Prevalence of disability (source LFS) (hlth_dsb_prv)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Unit F5: Education, health and social protection

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 30/07/2014
2.2. Metadata last posted 30/07/2014
2.3. Metadata last update 30/07/2014

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

In 2011, the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) included an ad hoc module (AHM) on employment of disabled people. The module consisted of 11 variables dealing with:

  • Health problems and difficulties in basic activities;
  • Limitations in work caused by health problems/difficulties in basic activities;
  • Special assistance needed or used by people with health problems/difficulties in basic activities;
  • Limitation in work because of other reasons.

On the basis of how the module was operationalised, the following two main definitions for disability were considered for presenting the results:

  • Disabled persons = People having a basic activity difficulty (such as seeing, hearing, walking, communicating);
  • Disabled persons = People having a work limitation caused by a longstanding health condition and/or a basic activity difficulty.

32 countries have implemented this module: the EU 28 Member States plus Turkey, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The Norwegian data are not disseminated because the AHM questionnaire in Norway only partly complies with the Commission Regulation (EU) No 317/2010 and consequently, the data are incomplete and partly comparable.

Missing values, don't know and refusal answers are not considered in the calculations. It means the indicators have been worked out on the respondents and validated answers only.

3.2. Classification system

The data collection is based on the EU-LFS and as such the standard classifications of this survey are used. In particular the breakdown tables use:

  • NACE Rev.2: Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community for economic activity;
  • ISCO-08: International standard classification of occupations for occupation;
  • ISCED-97: International standard classification of education for level of education.

For full details on these classifications, please see our nomenclature server Ramon.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The results refer to persons aged 15-64 years living in private households.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Different concepts are used in the tables.

Longstanding health problem: A longstanding health problem is a health condition or disease which has lasted or is likely to last for at least 6 months. The main characteristics of a longstanding condition or disease are that it is permanent and may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation or care. Acute (temporary) health problem, such as a sprained ankle or a respiratory tract infection are not considered as being longstanding.

Basic activity limitation: A basic activity limitation is defined as the difficulties the individual experience in performing an activity (such as, seeing, hearing, walking, and communicating). Only long-term difficulties are considered, e.g. the length of difficulty must have lasted or be expected to last for six months or more.

Type of limitation in work caused by a longstanding health condition and/or a basic activity difficulty: Data on the type of limitation in work applied to the sub-population who declared having a longstanding health problem or a basic activity limitation. People were asked about they encounter limitations:

  • In the amount of work (i.e. the number of hours);
  • In the type of work (for instance, having problems in carrying heavy loads, working outdoors, sitting for a long time);
  • Getting to and from work.

Assistance needed/assistance provided: Data on the type of assistance provided or needed applies to the sub-populations of persons who declared having a longstanding health problem or a basic activity difficulty. The term ‘assistance’ refers to special personal assistance (from family members, relatives, friends, colleagues or other persons), organisational and environmental changes (special equipment/workplace adaptations, and special working arrangements) which help a disabled person carrying out work activities.

Assistance provided was asked for employed persons.

Assistance needed was asked for persons not in employment.

The employment and activity related concepts and definitions used in the survey follow the guidelines of the International Labour Organisation.

Employed persons are persons who performed work, even for just one hour per week, for pay, profit or family gain during the reference week or were not at work but had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent because of, for instance, illness, holidays, industrial dispute, or education and training.

Unemployed persons are persons who were without work during the reference week, were currently available for work and were either actively seeking work in the past four weeks or had already found a job to start within the next three months

Active persons is defined as the sum of employed and unemployed persons.

Inactive persons are those who are neither classified as employed nor unemployed.

For a detailed description of methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the EU-LFS, please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

Not employed are those who are either unemployed or inactive.

Activity rate represents active persons as a percentage of total population.

Employment rate represents employed persons as a percentage of total population.

Unemployment rate represents unemployment persons as a percentage of the active population.

3.5. Statistical unit


3.6. Statistical population

Working age population (i.e. persons aged 15-64 years) living in private households and usually residing in Member States;

For more details and exceptions, please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Methodology.

