Over 60,000 in Sunderland have a disability

Nearly a quarter of people in Sunderland are living with some kind of disability, new data shows.

64,000 live with a disability.
64,000 live with a disability.

Figures from the census in March 2021 show 64,396 people in the city said they had an impairment – 23.1% of the population.

The Equality Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a "substantial and long-term adverse effect" on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

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In Sunderland, 32,981 people (11.9%) said their disability stopped them from carrying out regular activities 'a little', while 31,415 (11.2%) said it did so 'a lot'.

The overall proportion of disabled people is down from 2011, when 24.7% said they had a disability.

There were 38,128 households with at least one person with a disability – including 11,139 with two or more.

As of March 2021, 43.6% of Sunderland residents described their health as 'very good' – up from 41.4% in 2011 – and the proportion of people describing their health as 'very bad' fell from 2.1% to 1.8%.

Across England and Wales, the proportion of people with a disability has fallen from 19.5% in 2011 to 17.8% at the last census – despite the number of disabled people increasing from 10 to 10.4 million – because the 2021 census explicitly mentioned mental impairments.

Craig Moss, research manager at disability equality charity Scope, said: “It is high time society was more inclusive of disabled people. They are repeatedly forgotten by Government, business and society, with workplaces, pubs and public transport not accessible.”