Monday

25th Sep 2017

Focus

Disability in figures

People from Malta are least likely to say they have health problems that limit their daily activities. In 2011, almost 88 out of 100 told EU pollsters they were fine.

In contrast, only 64 percent of Slovenes did and - in 2010 - some 75 percent of EU citizens in general.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Almost 9 in 10 Maltese reported not having any health problems that limit their daily activities. (Photo: European Commission)

That number has remained fairly constant over the past decade, even though in some countries, it has gone up or down over the years.

In Bulgaria, where in 2007 more than 95 percent said to have no problems, in 2011 less than 83 percent did. Similar drops have occurred in Italy and Denmark, while in Sweden, there was a rise of that magnitude.

In all EU member states, men report less health problems than women do. The average difference is some five percent. In some countries, including Denmark and the Netherlands, the difference is closer to 10 percent.

But that may be due to the fact that women tend to live longer.

Old people have more health problems than young people. For those aged 85 and above, that is more than 10 times as much as for those aged 16 to 24, of which seven percent complained about some kind of impairment.

The figures are from the EU's statistics office Eurostat and refer to people who reported feeling “limited in activities [they] usually do because of health problems for at least the last six months.”

They do not include those who are born blind, for example, as they are unlikely to feel limited by their lack of eyesight in the activities they usually do.

The EU does not on a regular basis collect data on people with disabilities as such. One of the problems is finding a common definition of disability, which, according to the European Disability Forum, an umbrella organisation, "is not an easy task."

The European Commission estimates that including all who have a “long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment,” one in six people in the EU have a disability - or some 80 million.

Of them, some 30 million people are blind or partially sighted, according to the European Blind Union.

Deaf people are far less numerous, with some 750,000 users of sign language in Europe, according to a spokesperson for the European Union of the Deaf.

There are an estimated 5 million wheelchair users in Europe.

Other prevalent disabilities - severe and less severe - include dyslexia, with in Europe an estimated 25 million sufferers, stuttering, with 5 million, and autism, with 3.3 million.

Disability and EU austerity: a Portuguese case study

As executive director of a recuperation centre for disabled people in central Portugal, Cristina Silva has seen first hand how the economic crisis in Portugal is affecting society's most vulnerable.

EU parliament leaders in disability pledge

European Parliament leaders have committed themselves to better upholding the rights of persons with disabilities, starting with making their political websites more universally accessible ahead of next year's EU elections.

Interview

Disability in the EU - a 'paradigm shift'

Over recent decades, there has been a "paradigm shift" in the way disability rights are treated in the European Union with policy-makers now focussing on how to make society more inclusive of disabled people.

Article 7 not mentioned in Poland probe update

While Polish president Andrzej Duda proposes amendments to further increase political control over the judiciary, EU ministers voice support for the rule of law, but make no mention of the Article 7 sanctions.

US tests EU patience over Privacy Shield

The data sharing pact with the US is yet to be fully implemented, as the Americans have failed to appoint people in key positions to ensure EU citizens' personal data is protected.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel