Statistics NZ labour market and household statistics manager Diane Ramsay said the proportion of people aged 65 and over was growing, and this was feeding into the upward trend.
Among the other notable findings:
* Among boys under 15, an estimated 13% were disabled, while for girls, 8% were disabled.
* For males and females aged 15-44, the figure was16% in both cases.
* 28% of both men and women aged 45 to 64 were disabled.
* For those aged 65 and over, 58% of men and 60% of women were disabled.
To some degree, of course, these data need to be seasoned with a little salt.
The difference between a survey and a serious prevalence study is significant: the average pollster probably wouldn’t recognise an epidemiologist if they fell over one. And the definition of 'disability' here seems to be as wide - and low - as respondents want it to be.
Still, food for thought.
David Cohen is a journalist and author who often writes about health, disability, and family caring topics.