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Key facts

The following statistics may prove useful to journalists writing articles about disability, the ageing population, carers or the disability equipment industry. 

People with disabilities

  1. There are over 6.9 million disabled people of working age which represents 19% of the working population.[1]
  2. There are over 10 million disabled people in Britain, of whom 5 million are over state pension age.[2]
  3. There are two million people with sight problems in the UK.[3]

Families with disabled children

  1. There are 770,00 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK. That equates to 1 child in 20.[4]
  2. Only 8% of families get services from their local social services.[5]
  3. It costs up to three times as much to raise a disabled child as it does to raise a child without disabilities.[6]

Disability and employment

  1. There are currently 1.3 million disabled people in the UK who are available for and want to work.[7]
  2. Only half of disabled people of working age are in work (50%), compared with 80% of non disabled people.[8]
  3. 23% of disabled people have no qualifications compared to 9% of non disabled people.[9]
  4. Nearly one in five people of working age (7 million, or 18.6%) in Great Britain have a disability.[10]

The ageing population

  1. Over the last 25 years the percentage of the population aged 65 and over increased from 15 per cent in 1983 to 16 per cent in 2008, an increase of 1.5 million people in this age group. Over the same period, the percentage of the population aged 16 and under decreased from 21 per cent to 19 per cent. This trend is projected to continue. By 2033, 23 per cent of the population will be aged 65 and over compared to 18 per cent aged 16 or younger.[11]
  2. The fastest population increase has been in the number of those aged 85 and over, the ’oldest old‘. In 1983, there were just over 600,000 people in the UK aged 85 and over. Since then the numbers have more than doubled reaching 1.3 million in 2008. By 2033 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to more than double again to reach 3.2 million, and to account for 5 per cent of the total population. [12]

Carers

  1. Around 6 million people (11 per cent of the population aged five years and over) provided unpaid care in the UK in April 2001. While 45 per cent of carers were aged between 45 and 64, a number of the very young and very old also provided care.[13]
  2. By 2037, it's anticipated that the number of carers will increase to 9 million.[14]
  3. In 2001, 1.2 million men and 1.6 million women aged 50 and over in England and Wales were providing unpaid care to family members, neighbours or relatives. This represents 16 per cent and 17 per cent of older men and women respectively.[15]

Disability equipment market

  1. The total UK disability equipment market has been estimated at £1.46 billion for 2008 compared with £1.34 billion the previous year.[16]
  2. Sales of disabled equipment in the UK have increased by 92.6% over the last 10 years and the total market size increased by 9.2% last year.[17] 

Sources

[1] Disability Rights Commission, July 2008

[2] Family Resources Survey (FRS) Disability prevalence estimates 2007/8

[3] RNIB

[4] Contact a Family - http://www.cafamily.org.uk/professionals/research/statistics.html

[5] Contact a Family - http://www.cafamily.org.uk/professionals/research/statistics.html

[6] Contact a Family - http://www.cafamily.org.uk/professionals/research/statistics.html

[7] Office for National Statistics - Labour Force Survey, Jan - March 2009

[8] Office for National Statistics - Labour Force Survey, Jan - March 2009

[9] Office for National Statistics - Labour Force Survey, Jan - March 2009

[10] Office for National Statistics – Labour Force Survey, Jan - March 2009

[11] Mid-year population estimates, Office for National Statistics; General Register Office for Scotland; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency; Death registrations, Office for National Statistics - http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=949

[12] Mid-year population estimates, Office for National Statistics; General Register Office for Scotland; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency; Death registrations, Office for National Statistics -http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=949

[13] Office for National Statistics - http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=1336&Pos=1&ColRank=1&Rank=208

[14] Carers UK - http://www.carersuk.org/Newsandcampaigns/Media/Factsaboutcaring

[15] Office for National Statistics - http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1268

[16] Key Note Market Report 2006, ‘Equipment for the Disabled’ (ISBN 1-84168-8975).

[17] Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis (Disabled Equipment) First Edition 2009, Dec 2008), pp.2.1 – a and b.

Useful resources

Age Concern - Older People in the UK - Key Facts and Statistics 2008

Carers UK - Facts about Caring

Contact a Family - Information about Familes with Disabled Children

Shaw Trust - Disability and Employment Statistics

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