2016 Disability Status Report: United States

Table of Contents

The 2016 Annual Disability Status Report

The Annual Disability Status Reports provide policy makers, disability advocates, reporters, and the public with a summary of the most recent demographic and economic statistics on the non-institutionalized population with disabilities. They contain information on the population size and disability prevalence for various demographic subpopulations, as well as statistics related to employment, earnings, household income, veterans' service-connected disability and health insurance. Comparisons are made to people without disabilities and across disability types. Disability Status Reports and other statistics are available for the United States overall, each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico at www.disabilitystatistics.org.

The Status Reports primarily look at the working-age population because the employment gap between people with and without disabilities is a major focus of government programs and advocacy efforts. Employment is also a key factor in the social integration and economic self-sufficiency of working-age people with disabilities.

The information in this report is based on data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) - a survey sent each year to a random sample of over 3.5 million households. For more information see the Census Bureau's ACS website http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ and our Guide to Disability Statistics from the American Community Survey (2008 Forward): http://disabilitystatistics.org/sources.cfm.

The estimates in these reports are based on responses from a sample of the population and may differ from actual population values because of sampling variability and other factors. Differences observed between the estimates for two or more groups may not be statistically significant.

http://www.census.gov/people/disability/methodology/acs.html

 

Suggested Citation

Erickson, W. Lee, C., & von Schrader, S. (2019). 2016 Disability Status Report: United States. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Yang Tan Institute on Employment and Disability (YTI).

We would like to thank Sara VanLooy, Jason Criss, and Joe Williams for their assistance with editing and production of this document.

ACS Disability Questions

There is no single accepted definition of disability. Different definitions and disability questions may identify different populations with disabilities and result in larger or smaller estimates.

Below are the six questions used in the ACS to identify persons with disabilities. Note that the Census Bureau refers to each of the individual types as "difficulty" while in this report the term "disability" is used.

  • Hearing Disability (asked of all ages):
    • Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing?
  • Visual Disability (asked of all ages):
    • Is this person blind or does he/she have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses?
  • Cognitive Disability (asked of persons ages 5 or older):
    • Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?
  • Ambulatory Disability (asked of persons ages 5 or older):
    • Does this person have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs?
  • Self-Care Disability (asked of persons ages 5 or older):
    • Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?
  • Independent Living Disability (asked of persons ages 15 or older):
    • Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor's office or shopping?

Note:

  • The "Any Disability" category used in this report includes persons who reported one or more of the individual disability types.
  • Respondents could report more than one disability type.
  • Some disability questions were not asked of children.
  • A separate set of survey questions identify veterans with service-connected disabilities. Based on a separate set of survey questions, this report includes estimates related to veterans' service-connected disability
    (see page 51).

 

Notes

Spanish Language Reports: Spanish language versions of the Annual Disability Status Reports for the US, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. can be downloaded at the same location as the English Status Reports. The Spanish translation was made possible through funding from the Northeast ADA Center and NIDILRR.

Puerto Rico: A Puerto Rico Disability Status Report, based on the parallel 2016 Puerto Rico Community Survey (PRCS), is available again this year in English as well as Spanish. However, please note that the Puerto Rico sample is not included in any U.S. population estimates included in these reports.

Group Quarters: In 2006, the ACS began surveying the group quarters population. We include the non-institutionalized group quarters population, but due to small state level sample sizes exclude the institutionalized group quarters population (see glossary) in the Disability Status Reports.

Margin of Error (MOE): As in previous years' reports we provide the 90% MOE to better illustrate sampling variability. See the glossary entry for more information on this topic.

Glossary: As in previous years, we provide a comprehensive glossary at the back of this report defining the terms used in the Disability Status Report (see glossary).

Note: According to the Census Bureau, estimates based on the ACS Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) file such as those included in this report may differ slightly from the ACS summary tables produced by the Census Bureau, because they are subject to additional sampling error and further data processing operations. Please see http://www.disabilitystatistics.org/faq.cfm#Q4 for further information.

United States Summary

These statistics indicate the social and economic status of non-institutionalized people with disabilities in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).

