The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) classifies disability in three interrelated areas, as follows:

  1. Impairment: loss or abnormality of a body part (i.e., structure) or body function (i.e., physiological function including mental functions),
  2. Activity limitation: difficulties an individual may have in executing activities, and
  3. Participation restriction: problems an individual may experience in life situations.

Disability refers to challenges faced in all three areas. Disability denotes the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual’s health condition and that individual’s environmental or personal factors (WHO 2013).

Disability is best understood as a continuum. In terms of difficulty functioning, the ‘difficulty’ can be operationalized through a range of descriptors from no difficulty at all, to some difficulty, to a lot of difficulty, to completely unable to carry out the action.  Each of these descriptors represents a possible cut-off, or threshold, in the determination of a final disability identifier; for example, to define those with and without disability.

Depending on purpose, disability prevalence is not a single statistic. It can be calculated at various thresholds to serve purpose for both data collection and reporting.  For example, if the purpose is to provide for equitable access to public spaces, then the level of inclusion for a disability identifier might be some difficulty, since those with even minor levels of difficulty functioning would likely benefit from adaptations made to remove barriers and ease access.  Alternatively, if the purpose is to provide subsidies or allowances, the level of inclusion for a disability identifier might be cannot do at all since only those with more severe functional limitations would meet stricter eligibility criteria.

Disability statistics are often captured through specific questions in population and housing censuses or through surveys.

Disability statistics can highlight disparities, such as if there are employment gaps between people with disability and people without disability.

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News & Publications

Kiribati Census Atlas

July 25, 2022
Kiribati Census Atlas provides insights into people and housing across the islands.

Marshall Islands compendium of analysis of the 2019/20 HIES

July 17, 2022
The compendium presents information on poverty, food consumption, labour, and household income and expenditure.

Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping of Food Systems: Supporting Access to Timely and Open Data in the Pacific

September 13, 2021
Timely access to reliable data on food security is vital for decision making in times of crisis, especially for the Pacific in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

2019 Nauru mini-census fact sheets

July 8, 2021
The 2019 Nauru mini-census was carried out to update statistics on the population and the socio-economic situation of all persons living in private households in Nauru.
Topic Dataflows

PDH.stat datasets

  • .statDisability statistics
    Number and proportion of persons by sex, age and urbanization for different disability types and different disability cut-off points.