The Most Surprising Disability Discrimination Statistics in 2024

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In a world that champions equality and justice, it’s disheartening to acknowledge the persistent issue of disability discrimination. This blog post will shed objective light on the raw, often uncomfortable, disability discrimination statistics. By providing incontrovertible data, our aim is to stimulate informed conversations and, consequently, drive concerted efforts towards fostering a more inclusive society. The stark numbers we delve into will reveal not only the prevalence of the discrimination faced by individuals with disabilities, but also highlight the urgent need for overarching societal change. Brace yourself for an enlightening and potentially challenging read that will redefine your perspective on disability rights and equality.

The Latest Disability Discrimination Statistics Unveiled

About 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability.

Painting an enlightening snapshot of the American demographic landscape, “Around 61 million adults in the United States are living with a disability,” catapults us into the reality of the extent to which disability pervades our society. When unraveled in the tapestry of a blog post about Disability Discrimination Statistics, it serves as a robust anchor, stressing the imminence and urgency of the issue.

The magnitude of this figure does not just symbolize a considerable segment of the population. Instead, it resonates with the multitude of voices, experiences, and encounters with discrimination that these individuals might face daily. Each digit encapsulates instances of potential bias and inequality, laying bare the pressing need to address and eliminate disability discrimination at all societal levels. Thus, this statistic propels the narrative of the blog post, providing a compelling reason for readers to engage further and advocate for change.

About 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.

Highlighting the striking revelation that approximately one in every four people who are 20 years old today will face disability before retirement age swathes a stark light on the pressing inevitability and prevalence of disability in our society. On a page dedicated to disability discrimination statistics, it underscores the urgency and importance of addressing disability discrimination. The figure compels us to realize that we aren’t dealing with an edge case scenario; it’s deeply engrained in our societal fabric. By putting such a statistic front and center, we shift focus from discussing abstract numbers to grappling with a reality unfolding before our eyes. It not only gives a voice to the invisible struggle that many may be going through in the workplace but also reminds us that disability, whether temporary or permanent, could be a lived experience for any of us, reiterating why it is supercritical to fight disability discrimination in all forms.

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment-population ratio for people with a disability was 18.9% in 2020.

Highlighting the 18.9% employment-population ratio of people with disabilities, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, draws attention to the glaring disparity in employment opportunities for this demographic. It serves as a stark reminder that there’s much work to be done in terms of providing equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the workforce.

In a blog post about Disability Discrimination Statistics, this figure adds weight to the narrative by providing objective, empirical evidence of the challenge at hand. It crystallizes the issue of discrimination in the backdrop of a wider societal context, illustrating the employment landscape for individuals with disabilities.

This revelation not only has the potential to provoke thought and action, but it also provides a yardstick against which legislative measures, corporate policies, and societal attitudes can be evaluated. As we spotlight these statistics, we foster conversation and inspire solutions aimed at leveling the playing field in the labor market.

Over a third (37.3%) of U.S. civilians with disabilities aged 18-64 living in the community had a job, versus 77.9% for people without disabilities in 2020.

This compelling statistic serves as a stark tableau, brazenly highlighting the chasm between the employment rates of U.S. civilians with disabilities and those without them. With over a third (37.3%) of disabled adults aged 18-64 having a job in 2020, compared to an overwhelming 77.9% for non-disabled people, it undeniably underscores the degree of disparity triggered by disability discrimination in employment. Shedding light on the layered, multifaceted issue of discrimination, it compels readers to confront the harsh, often overlooked reality of the working world. Buried in these numbers is a call to action, breathing urgency into the need for emboldened advocacy, increased accessibility, inclusive workplace experience, and fair hiring practices, thereby fueling the conversation around Disability Discrimination Statistics.

The World Bank reports that 1 billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability.

In our journey through the world of disability discrimination statistics, we come across a compelling figure from the World Bank. Imagine, if you will, a sea of humanity: 1 billion people or roughly 15% of our world population, all contending with some form of disability. This staggering number serves not just as a reminder of how widespread disability is, but also as a stark spotlight on the magnitude of potential discrimination these individuals may face. The vastness of the disabled population worldwide underscores the urgency and importance of addressing disability discrimination. By recognizing this vastness, we can begin to appreciate the sheer scale of discrimination and prejudice that could be directed towards this group, reinforcing the need for action, change, and equality.

