Disability Statistics - UK population
There have been a variety of efforts to provide reliable statistics on the number of disabled people in the population.
Labour Force Survey
Most recently undertaken in the summer of 2001.
6.7 million people of working age are disabled.
Carried out between 1985 and 1988 this was the last survey that specifically attempted to determine the number of disabled adults in the UK population.
It was estimated that 6.2 million adults in the UK are disabled which at the time of the survey represented 14.2% of the adult population.
This survey has been criticised by disabled people because it relies on definitions of disability which focus on impairment and the limitations of individuals rather than the limitations placed on them by society. Oliver (1990) have proposed alternative questions that could be used if information was collected using the social model of disability.
Number of people with visual impairment
These figures have been collated by the RNIB using national surveys such as the Labour Force Survey and local authority registers. It was estimated in 1996 that there were approximately one million people who are registerable as blind or partially sighted.
Number of people with hearing impairment
It is estimated that there are 8.7 million people with hearing impairment in the UK.
The National Statistics Online website contains a comprehensive database of statistical resources about all aspects of the UK population and disability : http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/SearchRes.asp?term=disability&x=13&y=8