Disability Statistics

Updated: January 2014

Key Statistics

• 5.3 million Disabled men in the UK. (Disability in the United Kingdom 2012 (DWP Family Resources Survey 2010/11)

• 5.9 million Disabled women in the UK. (Disability in the United Kingdom 2012 (DWP Family Resources Survey 2010/11)

• Almost 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability. (Legacy for disabled people case, October 2012)

• Around 1 in 20 children are disabled compared to around 1 in 5 working age adults, and almost 1 in 2 people over state pension age. (Family Resources Survey, ODI Life Opportunities Survey 2011)

• Only 17% of disabled people were born with impairments. The majority of disabled people acquire their impairments during their working lives. (English Federation of Disability Sport, Papworth Trust – Disability in the UK fact and figures, September 2012)

• Over 50% of sight loss can be avoided (RNIB Key Information and Statistics – 25 July 2013)

• 100 people a day start to lose their sight in the UK. (RNIB, Data on Vision matters, updated September 2013)

• Every 5 seconds 1 person in the world goes blind. (Fight for sight, Worldwide statistics about sight loss and eye disease research)

• One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an eleven year old. (National Literacy Trust, State of the Nation, A picture of literacy in the UK today, January 2012)

Employment

• There are 6.9 million disabled people of working age in Great Britain (GOV.UK, Press release New ad campaign launched at UK’s first Disability Employment Conference, 18 July 2013)

• Disabled people are significantly more likely to experience unfair treatment at work than non-disabled people. In 2008,19% of disabled people experienced unfair treatment at work compared to 13% of non-disabled people. (Office for Disability Issues, Fair treatment at work survey, 2009)

• In 2012 the UK employment rate among working age-disabled people was 46.3% compared to 76.4% of non-disabled people. Disabled people remain far less likely to be employed. (Office for Disability Issues, Disability Facts and Figures 13 June 2013)

• 57% of adults with impairments experience barriers to employment (in the type/amount of paid work they do), compared with 26% of adults without impairments. (ODI Life Opportunities Survey, Wave 1, 2011)

• In 2012, 37.4 per cent of disabled people who don’t work reported that they would like to work (Office for Disability Issues, Disability Equality Indicators, last updated 13 December 2011)

• 1 in 6 of those who become disabled while in work lose their employment during the first year after becoming disabled. (Disability in the United Kingdom 2012 IPPR report: Work for Disabled People)

• 80% of all those who become disabled are in employment at the time they acquire a disability, only 60% are employed the following year, and 36% the year after that. (Disability in the United Kingdom 2012 DWP in-house Report No.109)

• Up to 16 million adults (nearly half the workforce) are holding down a job despite having the reading and writing skills expected of children leaving primary school. (The Guardian, UK News, January 2006)

• 25% of people with a severe impairment still work. (Get a plan, Disability Statistics Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, Published 2005)

Education

• In the academic year 2011/12 53% of boys and 63% of girls achieved 5 or more GCSE’s at grades A* - C at the end of key stage 4, a 1%decrease and increase respectively (Department for Education Statistical First Release, 24 January 2013)

• 14.9 per cent of working age disabled people hold degree-level qualifications compared to 28.1 per cent of working age non-disabled people (Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2, 2012)

• Adults with impairments experience much higher barriers to education and training opportunities than their peers, 16% and 9% respectively. (ODI Life Opportunities Survey, Wave 1, 2009/2011) Disability in the United Kingdom 2012)

• In 2011/12, of the 879,015 people who entered higher education, 9.8% were disabled learners, a 1.8% increase from lat year. (Higher Education Statistics Agency)

• 19.2 per cent of working age disabled people do not hold any formal qualification, compared to 6.5 per cent of working age non-disabled people (Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2, 2012)

• It is predicted that by 2020, 42% of jobs will require a degree level qualification or above. (Increasing life chance through learning and skills, DRC)

• The number of 16-65 years old who only have the English skills at the level expected of 5 to 7 years old increased from 3.4% (1.1 million) to 5% (1.7 million). (National Literacy Trust, State of Nation A picture of Literacy in the UK today, January 2012)

Transportation

• Around one fifth of disabled people report having difficulties related to their impairment or disability in accessing transport. (Office for Disability Issues, ONS Opinions Survey, 2011)

• At the end of 2012, 88% of buses were either totally accessible or had low floor access in Great Britain. This figure has increased steadily in recent years. (Annual Bus Statistics: Great Britain 2011/12, 15 November 2012)

