Search for news, events, and keywords

Dawn visiting our archive

Disability facts and figures

In the UK

  • There are more than 11 million disabled people in the UK.
  • One in five 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.
  • Eight 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 disabled people live in developing countries.
  • Over 400 million disabled people 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 disabled children in developing countries do not attend school.
  • Health and rehabilitation services are unaffordable for over 50% of disabled people in developing countries.