In 2020 in the UK, the disability employment gap was 28.6 percentage points, with 52.1% of disabled people in employment compared to 80.7% of non-disabled people.

By vividly spotlighting the disability employment gap of 28.6 percentage points in the UK in 2020, we breathe life into the stark disparity adorning the realm of opportunity. The stark reality that only 52.1% of disabled individuals are employed compared to the towering 80.7% of non-disabled persons cannot be ignored. In the context of a blog post on Disability Discrimination Statistics, this riveting number accentuates the pressing need for more inclusive employment policies, highlighting where society has stumbled, but more importantly, where we need to pick ourselves up and forge a better path. It’s not merely a statistic, but a bright beacon urging equal employment opportunities for all, shining light on the areas we must improve to create a balanced, tolerant society.

The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that disabled workers experience a 35%-40% lower pay than non-disabled workers in the U.S.

Illuminating the harsh reality of income disparity, the report from the National Bureau of Economic Research provides a striking snapshot of the financial implications of disability discrimination. Strategically placed within the context of a blog post about Disability Discrimination Statistics, this figure – a staggering 35%-40% pay gap between disabled and non-disabled workers – serves as a potent reminder of the widespread economic inequity dishearteningly present in the U.S. This drives home the urgent need for effective policies and measures to rectify the biased wage structures, thereby fostering an inclusive and equitable work environment for everyone, regardless of their physical abilities. The statistic is no mere number – it is, in fact, a human story of struggle and discrimination, both stark and compelling, underscoring the undeniable necessity of addressing this elephant in the room.

73% of Australian workplaces have zero employees with disabilities.

Delving into the deeper realms of Disability Discrimination Statistics, the shocking revelation that 73% of Australian workplaces remain void of any employees with disabilities works to highlight the untapped potential of this skilled group. This statistic holds immense importance as it draws invisible lines to the not-so-apparent social and economic imbalance embedded in Australia’s job market. It shines a spotlight on the need for higher inclusivity, workforce diversity, and equal opportunities regardless of physical or cognitive abilities. Furthermore, it also presents opportunities for businesses to leverage the unique perspectives and capabilities that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace, thus augmenting the national mission of enhancing disability rights and diversity.

In Ireland, 37% of those with a disability were at work in 2019 compared to 73% of those without a disability.

From the dazzling Irish landscapes to the music-filled pubs, the Emerald Isle portrays the picture of an inclusive paradise. However, peeling back the layers, a narrative of disparity emerges, succinctly encapsulated by figures showing a stark contrast in labor participation of those with disabilities versus their non-disabled counterparts in 2019. Despite the positive notion that 73% of individuals without disabilities were employed, only 37% of those with disabilities enjoyed the same reality. This discrepancy gives a numerical voice to the silent battle for equality in employment, shedding light on potential discriminatory hiring practices or systemic barriers in place that disproportionately affect those with disabilities. Therefore, such a vivid picture of inequality underpins the importance of ongoing discussions, policy revisions, and societal changes to abolish employment inequities within the disability sphere.

According to the UK Equality Act of 2010, only 53.2% of working-age adults who are disabled are in employment compared with 81.5% for non-disabled people.

In the rich tapestry of disability statistics, the thread that stands out starkly is the glaring discrepancy regarding employment between those with and without disabilities. As per the UK Equality Act of 2010, a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon gapes between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled individuals, with just 53.2% of disabled adults in the workforce, compared to a whopping 81.5% of the non-disabled brigade. This numeric narrative not only highlights an underlying social injustice, but it is also instrumental in putting the spotlight on the potential neglect of talents, skills, and contributions of a significant segment of the population. A thoughtful consideration of such numerical evidence can help inform policies, bridge gaps and shoulder us towards a more inclusive and equitable society. Weaving these numbers into our blog post on Disability Discrimination Statistics, thus, accentuates the structural inequalities faced by the disabled, begging the question – aren’t diverse workplaces richer for all?

In Canada, the employment rate of Canadians aged 25 to 64 with disabilities was 59% in 2017, compared with 80% for Canadians without a disability.