• 60% of disabled people have no car available to the household, compared to 27% of the overall population. (Parliament Environment Audit Committee, Written evidence submitted by Transport for All, 12 September 2012)

• 75% of adults with an impairment experience barriers to using transport, compared with 60% of adults without an impairment. (Office of Disability Issues, Life Opportunities Survey, Wave 1, 2009-2011)

• Figures from 2011 show that 22 per cent of disabled people experienced difficulties when using transport ((Office for Disability Issues, Disability Equality Indicators, Updated 13 December 2011)

• Figures from 2011/12 show that 88 per cent of buses are accessible to disabled people or are equipped with low floor wheelchair access. (Office for Disability Issues, Disability Equality Indicators, Updated 13 December 2011)

• The estimated number of valid blue badge holders in March 2012 was 2.62 million. (DFT Blue Badge Scheme Statistics 2011/12)

Children

• In 2011/12, 6% (or 0.8 million) of children under the age of 16 in the UK were disabled. (Family Resources Survey, United Kingdom, 2011/12, June 2013)

• Four in ten disabled children in the UK, 320,000, are living in poverty (The Children’s Society, Press Release, 07 October 2011)

• Only 1 in 13 disabled children receive a regular support service of any sort from their local authority. (Contact a Family, Research, 2012)

• It is estimated that around 748,000 children and young people aged 5 to 16 in Great Britain have mental ill health. Around 78,000 of these have autistic spectrum disorders. (Contact a Family, Research, 2012)

• 8 out of 10 children with a learning disability are bullied. (NHS Careers, Learning Disability Week , August 2013)

• 60% of children and young people with both learning difficulties and mental health conditions live in poverty. (NHS Report: Equal Treatment: Closing the gap, 2008)

• 3% of UK children under 16 have one or more impairments. (Get a plan, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, Published 2005)

• There has been a rise in the number of children with complex and significant needs. (Get a plan, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, Published 2005)

Living

• Over a quarter of disabled people say that they do not frequently have a choice and control over their daily lives. (Office of National Statistics, Opinions Survey, 2011)

• Although the gap in non-decent accommodation has closed over recent years, one in three households with a disabled person still live in non-decent accommodation (English House Condition Survey, 2008)

• 1 in 5 disabled people requiring adaptations to their home believe that their accommodation is not suitable. (Office for Disability Issues Survey, 2012)

• Disabled people are significantly less likely to live in households with access to the internet than non-disabled. In 2011 61% of disabled people lived in households with internet access, compared to 86% of non-disabled people. (Office for Disability Issues, British Social Attitudes Survey 2011)

• The poverty rate for disabled adults in the UK (30%) is twice as high as that for non-disabled adults. (Papworth, Disability in the United Kingdom 2013 Facts and Figures 2012, cannot find the original source)

• In 2010/11, working age adults in families containing 1 or more disabled people were more likely to live in low income households than those families with no disabled person (29% compared to 19%) (DWP, Households Below Average Income, 2011/12)

• Disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to live in poor housing. (English Housing Conditions Survey, 2007)

• There is a shortage of housing that is specifically designed to meet disabled people’s needs. (English Housing Survey, 2007)

Visual Impairments

• Estimates 40,000 people aged 0-25 who are blind or partially sighted. About 16,000 of them are younger than 16 years old. (RNIB.org, RNIB Sight Loss UK 2012 Report)

• There are 1.87 million people in the UK with sight loss that has a significant impact on their daily lives. This upwards trend is expected to continue. (RNIB Sight Loss UK 2013: The latest evidence)

• March 2011, 147,800 people were registered as blind, a decrease of 5,200 from March 2008. 151,000 people were registered as partially sighted, a decrease of 5,300 from March 2008. (NHS Information Centre, Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People, year ending March 2011)

• 64% of blind and 66% of partially sighted people are aged 75 or over. (NHS Information Centre, Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People, year ending March 2011)

• 49,300 of those registered blind and 50,400 of those registered partially sighted also recorded that they had an additional disability. (NHS Information Centre, Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People, year ending March 2011)

• The UK employment rate for people who are long term disabled with a visual impairment is 47%. For registered blind or partially sighted people it is 33% (RNIB.org, RNIB Sight Loss UK 2012 Report)

