The number of disabled children in the UK could increase by more than 60 per cent by 2029, if current trends continue, according to a report out this week.
The study by the Institute for Public Policy Research suggests that if the number of disabled children continues to increase at the same level as it did between 1975 and 2002, it will rise from 770,000 in 2002 to 1.25 million by 2029.
The report emphasises that there is no evidence to suggest the same rate of increase will continue. It says the rise to 2002 can partly be explained by the increased reported prevalence of mental health problems, autistic spectrum disorders and emotional and behavioural disorders.
The study also found 29 per cent of people with disabled children lived in poverty in 2002-3 compared with 21 per cent of all households. It said more poor households had disabled children than not.