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People living with a disability 2022 quality of life survey snapshot

Ashleigh Prakash
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU, Quality of Life Project
Publication date:  



People living with a disability made up 14 per cent of the overall 2022 Quality of Life sample. The 2022 survey asked respondents whether they experienced long-term and persistent difficulties with six abilities: seeing, hearing, walking or climbing steps (mobility), remembering or concentrating (cognition), self-care, and communicating in their everyday language. Those who selected ‘a lot of difficulty’ or ‘cannot do at all’ for at least one of these were classified as ‘living with a disability’.

Living with a disability was more common among those aged 18-24 and 65 years and over. However, there were age differences in the types of disabilities reported. Those aged 65+ more commonly reported mobility difficulties, whereas those aged under 25 more often reported cognitive difficulties. Living with a disability was also more common among Māori and Pacific respondents.

Two-thirds (65%) of those who reported living with a disability indicated that their overall quality of life was good. They tended to report poorer physical and mental health outcomes than the rest of the sample.

Those with a disability also more often reported experiencing a range of economic challenges, compared to those that did not have a disability. For instance, many reported being unable to work due to their health challenges, were more likely to report they did not have enough money to meet their everyday needs and were also less likely to be living in a high-income household. This resulted in other challenges, such as with housing costs.

Despite these challenges, those living with a disability were well-connected to their communities and had a high level of social participation. They also reported that they had good access to support systems. ...


The Quality of Life survey was first conducted in 2003, repeated in 2004, and has been undertaken every two years since. The number of participating councils has varied each time.

Nine councils participated in the 2022 Quality of Life survey project, as follows:

  • Auckland Council
  • Hamilton City Council
  • Tauranga City Council
  • Hutt City Council
  • Porirua City Council
  • Wellington City Council
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Dunedin City Council
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council

The target population was New Zealanders aged 18 years and over, living within the areas governed by the participating councils.

May 2023


See also

Other snapshots

Rainbow people

Views on climate change Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland

Wellbeing of homeowners and renters Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland

Young people


Quality of Life Project reports

Quality of life survey 2002. Results for Auckland

Quality of life survey 2022. Topline report

Quality of life survey 2022. Technical report

Quality of Life Project

Wellbeing among Auckland homeowners and renters: results from the Quality of Life survey