This compelling figure intricately weaves a narrative of disparity within Canada’s employment sector, eliciting a more profound understanding of disability discrimination. The stark contrast between the employment rate – 59% for Canadians aged 25 to 64 with disabilities versus 80% for their non-disabled counterparts – not only illumines the exclusionary tendencies within the workforce, but also underscores the gravity of disability discrimination. To fully comprehend the dynamics of disability bias in today’s society, this statistic serves as a pivotal cornerstone, mapping out the societal, economic, and personal ramifications for disabled individuals struggling to secure meaningful employment. In essence, it is through the lens of this hard-hitting statistic that we are able to step into the shoes of these individuals and grasp the enormity of their everyday challenges while advocating for equal opportunities and inclusivity in the world of work.

About 375,000 complaints of discrimination have been made under the Americans with Disabilities Act since 2005.

Unraveling the tapestry of disability discrimination, a starkly woven thread appears – the staggering figure of approximately 375,000 complaints lodged under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) since 2005. This revelation inhales a breath of definition into our exploration on Disability Discrimination Statistics.

Juxtaposing this colossal figure with the timeline of the ADA’s enforcement makes it undeniable that the law’s inception has empowered people to seek justice against discrimination. Yet, it also unveils the disconcerting reality that these practices persist, and impacts a multitude of individuals. This number doesn’t simply stand alone, but rather, it echoes voices of enduring discriminatory experiences, ultimately illustrating the magnitude and continuance of disability bias in our society.

Consider this: each complaint has a story, a face, an individual. As we deconstruct these numbers, we not only develop a comprehensive view of the breadth and depth of disability discrimination, but we also humanize the data, providing a powerful, tangible insight into experiences that might otherwise be lost within layers of statistics.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, three in five people (60%) with disability report experiencing discrimination.

Highlighting the finding from the Australian Human Rights Commission significantly underscores the pressing reality many individuals with disabilities face in Australia. The unsettling truth that three out of every five folks with a disability encounter discrimination spotlights an urgent social issue that demands immediate and comprehensive action. When such high incident rates are seen within a population group, it’s not just a mere number but a glaring testament to the harsh lived experiences of people. This data inevitably elevates the importance of discussions surrounding disability discrimination, and helps us understand the depth and breadth of the problem. Hence, it becomes imperative to delve deeper, to bring about change and challenge these prevalent societal biases.

From 2010 to 2020, people with disabilities filed 338,660 charges of discrimination based on disability with the U.S. EEOC.

In the realm of disability discrimination statistics, the hard-hitting fact that 338,660 charges were filed with the U.S. EEOC by individuals with disabilities from 2010 to 2020 brings a stark clarity. It serves as a glaring spotlight, illuminating the vast and prevalent issue people with disabilities confront in their day-to-day lives; discrimination. Picturing this number as a sea of unique faces, each with their own stories of discrimination, galvanizes our understanding of the widespread nature of this issue. Indeed, these figures aren’t merely cold, impersonal digits. Instead, they resonate as an urgent call-to-action, pleading for societal reform to secure equitable rights and opportunities for those with disabilities, marking their undeniable significance in a blog post centred around disability discrimination statistics.

In a survey by Scope, two out of three (67%) disabled people in the UK felt the need to conceal their disability due to stigma and negative attitudes.

A powerful revelation from Scope’s survey indicates the pervasive impact of stigma and negative attitudes on the lives of disabled individuals in the UK. Seemingly, an overwhelming 67% of respondents confessed the compulsion to hide their disability, highlighting the distressing dichotomy they must face daily. This figure poignantly underscores the gravity of disability discrimination that persists in society, painting a somber picture of the intense pressure disabled individuals confront. By unmasking the invisible battles these individuals strive to overcome, this statistic not only adds multifaceted depth to our blog post but also bolsters the call for enhanced inclusivity, empathy, and awareness.

79.1% of people with disabilities in Japan faced prejudice, discrimination or lack of understanding, according to a survey conducted by digital marketing research firm Macromill Inc.

In the realm of Disability Discrimination Statistics, this provocative data point shines a light on a sobering reality – an overwhelming 79.1% of individuals with disabilities in Japan, as per Macromill Inc’s research, have encountered prejudice, discrimination, or a dearth of understanding. This startling statistic serves as a stark testament to the formidable challenges people with disabilities confront in society, and underscores the urgency for implementing inclusive policies and fostering a culture of acceptance in Japan and beyond. The data paints a portrait of a society strained by biases and lack of awareness, revealing the scale and depth of the problem that must be addressed.

