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Disability Statistics: Information, Charts, Graphs and Tables

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-06
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (
Additional References: Disability Statistics Publications

Synopsis: World health and disability statistics including data and facts on age, area, types, and population numbers of people with disabilities. In OECD countries, students with disabilities in higher education remain under-represented, although their numbers are on the increase. Currently, around 10% of the world's population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability.


Main Document

Having a disability places you in the world's largest minority group. Currently, around 10% of the world's population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability. In most of the OECD countries, females have higher rates of disability than males.

As the population ages, this figure is expected to increase. Eighty percent of persons with disabilities live in developing countries, according to the UN Development Program (UNDP). The World Bank estimates that 20 percent of the world's poorest people have some kind of disability, and tend to be regarded in their communities as the most disadvantaged. Statistics show a steady increase in these numbers. The reasons include:

In countries with life expectancies over 70 years of age, people spend on average about 8 years, or 11.5 percent of their life span, living with disabilities.

The two-way link between poverty and disability creates a vicious circle. Poor people are more at risk of acquiring a disability because of lack of access to good nutrition, health care, sanitation, as well as safe living and working conditions. Once this occurs, people face barriers to the education, employment, and public services that can help them escape poverty.

Dr. Amartya Sen pointed out in his keynote address at the World Bank's conference on disability, the poverty line for disabled people should consider the extra expenses they incur in exercising what purchasing power they do have. A study in the United Kingdom found that the poverty rate for disabled people was 23.1 percent compared to 17.9 percent for non-disabled people, but when extra expenses associated with being disabled were considered, the poverty rate for people with disabilities shot up to 47.4 percent.

Disability rates in the population are higher among groups with lower educational level in the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). On average, 19 percent of less educated people have disabilities, compared to 11 percent among the better educated.

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Woman sitting at a table attending a conference on disability statistics.
Woman sitting at a table attending a conference on disability statistics.

Ninety percent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, says UNESCO. In the OECD countries, students with disabilities in higher education remain under-represented, although their numbers are on the increase, says the OECD.

1991 Brazilian census reported only a 1 percent to 2 percent disability rate, but the 2001 census recorded a 14.5 percent disability rate. Similar jumps in the measured rate of disability have occurred in Turkey (12.3 percent) and Nicaragua (10.1 percent).

Persons with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence or rape, according to a 2004 British study, and less likely to obtain police intervention, legal protection or preventive care. Women and girls with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse. A survey in Orissa, India, found that virtually all the women and girls with disabilities were beaten at home, 25 percent of women with intellectual disabilities had been raped and 6 percent of women with disabilities had been forcibly sterilized. Research indicates that violence against children with disabilities occurs at annual rates at least 1.7 times greater than for their peers without disabilities.

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Other Disability Statistics and Data Tools

DHDS, CDC's innovative disability and health data tool - Find data on a range of health indicators for states, and compare the health of adults with disabilities and without disabilities. Find how a state is performing across a variety of health indicators, such as vaccine coverage and preventive services, for people with disabilities compared with people without disabilities?

IndexMundi - Contains detailed country statistics, charts, and maps compiled from multiple sources. You can explore and analyze thousands of indicators organized by region, country, topic, industry sector, and type.

Census Data - The new platform to access data and digital content from the U.S. Census Bureau. The vision for data dissemination through is to improve the customer experience by making data available from one centralized place so that data users spend less time searching for data content and more time using it. - An online Resource for U.S. Disability Statistics provides detailed information on dozens of national level disability data sources, including U.S. national and state-level reports presenting prevalence and relative economic status of people with disabilities.

2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium - The Compendium gathers the most recent national statistics on people with disabilities from various U.S. federal programs and agencies. The Compendium provides current statistics and time trends related to the prevalence of disabilities as well as key indicators on employment, health, community living, and other outcomes of importance in monitoring the well-being of individuals with disabilities. A series of tables are presented with counts and percentages of people with disabilities in various programs or policy relevant groups.

Local Disability Data for Planners (site appears to be down) - This website provides housing and population tables at the county (or group of counties) level. The population tables provide summary statistics by disability status regarding age, race, gender, ethnicity, education, labor force participation, transportation to work, and poverty. Disability housing tables The housing tables provide summary statistics for households with and without members with disabilities regarding size of household, building type, household ownership and number of household vehicles.

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Subtopics and Associated Subjects

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Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.

Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 6). Disability Statistics: Information, Charts, Graphs and Tables. Disabled World. Retrieved June 1, 2023 from

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