General Disability: The Facts DFI Factsheet - General Facts

Issued on July 4 2017

Disability happens more than you imagine

In 2012, 12% of the population above the age of 15 had a disability.[1]

1 in 10 working age adults have a disability (15-64 years).[2]

Disability is age related: 3 in 5 people aged over 60 have at least one chronic condition.[3]


132,000 people with disabilities were living in consistent poverty in 2015.[4]


The budget for disability services was reduced by €159.4m or 9.4% between 2008 and 2015.


31% of working-age people with a disability were at work compared to 71% of those without a disability.[5]


1 in 4 children in Ireland have special education needs.[6] Many of these children have long waits to have their needs assessed. Parents who can afford a private assessment are more likely to get special education resources than other parents.[7]


The number of households with a social housing need, with household member(s) having an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual disability, increased from 3,919 in 2013 to 4,456 in 2016, an increase of 13.7%.[8]


Almost 50% of people living with a physical disability experience difficulty when going outside the home alone.[9]

1 in 4 people with a disability do not use public transport for accessibility reasons.[10]


[1] Irish Health Survey, CSO, 2015

[2] Census 2011, Small Area Population Statistics

[3] CSO, Census, 2011

[4] CSO (2017) (SILC) 2015, Table 2.

[5] Watson, D., Lawless, M., and Maitre, B. (2017)

[6] A study on the prevalence of special education needs: NCSE Research report No.9 J. Banks and S. McCoy ESRI, 2011

[7] Duncan, P. (2015) Affluent areas get more special needs teaching hours. The Irish Times

[8] The Housing Agency (2016) Summary of Social Housing Assesments 2016

[9] CSO (2006) National Disability Survey

[10] Watson, D. & Nolan, B. (2011)