Communiqué on Major Statistics of the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability

December 1, 2006

With the approval of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability (hereinafter referred to as “the Survey”) is under way from 2006 to 2007. In order to ensure the Survey activities proceed in a planned and coordinated way, the Leading Group of the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability was formed with participation of 16 ministries and agencies, including the National Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Health, China Disabled Persons’ Federation. After more than two years of meticulous preparation, the Survey was launched on April 1, 2006 in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties concerned, the major survey tasks have basically been completed. The preliminary results of the main survey items are as follows.

1. General Information

Utilizing the methods of stratified, multi-phased and cluster probability sampling design, the Survey sampled a total of 734 counties (cities or districts) and 2,980 towns (townships or communities) from the 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government. The number of sampling areas came up to 5,964, with 420 persons averaged in each area.

The survey reference time was zero hour, April 1, 2006 and the enumeration period started on April 1 and ended on May 31, 2006. Under the leadership of governments at different levels,738 survey teams were organized, comprising more than 20,000 enumerators, nearly 6,000 doctors of various specialties, more than 730 statisticians and over 50,000 survey assistants. The survey teams visited each of the sampled households, interviewing, screening and assessing disabled people. Up to now all the work of enumeration, recheck, and survey quality evaluation has been accomplished.

In this Survey, 2,526,145 persons in 771,797 households were investigated and the sampling ratio was 1.93 per thousand. A total of 2,108,410 persons were interviewed, accounting for 83.46 percent of all people being covered. According to the “Disability Screening Method of the Second National Sample Survey on Disability”, 15.66 percent of those aged 7 and above were screened out as suspected disabled persons and 99.15 percent of them were examined by medical specialists.

2. Numbers and Proportions

The preliminary survey results indicate that there were 142,112 households with disabled persons out of all those surveyed and the number of persons with disability totaled 161,479. Among them there were 23,840 persons with visual disability, 38,370 with hearing disability, 2,510 with speech disability, 48,045 with physical disability, 10,844 with mental retardation, 11,790 with mental disability and 26,080 with multiple disabilities.

On the basis of the survey results, it is estimated that there are 82.96 million persons with different types of disabilities in China. With reference to the 2005 year-end statistics on the total population of China released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, it is estimated that there were 1,309.48 million people in China at the time when the Survey was conducted. Based on this figure, the estimated proportion of disabled persons to the total national population is 6.34 percent. Thus the numbers and proportions of persons with various disabilities are as follows: visual disability, 12.33 million or 14.86 percent; hearing disability, 20.04 million or 24.16 percent; speech disability, 1.27 million or 1.53 percent; and physical disability, 24.12 million or 29.07 percent; mental retardation, 5.54 million or 6.68 percent; mental disability, 6.14 million or 7.40 percent; and multiple disabilities, 13.52 million or 16.30 percent.

Compared with the results of the First National Sample Survey on Disability in 1987, the total number of disabled persons has increased, the proportion of disabled persons to the total population has risen and the structure of disability categories has changed. The causes of these changes are population growth and structural changes, social and environmental changes, and the revision of disability classifications between the two surveys.Further analyses of the changes will proceed with detailed data tabulation and further information collection.

3. Survey Quality Evaluation

After completion of enumeration and recheck in all sampled provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, 99 sampling areas were selected randomly for re-enumeration in accordance with the Post Survey Quality Check Measures. The results of this quality check show that the omission rate of the resident population was 1.31 per thousand, the omission rate of the disabled population was 1.12 per thousand, and the permitted error of proportion of the disabled population to the total national population is 0.97 per thousand, all within the permission of the survey design. An evaluation on the survey procedures and data quality shows that the Survey is successful and the data are reliable. The extensive data obtained from the Survey will provide basic reference for economic and social development as well as the development of the work for disabled people in China.


1. All figures given in this Communiqué are preliminary.

2. People covered in this Survey were those of Chinese nationality and were permanent residents living on the Chinese Mainland. The disabled persons are identified and classified according to “the Second National Disability Sample Survey Disability Classification”.

3. The total population of China does not include those people living in Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan Province.