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 14.1 million disabled people in the UK.
- More than one in five of us will be affected by disability at some point in our lives.
Source: Family Resources Survey: financial year 2018/19
Number of disabled people globally
- It is estimated that people with disabilities represent at least 15 per cent of the world population or more than 1 billion individuals.
Source: World Health Organization Report on Disability, 2011
- There are between 180 and 220 million youth with disabilities worldwide, and nearly 80 percent of them live in developing countries.
Source: Employment & Youth with Disabilities: Sharing Knowledge and Practices, P. Roggero, R. Tarricone, M.Nicoli and V.Mangiaterrra, 2005.
Source: United Nations, Youth with Disabilities.
- 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
- Half (50%) of all people in poverty live in a family that includes a disabled person.
Source: Social Metrics Commission. Measuring Poverty 2020, July 2020.
- Nearly half (49 per cent) of 25 - 64 year olds 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, Towards a Disability Inclusive Education, A-M Saebones et al, July 2015
- 65 million primary and secondary school age children globally have a disability. At least half of these (30 million) children do not have a school place.
Source: Education Commission Report, 2016
Note: these data are based on lower- and middle-income countries, not global figures. Children were of primary and lower-secondary school age and are top-end estimates.
- Only around half (53.7%) of disabled people are in work, compared to more than four-fifths (82%) of non-disabled people.
Source: Office for National Statistics, A08: Labour market status of disabled people, November 2021
- 1 in 5 (19%) employers say they would be less likely to hire someone with a disability.
- The cost of making workplace adjustments was cited as a barrier for almost 70% of employers.
Source: Leonard Cheshire, Still Locked Out, 2021.
- 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 £62,900 (2021/22).
Our data portal
Our portal provides a snapshot of the data globally available on disabled people in 40 countries.