with mental health issues, numbers that make Nova Scotia’s crisis in mental health care all the more urgent.
Even more remarkable is that across all age groups the number of people reporting mental health issues is consistently higher in Nova Scotia than in Canada altogether.
So now you know.
- Richard Starr: Surveys show regional disability rates high, provincial spending on disability low
- James McGregor Stewart Society: Statscan’t II
Here are the data tables I used for this article:
- Persons with and without disabilities aged 15 years and over, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces and territories
- Severity of disability for persons with disabilities aged 15 years and over, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces and territories
- Type of disability for persons with disabilities aged 15 years and over, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces and territories
- Labour force status of persons with and without disabilities aged 25 to 64 years, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces and territories
With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.
Subscribe to the Nova Scotia Advocate weekly digest and never miss an article again.