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Disability Facts: Did You Know This About Disabled People?

children affected by polio
Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | September 18, 2019 (Last update: July 14, 2022)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website:

How many of us are aware about the facts on disability and condition of persons with disabilities around the world? Well, not many! Despite being one of the largest communities in the world, the rest of the population isn’t sufficiently aware about it. Disability is something that spans across gender, region, religion, race, color and other such boundaries. Still societies at large remain indifferent towards condition of disabled people. Today, we are giving you a few disability facts that you might not know.

Important Disability Facts

FACT 1: More than ONE BILLION people around the world are affected with some types of disability.

FACT 2: Over 15% of the world’s population is disability affected.

disability facts

FACT 3: Lower income societies have higher rate of disability.

FACT 4: Women, children and older people are more vulnerable to disability.

FACT 5: India has world’s largest population of persons with visual impairment.

disability facts

FACT 6: Disability has a co-relation with unemployment. In India, 44% of people with no disability are unemployed. In contrast, 72% of people with intellectual disability remain unemployed.

FACT 7: People with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people. According to WHO, global data show that employment rates are lower for disabled men (53%) and disabled women (20%) than for non-disabled men (65%) and non-disabled women (30%).

FACT 8: People with disabilities are vulnerable to poverty. Because of extra costs such as medical expenses, assistive devices or personal support, persons with disabilities are often poorer than non-disabled people with similar income.

FACT 9: Only 8.5% disabled people in India acquire a graduate degree.

disability facts

FACT 10: The percentage of disabled persons is highest in the age group 10-19 years.

More Facts on Disability

FACT 11: More than 41% persons with disabilities in India never get married! (India’s Census, 2011).

facts on disability

FACT 12: Almost 19% of people living in the US have a disability. This is about 1 in every 5 US residents or 49.7 million total people (Disability Status Report Cornell University 2012).

FACT 13: In the UK, there are 13.9 million disabled people.

FACT 14: On average, a disabled person has to spend £570 more every month to maintain life in UK.

FACT 15: In the UK, the total spending power of families with at least one disabled person is estimated at £249 billion a year.

FACT 16: In case of India, leaving persons with disabilities out of economy translates into a loss of about 5-7% of GDP.

disability facts

FACT 17: Disabled people are significantly more likely to experience unfair treatment at work than non-disabled people. In 2008, 19% of disabled people experienced unfair treatment at work compared to 13% of non-disabled people (UK government’s data).

FACT 18: Of the total disabled population, nearly 55% or 1.46 crores (14.6 million) people are are literates.

FACT 19: People with disabilities can live and participate in the community. But more than 40% disabled people do not have assistance for their every day activities. In the USA, 70% of adult disabled people rely on family and friend for assistance with daily activities.

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