Census shows rise in Kildare disability profile

One third increase in psychological and emotional conditions

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Email:

henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

A tourist in a wheelchair was targeted by thugs in Limerick city centre

The five years in the run up to the Census of  2016 has seen a relatively large increase in the number of  people with disability in county Kildare.

Figures from Census 2016 released by the Central Statistics Office last week, (Profile 9: Health, Disability and Caring) show that Kildare had the fourth highest relative rise in the number of people with disability.

While 12.5% of the population was classified as disabled, one of the lowest proportions in the State, the picture changes when one looks at the increases in the numbers in the previous five years.

While the  population rose by 5.8% between 2011 and 2016, the percentage of people with a disability of any kind increased by 13.9% to 27,768 - up from 24,369 in 2011.

This percentage rise in disability numbers  was the third highest in the State, after Meath (14.9%) and Fingal (14.5).

For the State as a whole the increase was 8%. There was a 15.4% increase across the State of those with an “intellectual disability” but in Kildare this figure was 21.2%, the numbers rising to 3,198 in the county, when the Census was carried out in April of last year.

This was the sixth highest percentage increase in the state in that category.

Those declared to have “psychological or emotional conditions” in the county amounted to 3,998 last year. This was a 34.6% increase over the five years, the ninth highest percentage rise in the State.

When it came to those classified as blind, or with serious vision impairment, the county recorded the fourth highest increase in the State, the numbers rising by 12.9% to 2,112.

Kildare also recorded the fourth largest percentage rise in the number of those with deafness or serious hearing impairment. They rose 20.7% to 4,222.

There was also a large increase in the numbers of those defined as having “difficulty in working or attending college”.

The numbers here rose 19.6% to 9,197, compared to an increase for the State as a whole of 8.4%.

Another section of the report outlines the age group of those classified with various disabilities.

Overall the number of people with disability in Kildare was  25,258, out of a population of 220,923.

Of the 25,258, 7,982 or 32% were aged under 35 years.

Another 25% - 6,357  people- were aged 65 or over.

There were 3,332 in the 35-44 age group and 3,641 in the 45-54 year age group.

Another 3,946 people were in the 55-64 year age group. The CSO said that nationally the number of people with a disability increased by 47,796 between 2011 and 2016.