A disability in a person can be in any form from mental and physical impairment to learning disability. Conversely, what is termed disability by one may not necessarily be for another person with a much similar impairment.
According to the Equality Act of 2010, a person is said to be disabled if he has a mental or physical impairment that is long-term and has a substantial negative impact on his ability to carry out his normal daily tasks. By long-term, this means at least a 12 months duration. While substantial describes not trivial cases. However, Addiction to non-prescribed drugs does not fall in to the problem of disability.
That said, various data abound for disability cases of people living in the United Kingdom.

Disability By Region

From the 2014 updated estimate from The Office for Disability Issues, 11.6 million disabled individuals exist in Great Britain. Among this population are 5.7 million adults of working class individuals, 5.1 million State Pension age and children with 0.8 million.

Records of 2015 from Statista show that, of the total population of individuals living in the United Kingdom, about one-fifth has a disability, approximately 21% of the population. Of the data, England and Northern Ireland both have 20% of persons with disability, Wales, 21% and Scotland coming highest with 22%.

United Kingdom 21%
England and Northern Ireland 20%
Wales 21%
Scotland 22%

Prevalence Of Disability With Age

Disability increases with age. It is on record that 45% of adults above pension age suffer from a disability. The working age has 16% disability while 6% children are disabled. In only about 17% of persons were born with a particular disability from birth.

Disability According To Impairment

Disability has no gender bias or age categories but older individuals are more prone to suffer one form of disability or another due to aging effects. Between 2014 and 2015 in the UK, mobility-related disability is highest with a 53% of the total disability cases. This is followed closely by fatigue, breathing-related and stamina disability having a 39% share. Others are dexterity with 29%, mental health- 20%, memory- 16% learning- 15%, among others.

Mobility-Related 53%
Fatigue, Breathing-Related, Stamina 39%
Dexterity 29%
Mental Health 20%
Memory 16%
Learning 15%


Disabled workers are the more likely to suffer unfair treatment at the workplace than normal workers. In a 2008 record, 19% disabled experienced unfair treatment compared to 13% of non-disabled staff.
In the present age and time, stigma still surrounds disability, especially among school-age children. In a 2017 survey, it was recorded from the respondents that the percentage of disabled with Autism or Asperger syndrome that were bullied was about 75%, physical disability had 70%, 52% goes for individuals with learning disability and 50% for those without a learning disability.

Standard Of Living

A greater number of families with disabled individuals are poor with 19% of such individuals present. Conversely, only 15% are poor in families without a disability. 21% children account for those living in poverty in families where they live as compared to only 16% of children in homes where there is no disability.


From 2005 – 2006 and 2010 – 2011, there were increases at the end of Key Stage 4 going to stage 5. These are:

  • From 66.3% to 88.9% for students without SEN (Special Education Needs)
  • From 19.8% to 59.2% for students with Special education Needs without a statement
  • From 8.7% to 24.9% for students with a statement


Disabled people are now likely to get employed

From the survey from the Labor Force, disabled people are now likely to get employed when compared to 2012. However, this does not match up with the percentage of employment rate for non-disabled individuals as shown in the survey. Only 46.3% of working age group of disabled persons is actually in employment compared to 76.4% of non-disabled persons. This 30.1% difference represents about 2 million individuals which in recent times have been reduced by 10% in the past 14 years.


One-fifth of disabled individuals have problems accessing transportation means. The percentage of low-floor wheelchair provision, however, increased from 52% to 88% from 2004 – 2005 and 2011 – 2012.


Disabled people have less possibility to live in internet provided homes than their non-disabled counterparts. From 2012 records, 61% of the disabled population live in homes where there is internet compared to 86% of non-disabled persons. 
Many other important facts on disability cover independent living, leisure, civil and social activities as it affects disability.