There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.

The figures presented here have been calculated using learning disability prevalence rates from Public Health England (2016) and population data from the Office for National Statistics (2019). For more details, please consult our references page.

The big picture

  • There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.
  • Approximately 1.2 million of those are in England.

How common is learning disability in the UK?

Approximately 2.16% of adults in the UK are believed to have a learning disability

Approximately 2.5% of children in the UK are believed to have a learning disability 

Infographic

Adults with a learning disability

  • There are approximately 1,130,000 adults with a learning disability in the UK
  • There are approximately 951,000 adults with a learning disability in England
  • There are approximately 54,000 adults with a learning disability in Wales
  • There are approximately 31,000 adults with a learning disability in Northern Ireland

Adults of working age with a learning disability (18-64)

  • There are approximately 869,000 adults of working age with a learning disability in the UK
  • There are approximately 731,000 adults of working age with a learning disability in England
  • There are approximately 40,000 adults of working age with a learning disability in Wales
  • There are approximately 25,000 adults of working age with a learning disability in Northern Ireland

Children with a learning disability (0-17)

  • There are approximately 351,000 children with a learning disability (0-17) with a learning disability in the UK
  • There are approximately 299,000 children with a learning disability (0-17) with a learning disability in England
  • There are approximately 16,000 children with a learning disability (0-17) with a learning disability in Wales
  • There are approximately 11,000 children with a learning disability (0-17) with a learning disability in Northern Ireland

Children with a learning disability (0-5)

  • There are approximately 118,000 children with a learning disability (0-5) with a learning disability in the UK
  • There are approximately 101,000 children with a learning disability (0-5) with a learning disability in England
  • There are approximately 5,000 children with a learning disability (0-5) with a learning disability in Wales
  • There are approximately 4,000 children with a learning disability (0-5) with a learning disability in Northern Ireland
 

Research references

Here you'll find full referencing for the Mencap research and statistics pages.

Research references

You might also like

Treat me well

Treat me well is our campaign to transform how the NHS treats people with a learning disability in hospital. Find out what we’re calling for and how you can help
Read more