Structural Similarities between Populations of Persons with and without Disabilities by Selected Social and Economic Factors

Agata Girul, Edyta Mazurek


Cohesion policy pursued by the EU addresses the important issue of improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities and, above all, preventing their social exclusion and discrimination. Measures in support of these aims are included in many strategic documents, among others, Europe 2020 and Strategy for Accountable Development until 2020. This paper aims to assess the situation of persons with disabilities compared to persons without disabilities by selected socio-economic variables and on the basis of real data from the 2011 General Population and Housing Census. The population structure of persons with and without disabilities was compared using statistical methods based on indexes of structural similarity, the Gini coefficient, and chi-squared statistic.
The structures of the examined groups of persons with and without disabilities turned out to be similar with respect to education and civil status, but significantly dissimilar with respect to age, economic activity, and source of income. Compared to persons without disabilities, among disabled persons there are considerably more persons who are professionally inactive and hence non-wage earners, living on retirement or disability pensions. Persons without disabilities begin living on their own sooner than persons with disabilities. Today, the lower level of education and professional activity among persons with disabilities compared to persons without disabilities is the most fundamental and difficult challenge for government policy towards persons with disabilities.


persons with disabilities, discrimination, index of structural similarity, Gini coefficients, labour market

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