Age: In 2016, the prevalence of disability in the US was:

  • 12.8 percent for persons of all ages
  • 0.7 percent for persons ages 4 and under
  • 5.5 percent for persons ages 5 to 15
  • 6.2 percent for persons ages 16 to 20
  • 10.9 percent for persons ages 21 to 64
  • 25.3 percent for persons ages 65 to 74
  • 49.6 percent for persons ages 75+

Disability Type: In 2016, the prevalence of the six disability types among persons of all ages in the US was:

  • 2.4% reported a Visual Disability
  • 3.6% reported a Hearing Disability
  • 7.1% reported an Ambulatory Disability
  • 5.2% reported a Cognitive Disability
  • 2.7% reported a Self-Care Disability
  • 5.7% reported an Independent Living Disability

Gender: In 2016, 12.9 percent of females of all ages and 12.7 percent of males of all ages in the US reported a disability.

Hispanic/Latino: In 2016, the prevalence of disability among persons of all ages of Hispanic or Latino origin in the US was 9.1 percent.

Race: In the US in 2016, the prevalence of disability for working-age people (ages 21 to 64) was:

  • 10.9 percent among Whites
  • 14.0 percent among Black / African Americans
  • 4.5 percent among Asians
  • 18.1 percent among Native Americans
  • 10.1 percent among persons of some other race(s)

Employment: In 2016, the employment rate of working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the US was 36.2 percent.

Looking for Work: In the US in 2016, the percentage actively looking for work among people with disabilities who were not working was 7.8 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year Employment: In the US in 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year was 23.0 percent.

Annual Earnings: In 2016, the median annual earnings of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was $40,300.

Annual Household Income: In the US in 2016, the median annual income of households with working-age people with disabilities was $43,300.

Poverty: In the US in 2016, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities was 26.6 percent.

Supplemental Security Income: In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving SSI payments in the US was 19.2 percent.

Educational Attainment: In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities in the US:

  • with only a high school diploma or equivalent was 34.1 percent
  • with only some college or an associate degree was 31.5 percent
  • with a bachelor's degree or more was 14.4 percent.

Veterans Service-Connected Disability: In 2016, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans with a VA determined Service-Connected Disability was 25.1 percent in the US.

Health Insurance Coverage: In 2016 in the US, 90.3 percent of working-age people with disabilities had health insurance.

Prevalence: Ages 21 - 64

This summary lists percentages by state of non-institutionalized working-age (ages 21 to 64) people with disabilities using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). The US disability prevalence rate for this population was 10.9%

Location 2016 (%) Location 2016 (%)
Alabama 14.7 Montana 13.0
Alaska 12.3 Nebraska 10.2
Arizona 11.3 Nevada 11.4
Arkansas 15.6 New Hampshire 10.6
California 8.5 New Jersey 8.0
Colorado 9.0 New Mexico 13.3
Connecticut 8.7 New York 9.2
Delaware 9.8 North Carolina 12.3
District of Columbia 9.7 North Dakota 9.0
Florida 10.7 Ohio 12.3
Georgia 11.5 Oklahoma 15.1
Hawaii 8.0 Oregon 12.7
Idaho 12.2 Pennsylvania 12.2
Illinois 9.0 Puerto Rico 18.1
Indiana 12.4 Rhode Island 11.7
Iowa 10.1 South Carolina 13.3
Kansas 11.3 South Dakota 10.0
Kentucky 17.0 Tennessee 14.4
Louisiana 14.3 Texas 10.2
Maine 13.4 Utah 9.3
Maryland 9.1 Vermont 12.0
Massachusetts 9.3 Virginia 9.8
Michigan 13.1 Washington 11.3
Minnesota 8.9 West Virginia 18.5
Mississippi 15.1 Wisconsin 9.8
Missouri 13.2 Wyoming 12.4

Employment: Ages 21 - 64

This summary lists employment rates by state of non-institutionalized working-age (ages 21 to 64) people with disabilities using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). The employment rate in the US for this population was 36.2% for people with disabilities and 78.9% for people without disabilities.

