Facts and figures

We've pulled together the latest disability facts and figures in one place. 

Number of disabled people in the UK

  • There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK.
  • One in five of us will be affected by disability at some point in our lives.

Source: Family Resources Survey: financial year 2016/17

Number of disabled people globally


  • Over 40% of railways stations in Great Britain do not have step-free access.

 Source: Leonard Cheshire, Disabled people cannot use over 40% of Great Britain’s train stations, 2018

  • 35% of disabled people say they have experienced problems using the train.

Source: ComRes polling, UK, 2018

  • Disabled people between the ages of 18-65 represent one third of social care users.

Source: Papworth Trust, Facts and Figures 2018

  • Three quarters of households using food banks in the UK contain someone with a health condition and / or disability, with one third of households containing someone with a mental health issue.

Source: The Trussell Trust, Financial insecurity, food insecurity, and disability: The profile of people receiving emergency food assistance from The Trussell Trust Foodbank Network in Britain, 2017


  • Nearly half (49 per cent) of people with a learning disability or difficulty in Great Britain have no qualifications.

Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission, April 2017

  • More than 260 million children in the world still do not go to school. An estimated one-third of all out-of-school children at primary level have a disability.

Source: World Bank, 2017

  • Between 2000 and 2014, the global number of out-of-school children at primary education level dropped from 100 million to 61 million.


  • At the age of 26, disabled people in the UK are four times more likely to be out of work or not in education compared to non-disabled people.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions, Fulfilling Potential: Building a deeper understanding of Disability in the UK today, 2013

  • A quarter of employers (24 per cent) say they would be less likely to employ someone with a disability.
  • 66 per cent of employers say the costs of workplace adjustments are a barrier to employing a disabled person.     

Source: Leonard Cheshire/ComRes 2018 Line manager survey, 2017    

  • Access to work can pay 100 per cent of costs if applied for in the first six weeks of an individual’s employment and can fund eligible costs up to £59,200 (2019/20)

Source: Access to Work factsheet for employers, 2019

Our data portal

Our portal provides a snapshot of the data globally available on disabled people in 40 countries.

Find out more