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U.S. Disability Statistics and Information


  • Published: 2013-05-29 (Revised/Updated 2013-07-10) : Author: U.S. Census Bureau : Contact: pio@census.gov
  • Synopsis: Number of people with disability living in the United States and other Disability in America facts and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This day marks the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.

Population Distribution

56.7 million
Number of people with a disability living in the United States in 2010. They represented 19 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population. Disabilities include, for instance, having difficulty seeing, hearing, having speech understood, walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, going outside the home, or doing housework, having Alzheimer's, dementia, autism, cerebral palsy, or dyslexia, and being frequently depressed or anxious.

By age

Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

20%
Percentage of females with a disability, compared with 17 percent of males.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

Where They Live

19%
Percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population in West Virginia with a disability the highest rate of any state in the nation. Utah, at 9 percent, had the lowest rate.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table R1810
factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/R1810.US01PRF

Specific Disabilities

7.6 million
Number of people 15 and older who had a hearing difficulty. Among people 65 and older, 4 million had difficulty hearing.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

8.1 million
Number of people 15 and older with a vision difficulty.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

30.6 million
Number of people 15 and older who had difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

3.6 million
Number of people 15 and older who used a wheelchair to assist with mobility. This compares with 11.6 million people who used a cane, crutches or walker.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

2.4 million
Number of people 15 and older who had Alzheimer's disease, senility or dementia.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

12.0 million
Number of people 15 and older who required the assistance of others in order to perform one or more activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, doing housework, and preparing meals.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

On the Job

33%
Percentage of the civilian non-institutionalized population 18 to 64 with a disability who were employed.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18120
factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B18120

53%
Percentage of the civilian labor force with a disability who worked as either service workers (except protective services), with 18.2 percent, administrative support (15.1 percent), sales workers (10.4 percent) and management, business and finance (8.9 percent).
Source: Disability Employment Tabulation, from 2008-2010 American Community Survey,
www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-47.html

315,000
The number of janitors and building cleaners with a disability the most common occupation for people with disabilities. Among occupations with 100,000 or more people, dishwashers had the highest disability rate, with 14.3 percent.
Source: Disability Employment Tabulation, from 2008-2010 American Community Survey,
www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-47.html

Earnings and Poverty

$19,735
Median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability. This compares with $30,285 for those without a disability.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18140
factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B18140

323,000
Number of employed people with disabilities earning $100,000 or more annually. This amounts to 4 percent of all people with disabilities who were employed, compared with 8 percent of people without a disability who were employed.
Source: Disability Employment Tabulation, from 2008-2010 American Community Survey, Table Set 7A www.census.gov/people/disabilityemptab/data/

23%
Percentage of people with a disability who were in poverty. By comparison, those without a disability had a poverty rate of 15 percent.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18130
factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B18130

Government Assistance

30%
Among people who received income-based government assistance, the percentage who had a disability; 18 percent of assistance recipients had difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey) www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-33.html

57%
Percentage of assistance recipients with a disability who received only in-kind assistance. By comparison, 2 percent received cash assistance only and 41 percent received both kinds.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf

58%
Among people who received both cash and in-kind assistance, the percentage who had a disability.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf

42%
The percentage of income-based assistance recipients in West Virginia who had a disability, which led all states. Arizona ranked the lowest, at 25 percent.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf

Health Insurance

10%
Percentage of people with a disability who lacked health insurance. Those without a disability were more likely to be without coverage (16 percent).
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18135

Editor's note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau's Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; or e-mail: pio@census.gov

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