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Disability in France - statistics & facts

Disability affects more people than generally supposed. While less than ten percent of the French population aged between 25 and 54 years old have disabilities, it is clear that the more the French move forward in life, the more they seem to be affected by motor, visual or auditory disabilities. In fact, more than half of people with disabilities were over 45 in 2020.

Disability hinders academic ambitions: in 2020, half of people with disabilities had continued their studies after obtaining the Baccalaureate, and only nine percent had obtained a Master's degree, even though the majority of young people with disabilities were enrolled in conventional schools.

While about 36 percent of French people with officially recognized disability status had a job, a significant share of them were still unemployed in 2018. It seems that not enough is being done to help: about one person out of five with a disability felt that their professional integration had been difficult in 2020. Additionally, about three-quarters of the French population thought it was difficult for a company to hire people with disabilities.
Nevertheless, the majority of people with disabilities whose situation required workplace adjustments reported that these needs had been at least partially met by 2020. To compensate for these inequalities, the state provides social assistance, with the number of recipients and total amount increasing every year. Likewise, the health insurance system covers those who have disabilities, particularly mental ones. In 2018, 125,000 people were covered by health insurance for mental deficiency. French men were also more likely to be affected by this situation than women, especially between ages 35-54.

The perception of disability in France may evolve, particularly thanks to handisport (or parasport) and its media coverage via the Paralympic Games. Since the first Games, held in Rome in 1960, in which 400 athletes from 23 countries participated, the Paralympics have become a worldwide phenomenon which brings together the best Paralympic athletes every four years. Events are watched by increasing numbers of television viewers around the world. Most young French people believed that the Paralympic Games could be an opportunity to improve the position of people with disabilities in society.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Disability in France".


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