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2018 Statistics Reveal 1 in 4 Adults Live with Disability

Published: 2018-08-19 - Updated: 2019-03-11
Author: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Contact:

Synopsis: U.S. CDC figures show 1 in 4 US adults now live with a disability, with cognitive disability most common in younger adults and mobility disabilities most common for others.

Main Digest

One in 4 U.S. adults - 61 million Americans - have a disability that impacts major life activities, according to a report in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


The most common disability type, mobility, affects 1 in 7 adults.

With age, disability becomes more common, affecting about 2 in 5 adults age 65 and older.

"At some point in their lives, most people will either have a disability or know someone who has a one," said Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. "Learning more about people with disabilities in the United States can help us better understand and meet their health needs."

Six Types of Disability Measured

Using data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), this is the first CDC report of the percentage of adults across six disability types:

The universal symbol for disability, a white stick figure in a wheelchair.
The universal symbol for disability, a white stick figure in a wheelchair.

The data shows that disability is more common among women, non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives, adults with lower income, and adults living in the South Census region of the United States.

Report Also Shows

"People with disabilities will benefit from care coordination and better access to health care and the health services they need, so that they adopt healthy behaviors and have better health," said Georgina Peacock, M.D., M.P.H., Director of CDC's Division of Human Development and Disability.

"Research showing how many people have a disability and differences in their access to health care can guide efforts by health care providers and public health practitioners to improve access to care for people with disabilities."

CDC is committed to protecting the health and well-being of people with disabilities throughout their lives. Through its State Disability and Health Programs and national collaborations, CDC will continue to work to lower health differences faced by people with disabilities. To advance this goal, CDC provides information and resources for public health practitioners, doctors, and those who care for people with disabilities.

For more information about CDC's work to support inclusive settings for people with disabilities visit:

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Cite This Page (APA): U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, August 19). 2018 Statistics Reveal 1 in 4 Adults Live with Disability. Disabled World. Retrieved January 24, 2022 from