More than 14% of people over 15 in France are disabled, according to two studies published Thursday by Drees, the statistical service of social ministries.

This gives some 7.7 million, while 9.3 million declare themselves to be “caregivers” of an elderly or disabled relative.

These figures are not taken from administrative data, nor linked to the benefits paid to the people concerned, but from a vast survey, “Daily life and health” carried out in 2021 and 2022 among 334,000 people.

Disability being a “complex concept”, two approaches were combined to count the people concerned, explain the authors.

On the one hand, respondents were asked if they felt “strongly limited” in “activities that people usually do”.

On the other hand, they were asked to report a possible “severe limitation for a physical, sensory or cognitive function”.

500,000 helping minors

In the end, 7.7 million people over the age of 15 in France are in a position to have answered "yes" to one or other of the two questions, i.e. 14.1% of those over 15 - including 4.7% who combine the two criteria.

Among children aged 5 to 14, 4.8% fall into one or the other group, but the proportion rises to 25.5% for those over 60.

In addition, France has 9.3 million caregivers, including 500,000 minors, and 55% women, indicates the DREES on the basis of the same survey.

These are people declaring that they “provide regular assistance to a relative with a disability or loss of autonomy”, whether or not they live with this relative.

Of this total, 5.7 million provide "daily life assistance" to their loved one, 6.4 million provide "moral support", and 1.3 million provide financial assistance, with a third of the total combining two or three of these forms of help.

"The percentage of people declaring themselves as informal caregivers increases with age until around 60, then tends to decrease, with the exception of a rebound between 80 and 85, which can be explained by the entry into the dependence of the spouses of the elderly”, explains the DREES.


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