3.7. Reference area

EU-28 Member States, Turkey, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Data are currently available at national level.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The data refer to 2011.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

Indicators are reported in absolute values (number of persons) or as rates in %.

5. Reference Period Top

The data were collected during 2011 (entire year or in specific quarters, depending on the country) and refer to the current situation of the population.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Commission Regulation (EU) No 317/2010 of 16 April 2010 adopting the specifications of the 2011 ad hoc module on employment of disabled people for the labour force sample survey provided for by Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98.

See EU labour force survey – main features and legal basis for other legal acts

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The EU-LFS rules apply.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not applicable.

8.2. Release calendar access

 Not available.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Only 2011 data are available.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release


10.2. Dissemination format - Publications


10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line. Health/disability dedicated section

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

EU-LFS anonymised microdata are available for research purposes. Please consult access to microdata.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

10.6. Documentation on methodology

For information on the 2011 EU- LFS ad hoc module on “employment of disabled people”, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

For a detailed description of methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the EU-LFS, for general information, please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage. 

The EU-LFS disseminates also publications on the methodology of the survey. For more information, please consult Labour Market (including the Labour Force Survey).

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Please consult the evaluation report at EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

The EU-LFS disseminates also publications on the methodology of the survey. For more information please consult: Quality reports and methodological publications.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The concern for the quality of labour statistics in general and of the EU-LFS in particular has been expressed in Regulations, reflected in harmonised definitions and discussed in Working groups (such as the Labour Markey Statistics Working Group and its predecessor the Employment Statistics Working Group), workshops and seminars within the European statistical system.

Concerning the EU-LFS, major milestones in the improvement of its quality have been the adoption of Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 on the organisation of a continuous, quarterly sample survey in the Community; the adoption of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1897/2000 concerning the operational definition of unemployment and the 12 principles for formulating questions on labour status; the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1991/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council making the continuous survey mandatory from 2003 onwards (except Italy from 2004 and Germany from 2005) and the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 2257/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council extending the survey characteristics and introducing the distinction between structural and quarterly variables.

Eurostat and the Member States have continuously worked also on a voluntary basis to improve the quality of the EU-LFS Annual quality reports were introduced in 2002 and quarterly accuracy reports were introduced in 2004. Standards and rules for preparing ad hoc modules were adopted in 2004. At the initiative of Member States, a programme of annual EU-LFS workshops was started in 2005.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The overall quality of EU-LFS statistics is considered as high. EU-LFS surveys are considered as reliable sources applying high standards with regard to the methodology. However, the EU-LFS, like all surveys, is based upon a sample of the population. The results are therefore subject to the usual types of errors associated with random sampling. Based on the sample size and design in the various Member States, Eurostat implements basic guidelines intended to avoid publication of figures that are unreliable or to give warning of the unreliability of the figures.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

A multiannual ad hoc module programme is agreed between Eurostat, the National Statistical Institutes and the main policy users (basically Commission services).

EU-LFS results are used mainly by the DG Employment and a number of other Directorates of the Commission for measurement and monitoring of policy agendas purposes. For disability-related issues, DG Justice is the main user. Results from the 2011 ad-hoc module are needed in order to monitor progress towards the implementation of Article 27 of the UN Convention and the objectives of the European Employment Strategy, the European Disability Strategy as well as to measure the evolution of labour market participation of persons with disabilities.

Other key users include National Statistics Institutes (NSIs), disabled people organisations, international organisations, news agencies and researchers.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Eurostat does not carry out any satisfaction survey targeted at users of labour markets statistics. The relevance of the EU-LFS statistics for the users can thus only be assessed by indirect means. These requests are subject to scrutiny by the national experts and representatives of the NSIs. For major topics of interest, the instrument of ad hoc modules has proven to be useful and flexible. For users other than the Commission, anecdotal evidence for relevance can be found in positive feedbacks from individual users, or even in the absence of complaint. The main institutional users, however, are known to the unit for Labour Market Statistics. Many of them are frequently consulted on various aspects of development and dissemination of labour force statistics.