Hearing Impairments

• Action on Hearing Loss estimates that more than 10 million (about 1 in 6) people in the UK have some degree of hearing impairment or deafness (NHS Choices, Hearing Loss, Page last reviewed: 10/06/2013

• Approximately 28% of people who are hearing impaired are between 16-60 years of age, and 72% are over 60. (NHS Choices, Hearing Impairment Introduction, Last Updated 01/04/2013

• 37% of deaf children achieved 5 Gases (including English and Moths) at grades A* to C compared to 69% of children with no identified SEN. This means that 63% of deaf children are failing to achieve the government’s expected benchmark for GCSE success compared to just 31% of other children. (NDCS note on Department for Education figures on attainment for deaf children in 2012 (England), Updated: 24 January 2013)

Learning Disabilities

• In 2010/11, only 6.6% of adults with learning disabilities were reported to be in some form of paid employment (Department of Health, Improving Health and Lives: Learning Disabilities Observatory, People with Learning Disabilities in England 2011)

• Just 1 in 3 people with a learning disability take part in some form of education or training. (MENCAP, Information for Professionals, Employment, no date given)

• 58,000 people with a learning disability are supported by day care services. (MENCAP, Information for Professionals, Employment)

Health and Social Care

• Disabled people make up around one third of the NHS users in Britain. (Office of Disability Issues, Accessible Information)

• The majority of impairments are not visible, less than 8% of disabled –people use wheelchairs. (Papworth, Facts and Figures 2012, Northamptonshire County Council Employment and Disability Services)

Accessibility Outside The House

• 29% of adults (over 16 years old) with impairments have found some buildings outside of the home inaccessible. That’s compared to 6% of adults without impairments. (Office of Disability Issues, Life opportunities Survey, Wave 1, 2009-2011)

• Around one third of disabled people experience difficulties related to their impairment in accessing public, commercial and leisure goods and services. (Office for Disability Issues Survey, 2012)

• The 6 most common buildings where access is difficult for adults with impairments are: - Shops – 54% - Hospitals – 34% - Bars and Restaurants – 23% - Other people’s homes – 20% - GP Surgery – 19% - Theatre and Cinemas – 17% (Office of Disability Issues, Life opportunities Survey, 2009-2011)

• The most common barriers to accessing buildings for adults with impairments are: - Moving around the building – stairs, doors or narrow corridors (44%) - A health condition, illness or impairment (39%) - A disability (32%) - Inadequate lifts or escalators (23%) - Difficulty with approach areas due to lack of ramps/handrails (22%) - Parking problems (21%) - Bathroom facilities (location, layout, size) (17%) - Footpath design and surfaces (15%) - Difficulty with transport getting to the building (14%) - Lack of help or assistance (13%). (Office of Disability Issues, Life opportunities Survey, 2009-2011)

Justice

• Disabled people are more likely to be victims of crime than non-disabled people. This gap is largest amongst 16-34 year-olds where 39 per cent of disabled people reported having been a victim of crime compared to 28 per cent of non-disabled people (British Crime Survey 2010/11)

Literacy (general)

• 1 in 6 people in the UK struggle with Literacy. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an eleven year old. (Literacy: State of the Nation. A picture of literacy in the UK today, last updated 10 January 2012)

• Children and young people who engage in technology based texts, such as blogs, enjoy writing more and have more positive attitudes towards writing – 57% express a general enjoyment of writing vs 40% who don’t have a blog. (Literacy: State of the Nation. A picture of literacy in the UK today, last updated 10 January 2012)

• There is a consistent gender difference in attitudes towards writing. Boys do not enjoy writing as much as girls (38% vs 52%). (Literacy: State of the Nation. A picture of literacy in the UK today, last updated 10 January 2012)

Internet users

• 7.0 million adults (14%) have never used the Internet (Office of National Statistics, Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3 2013, 13 November 2013)

• Men (88%) are more likely to be Internet users than woman (84%) (Office of National Statistics, Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3 2013, 13 November 2013)

• 3.2 million adults aged 75 years and over have never used the internet (Office of National Statistics, Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3 2013, 13 November 2013)

• There are 22.0 million male internet users (Office of National Statistics, Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3 2013, 13 November 2013)

• There are 21.8 million female internet users (Office of National Statistics, Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3 2013, 13 November 2013)

• 3.8 million disabled adults have never used the internet, 54% of the 7.1 million adults who had never used the Internet (Office of National Statistics, Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3 2013, 13 November 2013)

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