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Has disability/long-term health condition

Codes and Frequencies

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DISAB reports whether or not respondent has a disability or long-term health limiting condition.

Comparability — Index

South Africa
United Kingdom
United States


It should be noted that the way disability is defined tends to vary across surveys, which may affect the degree of cross-survey comparability of the variable DISAB. Where possible, health variables and not economic activity status are employed to construct this variable (thus allowing users to identify working people with disabilities). When such distinctions are not possible then the only information is from a main economic activity status variable.

Comparability — Austria [top]

In 1992, while the survey does mark households with a person with a disability, this information is not available at the individual level. In the case of 1 person households or households with one person with a disability and one care-taker, the person with the disability could be identified.

Comparability — Canada [top]

In 2005 and 2010, there is no variable in the original data that explicitly asks about having a disability. The variable that is closest asks whether a diarist's "daily activities at home, work, school or any other area [are] limited by a physical condition". DISAB takes the value 1 if the diarist answers "Often or always" to this question. Additionally, it is similarly categorized if the respondent replied yes to the question: Are there any particular reasons why you did not regularly participate in any sports? Otherwise, this variable takes the value 0.

Comparability — Finland [top]

In 1979, the diarist is classified as having a disability if his or her illness "limits everyday life". Otherwise he or she is classified as not having a disability.

Comparability — Italy [top]

In 2001, the universe for this variable excludes all respondents age 3-14 years of age.

Comparability — South Africa [top]

In 2000, DISAB was coded using the original “reason for not looking for work variable (NOTLOOKI); a specific variable identifying disability status was no available.

Comparability — United Kingdom [top]

In 1987, the survey asked main respondents whether they had a long-term limiting health condition and whether they received a disability-related pension. The only questions asked of other diarists who are disabled is a current economic activity status variable that includes a category for not working on the grounds of disability. There is an additional question asking if anyone in the household received disability benefits. Where there are two people in the household and the main respondent does not have a disability, the other household member is coded as being disabled. The basis on which this variable is coded differs across the households and household members.

Comparability — United States [top]

In 1992-94 and 1998-2001, this information is drawn from economic activity status variable and only possible to create where the person does not hold a paid job.


  • All persons.


  • Austria: 1992, 2008
  • Bulgaria: 2001
  • Canada: 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Finland: 1979, 2009
  • France: 1985
  • Hungary: 1999, 2009
  • Israel: 1991
  • Italy: 2002, 2008
  • Netherlands: 2000
  • South Africa: 2000
  • Spain: 2002
  • United Kingdom: 1983, 1987, 2000, 2005
  • United States: 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003-2022