12.3. Completeness

Even if otherwise adhering to the EU-regulations on the EU-LFS, including its ad-hoc modules, countries do not always provide data for all the variables. This can be for various reasons, such as assessment that the variable in question is irrelevant to the labour market situation in the country, or, in case of new variables, for avoiding breaks in time series.

Some NSIs implement the full set of questions only in the spring or to a certain survey wave.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The overall accuracy is considered as high. The EU-LFS covers persons aged 15 years and over, living in private households, to ensure a comparable coverage for all countries. The sampling designs in the EU-LFS are chosen on a country by country basis (sampling rates vary between 0.2 % and 1.6 %). Most of the National Statistics Institutes employ multi-staged stratified random sample design, especially those that do not have central population registers available. As the results are based on a sample of population they are subject to the usual types of errors associated with sampling techniques and interviews.

13.2. Sampling error

Not available.

13.3. Non-sampling error

a) Coverage errors

Nonexistent or uninhabited houses or population no longer living in the country are main causes of overcoverage, especially for the countries who use the Census list. Under-coverage problems are caused by the time lag in registering new residents or newly constructed dwellings. Field work problems during the survey are also found on multiple households which are recorded as one household in the framing list or the opposite. Coverage errors (undercoverage, overcoverage, misclassification) are documented for each country in the Quality Report of the European Union Labour Force Survey.

b) Measurement errors

No estimates of measurement errors are available. However, the number of proxy interviews, the average number of interviews per interviewer and statistics on the last updates of the questionnaire, are all related to the error sources listed above.

c) Processing errors

Between data collection and the beginning of statistical analysis for the production of statistics, data must undergo a certain processing: coding, data entry, data editing, imputation, etc. There are no estimates available on the rate of processing errors in the EU-LFS.

d) Non-response errors

Non-response rates are not fully comparable throughout EU. Most of the countries calculate non-response on the basis of the household unit, with the exception of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland which calculate non-response on person basis. The treatment of non-response in the follow up waves is also different between countries. Some Participating Countries do not take previous non-response into account when calculating the non-response in later waves, whereas others do. Thus the former countries may show lower non-response rates on the average than the latter.

Two different non-responses have to be considered: the overall non-response to the EU-LFS core and the non-response to the 2011 EU-LFS AHM. When a person did not answer the EU-LFS, consequently he/she did not answer the 2011 EU-LFS AHM. For more details, please consult the Statistics explained on the non-response analysis.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

 Main results were published in July 2014.

14.2. Punctuality

All participating countries delivered the data on time, namely before 31 March 2012. Several countries sent revisions after the initial transmission.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

For details on comparability see Disability statistics backgrounds - Labour force survey - comparability and accuracy.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Not available.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Other datasets on this topic are not available.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not available.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The duration of the extra interview time of the 2011 EU-LFS AHM varied from 24 seconds to 15 minutes between countries, with an average of 5 minutes.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

EU-LFS data for ad-hoc modules, once released, are not usually revised, unless major errors are identified in the data delivered or in their processing. Exceptional revisions may happen e.g. after new estimates of population from a population census.

17.2. Data revision - practice

 Not applicable

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Survey data collected by the Member States according to the Commission Regulation (EU) No 317/2010 of 16 April 2010 adopting the specifications of the 2011 ad hoc module on employment of disabled people for the labour force sample survey provided for by Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98.

EU-LFS is a rotating random sample survey of persons in private households under the responsibility of the national statistical institutes

For a detailed description of methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the EU-LFS, please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

 Not applicable

18.3. Data collection

The Labour Force Survey which is carried out according to the principles of a household survey. The AHM on employment of disabled people is integrated into the EU-LFS questionnaire. National statistical institutes conduct the direct interviews among households/individuals.

18.4. Data validation

Prior to the dissemination of transmitted national data, Eurostat checks the data quality and consistency.

18.5. Data compilation

EU aggregate is calculated aggregating estimated population totals from Member States.

18.6. Adjustment

 Not applicable

19. Comment Top


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top