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 £570 more on average a month if you're disabled.

Source: Scope - The disability price tag (2018)

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 in order to develop policy so we can campaign to create a fairer society for disabled people.

Research, policy and campaigning work

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