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Disability in Madrid: Centro


Centro is one of the smallest districts in Madrid by geographic size, but it has one of the largest populations with recognized disabilities in the city.


Centro also is one of the oldest parts of the city, home to some of the most important tourist zones in the city. Located in the district are such sights as Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace of Madrid, Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía, Plaza de España, Plaza de Cibeles, the Reina Sofia Museum, Casino de la Reina, the seat of the regional government, and Madrid’s main LGBT neighborhood, Chueca.


Centro location. De Tyk – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Centro is a district in Madrid, which is divided into 6 barrios. It has a perimeter of 10,304 meters and an area of 5.2 square kilometers, making it one of the smaller districts by geographic size.

Population characteristics

Almost 40% of the city population of people with disabilities reside in 5 districts. One of these districts is Centro, with 11,546 residents with disabilities in 2014. This total is almost double the 2011 population with registered disabilities, where the Ayuntamiento de Madrid said 6,244 people with disabilities lived in the district. From 2013 to 2014, the total growth of people with disabilities in the district was 421. This growth rate ranked the district fourth among districts with available data. While 15 districts have populations of women that is higher than men, 6 have higher populations of men. These districts include Centro, with a percentage of women with disabilities being 49,6% and 88 more total men with disabilities living in Centro in 2014 than women with disabilities. The growth in men from 2013 to 2014 was 227, while the growth rate for women with disabilities in the same period was only 194.

Percentages of people with physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities in the district as of 2014 using data from Ayuntamiento de Madrid.

Centro, Villaverde, Ciudad Lineal and Usera are a cluster of districts with a population of around 6,500 people with physical disabilities residing in them as of 2014. They respectively have 6,561, 6,358, 6,341 and 6,014 residents in this category. Centro had the highest ratio of people with physical disabilities to people in the total population. It had 50.04 residents with physical disabilities to 1,000 residents in 2014.

Health services and facilities

Centro is home to 6 outpatient health centers. This includes 5 Centro de Salud, 0 Centro de Especialidades, and 1 Centros Salud Mental. It does not have a public hospital.

The Ayuntamiento de Madrid offers several types of health facilities that are non-specific to people with disabilities. These include drug addiction center. Most are just generically classified as heath facilities. They include social care center for people with disabilities, residence for people with disabilities, psychosocial rehabilitation center, other municipal public health administrative entity, occupational center for people with disabilities, municipal health organization, drug addiction center, disability health center, day center for people with disabilities, center for the prevention of illness, and animal shelter.

Centro has 2 general health services facilities. All are listed as being accessible. Centro is home to 2 centers for the prevention of illness. This facility, like all centers for the prevention of illness in Madrid, is listed as being accessible.

Data from the Ayuntamiento de Madrid does not list any health service facility specifically for people with disabilities as being found in this district. This include occupational support centers, day centers, and residences, all of which are classified as types of health service facilities.


A bubble graph showing the comparable population by district of the count by district of the number of special education students enrolled in technical education programs at private schools with a concentration.

Centro had 10 special education students in technical education programs as of August 2016. Centro ranked fifth among all districts for the size of this special education student population. The district was one of five, alongside Fuencarral-El Pardo, Tetuán, Ciudad Lineal and Salamanca, to have all of special education students of this type enrolled in private school technical education programs with a subject concentration.

Residential and supervised living facilities

The Ayuntamiento de Madrid offers several types of residential facilities and supervised living facilities. These include senior assisted living apartments, social housing center, soup kitchens, social housing centers, sanatoriums, and social foundations. Most are just generically classified as nursing homes or supervised apartments. In most cases, these facilities are not specifically for people with disabilities. They may offer services for groups that are more prone to having disabilities, such as the elderly. Centro has 5 facilities falling into the broad general category of residential and supervised living facilities. 1 of the 5 are accessible. This puts the district in the bottom third for having 20% of its facilities being accessible. Centro has 5 senior assisted living facilities. Of these, 1, or 20%, are listed as being accessible. The district has no other type of residential and supervised living facilities.

Public services

Centro is the location of publicly accessible toilets installed by the Ayuntamiento de Madrid. These are self-contained toilets located in public places. As of 2017, the district ranked first with 8 toilets installed in its borders.

The city of Madrid operates a number of public libraries. A number of libraries may be missing as the list from the Ayuntamiento de Madrid does not appear complete. Where data is available, 10 districts have public libraries. Centro has the most accessible libraries at 4, while Hortaleza and Usera have the next most accessible libraries with 2 each.

