According to data published by the ABS in 2009, there are over 555,000 Australians using a mobility aid. Of these, 242,000 use a walking frame, over 126,000 use a manual wheelchair and a further 50,000 use either a scooter or electric wheelchair. The ABCB reported that the number of people physically needing the assistance of a passenger lift to evacuate a building can be estimated by using this ABS data. The ABCB found that of the population 10.5% have a mobility disability, of which 2.5% of the population use a mobility aid and 0.6% of the population use a wheelchair, which equates to approximately 1 in 166 people.
In the United States the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the most common functional disability type was mobility disability, reported by about 1 in 8 adults, whilst it has been found that 1 in 5 adults (or over 53 million people) in the United States have a disability of one form or another. When this data is further analysed, it has been found that:
- 10% of adults have difficulties climbing a flight of stairs (which increases to 30.2% for people aged over 65 years of age)
- 5% of adults use a wheelchair (which increases to 5.2% for people aged over 65 years of age)
- 7% of adults use a cane, crutches, or walker (which increases to 17.9% for people aged over 65 years of age)
However, in the United Kingdom it has been reported that 1.9% of the population use a wheelchair and when we consider that a surprisingly large proportion of society across westernised countries use a wheelchair and are likely to be visiting public buildings, schools, universities, workplaces, transport centres, sports stadiums and the like on a frequent basis, it is critical that their needs during an evacuation are considered.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009, 4446.0 – Disability, Australia, 2009, http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4446.02009?OpenDocument, viewed 26 August 2015
 Australian Building Codes Board 2013, Lifts Used During Evacuation Handbook Non-Mandatory Document, p.35, http://www.abcb.gov.au/education-events-resources/publications/abcb-handbooks, viewed 26 August 2015
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Key Findings: Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type among Adults, United States – 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/features/key-findings-community-prevalence.html, viewed 28 August 2015
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevalence and Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults — United States, 2005, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5816a2.htm, viewed 28 August 2015
 Disabled World, U.K. Wheelchair User Statistics, http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/wheelchair-stats.php, viewed 29 August 2015