Disability facts and figures

In the UK

  • There are more than 11 million disabled people in the UK.
  • 1 in 6 of us will be affected by disability at some point in our lives. For many of us, it will be the hardest thing we ever have to face.
  • 8 out of 10 people with a disability weren’t born with it. The vast majority become disabled through an injury, accident, heart attack, stroke or conditions like MS and motor neurone disease.
  • Disabled people are far less likely to be employed than non-disabled people. Fewer than 50% of working-age disabled people are in work, compared to 75% of non-disabled people.
  • Disabled people’s day to day living costs are 25% higher than those of non-disabled people.
  • Disabled people are around three times as likely not to hold any qualifications compared to non-disabled people.
  • A third of disabled people have never used the internet, compared to just 8% of non-disabled people – a ‘digital divide’ of 25%.
  • Disabled people are significantly more likely to be victims of crime than non-disabled people.
  • One in three households with a disabled person still live in ‘non-decent accommodation’.


  • There are 1 billion disabled people worldwide. That's 15% of the world’s population.
  • 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries.
  • Over 400 million people with disabilities live below the poverty line.
  • Roughly one in three of the children around the world who do not have access to primary education have a disability.
  • 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school.
  • Health and rehabilitation services are unaffordable for over 50% of people with disabilities in developing countries.