Research and statistics

Learning disability in the London Borough of Ealing

  • As of 2020, there are an estimated 6,791 people aged over 18 who have a learning disability living in Ealing.
  • Only 20% of them receive any formal care from the local authority. This means almost 5,500 are reliant on help from neighbours and families when they need it.
  • By 2030 the proportion of people in Ealing in the 18-64 age group with a learning disability will increase from 7% to 12%.


  • People with learning disabilities have greater and more complex health needs than the general population.
  • They experience higher levels of unrecognised and unmet physical and mental health needs because they face multiple barriers accessing health services. These include problems with communication, inadequate facilities, rigid procedures and lack of accessible health promotion information.
  • As a result, people with learning disabilities are more likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency case, compared to those with no learning disability. 50% of all admissions for those with learning disabilities are emergencies, compared to 31% of admissions in the general population.
  • People with learning disabilities are more likely to die from a preventable cause. Their life expectancy is shorter than that of non-disabled people, and they typically die 20 years younger than those with no learning disabilities.
  • Respiratory disease accounts for approximately half their deaths.

Digital exclusion

  • In 2018 there were still 5.3 million internet non-user adults in the UK (that is, people who have never used the internet or not used it in the last 3 months). 56% of them were disabled people.
  • Even in the younger age groups this shocking digital divide is clear, with 60% of internet non-users aged between 16 and 24 years being disabled people.
  • In 2018 23.3% of disabled adults were not using the internet. For people with learning disabilities the percentage is much higher.


  • 31% of adults with a learning disability have no contact with friends compared to 3% of adults without a disability.
    According to Scope, 85% of young disabled adults feel lonely.
  • Between 25% and 40% of people with learning disabilities also suffer from mental health problems. Loneliness can lead to a further deterioration in mental wellbeing.


  • Only 5.9% of people with learning disability have a part or full time job.
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