Coronavirus: information and updates

Disability facts and figures

Number of disabled people

There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK.

  • 8% of children are disabled
  • 19% of working age adults are disabled
  • 45% of pension age adults are disabled

Source: Family Resources Survey 2016/17


More than 3.7 million disabled people are in work.

Disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people.

Source: Labour Force Survey January to March 2018


Life costs you £583 more on average a month if you're disabled.

Source: Scope - The disability price tag (2019)

After housing costs, the proportion of working age disabled people living in poverty (28%) is higher than the proportion of working age non-disabled people (18%).

Source: Households Below Average Income (2015/16)

Spending power

The total spending power of families with at least one disabled person is estimated at £249 billion a year.

Source: Household Below Average Income (2014/15)


  • 1 in 3 disabled people feel there’s a lot of disability prejudice.
  • 1 in 3 people see disabled people as being less productive than non-disabled people.
  • In 2000, 37% of disabled people and 34% of non-disabled people felt that there was a lot of prejudice around disability. The gap trebled by 2017, with 32% of disabled people and 22% of non-disabled people feeling there is a lot of prejudice against disabled people.

Source: Scope - Disability Perception Gap (2018)

Government statistics on disability

UK Government disability facts and figures

Scope's research work

Scope carries out research to develop policy so we can campaign to create a fairer society for disabled people.

Research, policy and campaigning work

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