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African Population Studies
Union for African Population Studies
ISSN: 0850-5780
Vol. 19, No. 2, 2004, pp. 115-138
Bioline Code: ep04038
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Population Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2004, pp. 115-138

 en Disability in South Africa
Phillips, Heston & Noumbissi, Amadou


Very little research has been done on the demography of the disabled in Africa although many African censuses contain information on disability. This information can be used to characterize this phenomenon in Africa and compute useful indicators such as Disability Free Life Expectancy used in the evaluation of health especially at old ages. This paper focuses on the prevalence and the patterns in South Africa using the 1996 South Africa census micro data. We then examine the spatial variations in the disability-free life expectancy. Women seem to have higher disability rates than men at adolescent ages and at the oldest ages. At the youngest ages and for adults aged, men seem to report higher disability rates than women. Results also show that women live longer, have higher health expectancies and spend a greater part of their life in poor health than men. Wealthiest and more urbanized provinces such as Western Cape and Gauteng have higher life expectancy and higher disability-free life expectancy. Poorest provinces such as Free State and North West have the lowest life expectancy and higher life expectancy with disability.

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