The image shows the “Make the Right Real in Malaysia” logo of The OKU Rights Matter website and an image of two smiling brothers, the older with his right hand over the right shoulder of the younger one with spinal muscular atrophy and using a wheelchair.

Disability Data of Other Countries

Even trees need a friend. We all need friends. It all happens automatically. We want to use a lot pressure while using no pressure at all.

Disability Data from Around the World

Disability Prevalence

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disabilities, with 2-4% experiencing significant difficulties in functioning.
  • The Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 data revealed that at least 291.2 million (11.2%) of the 2.6 billion children and adolescents worldwide under 20 years old were estimated to have 1 of the 4 specified disabilities, namely intellectual disability, epilepsy, hearing loss, and vision loss. The study acknowledged that the data analysed did not include the full range of childhood disabilities or childhood functional difficulty.
  • 1 in 4 (26%) adults in the United States live with a disability.

Disability and Poverty

  • The gap of poverty rate in the United States was 16% in 2018 between people with disabilities (26%) and people without disabilities (10%) of working age.
  • Almost half of the poverty in the United Kingdom is directly associated with disability, with 28% of individuals living in poverty being disabled people, and another 20% of those in poverty were living in the same household with disabled people. The same report also indicated that 31% of people in a family that includes a disabled person are in poverty compared with 18% of people in a household with no disabled people.
  • 1 in 6 Australians with disability were living in poverty, compared with just over 1 in 10 Australians without disability. 38% of the adult Australians who are living in poverty are people with disabilities.

Disability and Employment

Disability and Access to Health Care

  • A report on access to health services by Australians with disability revealed that 2 in 5 people with disability aged under 65 had difficulty accessing medical facilities (general practitioner, dentist, hospital). The same report also revealed that 1 in 6 people with disability under 65 years old experienced discrimination by health staff (general practitioner, nurse, hospital staff).
  • A study regarding access to healthcare by people with disabilities in the United Kingdom revealed that people with a severe disability and mild disability are 5.4 times and 3.6 times, respectively, more likely to have an unmet need due to the cost of prescribed medicine than people without a disability. The study also revealed that women with a disability were 7.2 times more likely to have an unmet mental healthcare need due to cost if compared with men without a disability.


Harmonizing Disability Data To Improve Disability Research And Policy by Daniel Mont, Jennifer Madans, Julie D. Weeks, and Heidi Ullmann.