Public transport

8 of the 10 metro stops serving Centro are listed by Metro Madrid as being accessible as of January 2018. Of these 10 metro stops, 8 have complementary accessibility measures, 8 have ramps, and 3 have elevators. Of the 12 districts served by Metro Madrid stations that had specific funding designated to upgrade accessibility to specific metro stations, the district ranked second in total funding, with 29,841,587.64 € allocated for improvements. Centro ranked fifth in average funding, with stations serving it getting 5,968,317.53 € to fund accessibility efforts.

While Renfe provides little data regarding accessibility for its whole network that can be correlated with location, there is at least one accessible Cercanías station serving this district. These stations have ramps, elevators and other accessibility features.


The Ayuntamiento de Madrid is involved with allocating public parking in the city, both spots alongside public roads and in running public car parks. The Ayuntamiento de Madrid provides data on the location of accessible public parking locations, and the total number of spots at these locations. The data is dated as being from May 2017. The correlation between the total number of locations and total number of spots is 0.97. The more unique locations a district has, the more total spots the district has. Across all districts the average unique location had an average of 1.099 to 1.310 spots each. Most unique parking locations have few spots dedicated to disabled users with all districts having the same minimum number of spots per location at 1.

Centro ranks second to last among all districts in terms of total number of unique parking locations with disabled parking spots with spots at 183 locations. It has 210 total spots across all locations, averaging 1.141 per location. The most disabled parking spots at any single location in the district is 3, putting the district tied for seventeenth and last in this category along with 6 other districts.

Sporting facilities

The district with the most polideportivos is Moncloa-Aravaca, with 9. This is almost twice as many as Arganzuela, Puente de Vallecas and Villaverde which have 5 each. Centro, Chamberí and Barajas as the other opposite end of the spectrum. These districts have 1 polideportivo each. Lack of total total polideportivos in a district does not correlate to the size of polideportivos in square meters. The Pearson’s Coefficient in this case is 0.461, suggesting more randomness between the two numbers than correlation between total polideportivos and total area of polideportivos . This is noteworthy in that Moratalaz only has 2 polideportivos, but ranks number one in total square area of polideportivo space with 267,300 square meter. Latina, with 4 polideportivos, is second in total area with 214,768 square meters. Puente de Vallecas ranks third using this metric, with its 5 polideportivos having a total of 198,865 square meters. Moncloa-Aravaca ranks fourth, with its 9 polideportivos having a total of 181,776 square meters. On the other side of the spectrum, Centro ranks last in area, with its 1 polideportivo having 2,239 square meters of space. Salamanca is second to last, with its 2 polideportivos having a total area of 7,496 square meters. Barajas ranks third to last with its 1 deportivo having 17,346 square meters. Tetuán is fourth from last with its 3 polideportivos having 18,205 total square meters.

Centro’s 1 polideportivo is listed by the Ayuntamiento de Madrid as being accessible. The district has a pool that is equipped with a pool hoist. None of the pools at polideportivos in the district have pool ramps. All the polideportivos in the district are equipped with elevators. None of the district’s polideportivos have a wheelchair accessible entrance ramp. This may be because none is required as there are no steps to enter.

4 basic sports facilities are located in Centro. This puts the district as tied for eighteenth for total number of basic sporting facilities in its borders. Of these, 1 is access controlled, while 3 are open air facilities. They have a combined 1,862 and 4,107 total square meters of space respectively. The correlation between total access controlled facilities and square meters of size is .91, while open air facilities have a correlation of 0.61. This suggests the more basic sport facilities, the more square meters there are of them per district.

Centro is near the bottom in terms of the diversity of sport specific facilities found at basic sporting facilities and polideportivos inside its borders. It only supports at least 2 sport with these sport specific facilities. Centro ranks eighteenth in Madrid for the total number of facilities with basketball courts. It has 1. It is not listed as being at accessible facility. It also has at least 1 accessible pool.

Sporting opportunities

Centro has polideportivos serving a variety of different types of disabilities, with 1 polideportivo catering to each of the following groups: deaf and hearing impaired, intellectual disabilities, physical disability and sensory disability.

While Latina is the district with the greatest number of sporting opportunities at the greatest number of polideportivos with 16, Centro and Villa de Vallecas offer the fewest opportunities for people to participate in specific disability sports at polideportivos in their district, offering only one disability sport at only one polideportivo inside their borders.

Of the 20 districts with information about disability sports in their borders, all 20 have at least 1 polideportivo offering a para-swimming program. Five districts have 1 polideportivo offering this inclusive form of swimming. They are Barajas, Carabanchel, Centro, Hortaleza and Villa de Vallecas.


While Centro has one of the largest populations of people with disabilities and is generally accessible via public transport, there are few sporting opportunities, limited number of health services specific for people with disabilities, and access issues in many residential facilities.  People with intellectual disabilities appear to be particularly underserved by public institutions in the district based on available data from the Ayuntamiento de Madrid.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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