Only one in four (26%) organizations in Singapore reported having taken action to eliminate barriers for disabled individuals in career progression.

Highlighting this statistic adds gravity to the discussion on disability discrimination in Singapore. It paints a stark picture – almost three-quarters of organizations in the cosmopolitan city-state have yet to take significant steps towards removing career progression barriers for disabled individuals. This underlines the pervasive and urgent issue of systemic disability discrimination within workplace environments. Furthermore, it sparks a conversation on the need for sweeping reforms in corporate policies and practices to ensure a level playing field for all.

Among disabled adults who experience difficulty or dismay at lack of acceptance by the public, 62% said that work is the place where they feel least accepted, according to a 2017 national survey by the Center for Talent Innovation.

Highlighting this statistic paints a stark picture of the workplace challenges faced by disabled adults, a setting where equality, acceptance, and inclusivity should be at the forefront. In a blog post dedicated to Disability Discrimination Statistics, this data point serves as a poignant reminder of the everyday hurdles that disabled individuals overcome. It underscores the reality that work — a realm of achievement, fulfillment, and economic independence — can also be an arena of discomfort and exclusion for persons with disabilities. The striking 62% conveys a call to action to improve employment policies, practices, and perceptions at workplaces nationwide.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that individuals with a disability earn 66 cents for every dollar earned by individuals without a disability.

Weaving this impactful statistic into a blog post about Disability Discrimination Statistics exposes the deep-rooted economic disparity between individuals with and without a disability. It vividly unveils a striking pay inequality, which is central to our discussion – a glaring 34 cents on every dollar deficit for those with a disability. By spotlighting this, we are not only generating awareness about the issue, but also prompting a push for equitable work conditions and fair pay for individuals with disabilities.

In Belgium, 45.6% of persons with a severe disability were at risk of poverty in 2017, compared with 15.9% of the population as a whole.

Highlighting the stark disparity between the percentage of severely disabled individuals at risk of poverty in Belgium in 2017, and that of the overall population, paints a vivid picture of the discrimination that disabled people often face. This statistic serves as a beacon, illuminating the economic unequal treatment these individuals encounter. It underscores the depth of the issue and raises the urgency to combat disability discrimination. The numbers do not lie; they are a silent testament to the grim reality that disabled persons are three times more likely to be impoverished. This striking revelation lends significant weight to our discussion about Disability Discrimination Statistics and encourages more inclusive and accommodating policies for the disabled population.


Understanding and acknowledging the magnitude of disability discrimination is the first step toward eradication of the problem. The disturbing statistics associated with disability discrimination highlight a significant societal issue that needs our urgent attention. Everyone, from government bodies to corporations, educators, and individuals, have a role to play in addressing discrimination and fostering a more inclusive society. By fostering awareness, enforcing stricter laws, promoting equal opportunities, and adjusting societal attitudes toward disabilities, we can significantly reduce these alarming statistics and ensure dignified and respectful lives for all.


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What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination refers to the prejudiced treatment or unfair behavior directed towards individuals due to their disabilities. This includes physical, mental, or psychological impairments. Disability discrimination can occur in various settings such as employment, education, public services, and social or community activities.

What are some forms of disability discrimination?

Common forms of disability discrimination include refusal to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace or school setting, unequal treatment in hiring, promotion or dismissal on the grounds of disability, inappropriate or unnecessary questioning concerning one's disability status, and exclusion or segregation from activities, services or benefits due to a person's disability.

What laws protect individuals from disability discrimination?

In the U.S, numerous laws protect individuals from disability discrimination. Two of the most prominent are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA prohibits discrimination in all areas of public life while the Rehabilitation Act bans discrimination in federal programs and services. Other countries have similar laws, such as the Equality Act 2010 in the UK.

What is a reasonable accommodation in relation to disability discrimination?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process. These adjustments enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job, enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as non-disabled employees, or to attend school or participate in social activities.

If I believe I am experiencing disability discrimination, what can I do?

If you believe you are experiencing disability discrimination, you can file a complaint with local or federal bodies that enforce non-discrimination laws. In the U.S., for example, this could be the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Alternatively, you could also seek legal advice or pursue private civil action.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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