ICDRI's logo

Translate this page automatically. 

Main Body




Test your Site for Accessibility with Cynthia Says ™



About Us
Site Map
Products/ Services
Privacy Policy



Disability Statistics & Policy 
in the United States of America 
and the World

William P. LaPlant, Jr .




In the United States, there is no absolute answer to the question of who has a disability.  Every agency that is charged with determining if an individual has a disability, has its own definition or set of definitions.  This is because each agency is making the determination of disability for a different reason and these reasons are frequently determined by different laws or different applications of the same laws and as modified or interpreted by various regulations and judicial rulings.

In the rest of the world a similar situation exists, complicated by various cultural and other views of the existence, causes, and impacts of various kinds of disabilities.

Here are a few U.S. agencies with differing responsibilities for supplying various services for people with disabilities under the various U.S. laws and regulations:

Statistics --

United States of America

There are various sources for statistics on people with disabilities in the United States of America.

  • The International Center for Disability Information at WVU provides their "Disability Tables": < http://www.icdi.wvu.edu/disability/tables.html >.  International data covers occurrence disease and mortality rather than disability.  U.S. state and national data is largely derived from U.S. Census data.


Here is a summary study which contains health, disability, and insurance statistics for Anguilla

"Health, Disabilities, and Insurance".  [Note: this is a 1.6 MB pdf file.] 


The "Statistical Yearbook of Armenia, year 2001" section on "Public Health" contains summary tables including data on people with disabilities. See tables 125 through 128.  [Note: this is a 592 KB pdf file.]


Here is a primary source document for disability statistics in Australia: "Health Status: Disability among adults".
to be continued... 


Bangladesh provides a summary Disability Map by Zila (Bangladeshi region or county). 


Statistics Canada provides many sources of statistical data on people with disabilities. Here a few:

to be continued...


The Table of Contents of the "China Statistical Year Book, 2001," published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, indicates one section of data about people with disabilities. "22-36 Basic Conditions of People with Disabilities." No way of accessing the publication itself, and thus this data, is provided.


Croatia provides summary statistics on people receiving insurance compensation as the result of disabilities and other causes. See it's Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Croatia 2001.

European Commission

The European Commission provides a statistical pocketbook on ‘Disability and social participation in Europe’ [price= 7.00 EU].  The pocketbook compares  the social situation and participation of three population groups: people with severe disabilities, people with moderate disabilities, people without disabilities, as defined by a ‘global disability question ’in the European Community Household Panel.  Table 2 in the free publication [a 258 KB pdf file] 'Social protection: expenditure on cash benefits and on benefits in kind,' includes summary statistics for monetary and in kind support for people with disabilities by state.
to be continued...

Faro Islands

Statistics Faro Islands, in its Yearbook 2002, provides tables convering social welfare data which includes information on people with disabilities.  In addition, tables covering the education of children with disabilities are also provided.


In FranceInsee (L'Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques) provides several studies concerning people with disabilities.  At present, the most general  [Note: both are pdf files] are:

to be continued...


In Germany, the Federal Statistics Office, (DESTATIS), provides summary statistics (the numbers and amount spent) on people with disabilities who are receiving pensions due to "incapacity for work or occupational disability," see the table, "Notifiable diseases, additions of pensions due to incapacity for work or occupational disability."  Additional information is provided on the number of Public Service personnel because of disabilities, see "Public Service Personnel - Recipients of Pensions."  They also provide information on the percentage of public service employees of various occupations retiring because of disability, see "62 % of the teachers who retired in 1999 terminated their career because of disability for service," "2.5% more pensioners, but less retirements for reasons of disability for service (2001)," and "Fewer retirements of teachers because of desability for service (2002)."


The Gurnsey census site provides information and tables on people with disabilities contained in their 2001 Gurnsey Census Report. See Section 5 "Individuals in Households," subsections on "Long Term Disability," pages 59 & 60; and tables 13a, "Disability by Age and Sex," 13b, "Disability by Age and Sex," and 13c, "Persons with Multiple Disabilites;" pages 102 & 103.  [Note: this is an 818KB pdf file.]

103.  [Note: this is an 818 KB pdf file.]



The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) provides access to a database with a variety of statistics on the support provided to the aged and poeple with disabilities.


Statistics Iceland, the national statistical agency of Iceland, provides information, in their Statistical Yearbook of Iceland 2002 section on "Health and Social Affairs" is available as a series of MS Excel tables (also avialable as a  pdf file -- this is a 128KB pdf file), several of which contain information on the number of households receiving various kinds of supplimental income because of the presence of people with disabilities.  See particularly tables numbered 19.9, 19.10, 19.1119.12, 19.30, and 19.31.


Italy (the Italian ISTAT, Instatuto Nationale di Statistico) provides an entire site of statistical information on and for people with disabilities, which they call "HANDICAPINCIFRE."  See <http://www.handicapincifre.it/e_prehome.htm> for a discussion of the reason for the creation of the site.  The site is described as follows:

This site forms part of the project "Information System on Handicap" promoted by The Ministry of abour and Social Policy (Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali) and implemented by ISTAT - Italy's National Statistical Institute.


The Statistics Bureau and Statistics Center of Japan provides MS Excel spread sheets containing infor mation which includes summary statistics about people with disabilities. See, for example, "18-37 Welfare for the Physically Handicapped (F.Y.1980-2000)."  The material is explained in the Japan Statistical Yearbook, Section 18, "Social Security."

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom provides a number of reports on people with disabilities.  These include the results of surveys: <> and <http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=9004&Pos=1&ColRank=1&Rank=240>.

to be continued...

Information on disability statistics from more countries will be added as it becomes available. "Watch this space..."

The core problem that makes it impossible to develop meaningful statistics about people with disabilities is that one must also know who is asking and for what purpose!

Caveat: This paper is a preliminary study and should be considered neither complete nor definitive.  The author of this study welcomes suggestions and intends to periodically revise and extend this material.  Please contact the author at  <blaplant@mindspring.com> with your comments and suggestions.

The links on this document were current as of the date of last composition, January 7, 2003.

© 2002, 2003 William P. LaPlant, Jr.



Google Enter your search terms Submit search form
Web www.icdri.org

Copyright © 1998


Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet Disclaimer and Privacy Policy