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Information on people with a learning, physical and sensory disability as at 31 March 2021.

Main points

Registers of people with learning disabilities[footnote a]

  • There were 13,676 people on registers of people with learning disabilities; 83% were living in community placements (for example, living with parents or family) and 17% were living in residential establishments (for example, care homes).

Registers of people with physical or sensory disabilities

An error has been identified in the data on registers of people with physical or sensory disabilities which affects the Wales level information so this section has been removed from this page.


[a] One local authority was unable to provide this data for those aged 16 and over.


Under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, local authorities are required to establish and maintain registers of people who are ordinarily resident in their area who are sight impaired, severely sight impaired, hearing impaired, severely hearing impaired or have both sight and hearing impairments which in combination have a significant effect on their day to day lives. Local authorities must also establish and maintain a register of children who are within the local authority’s area and who are disabled, have a physical or mental impairment which gives rise, or may in the future give rise to, needs for care and support local authorities may also maintain a register of adults within their area to whom these same criteria apply.

Registration is voluntary and figures may therefore be an underestimate of the numbers of people with such disabilities. Registration of severe sight impairment is, however, a pre-condition for the receipt of certain financial benefits and the numbers of people in this category may therefore be more reliable than those for partial sight impairment or other disabilities. These factors alongside uncertainties about the regularity with which registers are reviewed mean that the reliability of this information is difficult to determine and so it cannot be thought of as a definitive number of people with disabilities.

Further data at local authority level are available on StatsWales.

Quality statement

These figures reflect the 2020-21 reporting year and are correct as at 31 March 2021. Quality assurance was undertaken with local authorities. Not all local authorities provided complete returns. One local authority was unable to provide data for those with a learning disability aged 16 and over. One local authority was unable to provide any figures for people with physical or sensory disabilities, and one local authority was unable to provide figures for people with a physical disability only.

Information on quality can be found in the Local authority registers of disabled people: as at 31 March 2019 report.

The future of this data collection is currently being considered however it is the expectation that it will continue for 2021-22. If you are a user of these statistics and would like to make yourself known as we consider the future of this output please email the contact below.


Datasets and interactive tools


Bethan Sherwood

Telephone: 0300 025 6735


Telephone: 0300 025 8099