Location People with Disabilities 2016 People without Disabilities 2016 Location People with Disabilities 2016 People without Disabilities 2016
Alabama 27.9 75.5 Montana 42.7 80.9
Alaska 49.4 77.6 Nebraska 49.8 85.7
Arizona 35.1 76.1 Nevada 42.6 77.6
Arkansas 32.0 77.6 New Hampshire 45.6 85.2
California 35.0 76.5 New Jersey 37.4 79.7
Colorado 42.8 81.5 New Mexico 31.6 73.9
Connecticut 39.0 81.4 New York 33.0 77.9
Delaware 36.2 79.2 North Carolina 35.2 78.3
District of Columbia 33.8 80.7 North Dakota 51.5 85.4
Florida 32.7 77.3 Ohio 35.7 80.2
Georgia 34.7 77.9 Oklahoma 36.5 77.7
Hawaii 40.5 81.2 Oregon 40.1 78.5
Idaho 42.9 77.9 Pennsylvania 35.2 80.0
Illinois 35.1 79.8 Puerto Rico 23.1 58.6
Indiana 36.9 81.2 Rhode Island 31.5 80.9
Iowa 45.8 84.3 South Carolina 33.4 78.0
Kansas 46.0 82.5 South Dakota 52.0 84.5
Kentucky 31.0 77.6 Tennessee 31.4 78.3
Louisiana 30.9 75.4 Texas 39.7 78.3
Maine 32.4 81.4 Utah 46.2 79.7
Maryland 42.2 82.5 Vermont 41.4 85.0
Massachusetts 38.9 82.3 Virginia 39.5 81.4
Michigan 33.6 78.3 Washington 39.2 79.0
Minnesota 48.7 85.5 West Virginia 27.9 72.6
Mississippi 29.0 74.8 Wisconsin 41.6 83.6
Missouri 34.2 81.0 Wyoming 47.0 80.6

Prevalence

All Ages

Introduction

This section addresses the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people of all ages in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability of all ages in the US was 12.8 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 40,890,900 of the 319,215,200 individuals of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 7.1 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 2.4 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people of all ages in the United States in 2016*

xxx
Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 12.8 0.05 40,890,900 156,510 319,215,200 3,085,278
Visual 2.4 0.02 7,675,600 71,690 319,215,200 3,085,278
Hearing 3.6 0.03 11,445,600 87,010 319,215,200 3,085,278
Ambulatory 7.1 0.04 21,246,400 116,670 299,489,800 2,923,204
Cognitive 5.2 0.03 15,507,300 100,620 299,489,800 2,923,204
Self-Care 2.7 0.02 8,134,300 73,740 299,489,800 2,923,204
Independent Living 5.7 0.04 14,788,800 98,380 258,311,400 2,554,281

* Note: Children under the age of five were only asked about Vision and Hearing disabilities. The Independent Living disability question was only asked of persons aged 16 years old and older.

Prevalence

Ages 4 years and under

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized children ages 4 and under in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). Only the two sensory disability questions were asked of this population. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of children with a visual and/or hearing disability ages 0 to 4 in the US was 0.7 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 138,500 of the 19,725,400 children ages 0 to 4 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, 0.4 percent reported a visual disability
  • In the US in 2016, 0.5 percent reported a hearing disability

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 4 and under in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 0.7 3.29 138,500 9,740 19,725,400 162,074
Visual 0.4 3.29 78,600 7,340 19,725,400 162,074
Hearing 0.5 3.29 94,400 8,050 19,725,400 162,074

Prevalence

Ages 5 to 15 years

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized children ages 5 to 15 in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of children with a disability ages 5 to 15 in the US was 5.5 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 2,484,100 of the 45,347,200 individuals ages 5 to 15 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, among the five types of disabilities* identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 4.2 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Hearing Disability," 0.6 percent.

Prevalence of disability* among non-institutionalized people ages 5 to 15 in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 5.5 0.09 2,484,100 41,120 45,347,200 407,935
Visual 0.9 3.29 388,400 16,310 45,347,200 407,935
Hearing 0.6 3.29 280,300 13,860 45,347,200 407,935
Ambulatory 0.6 3.29 273,200 13,680 45,347,200 407,935
Cognitive 4.2 0.08 1,914,800 36,130 45,347,200 407,935
Self-Care 1.1 3.29 483,000 18,190 45,347,200 407,935

* Note: The "Independent Living Disability" question was not asked of children ages 15 years and younger.

Prevalence

Ages 16 to 20 years

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 16 to 20 in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 16 to 20 in the US was 6.2 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 1,333,400 of the 21,641,500 individuals ages 16 to 20 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 4.3 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Hearing Disability," 0.7 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 16 to 20 in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 6.2 0.14 1,333,400 30,180 21,641,500 205,004
Visual 1.1 3.29 239,400 12,810 21,641,500 205,004
Hearing 0.7 3.29 142,100 9,870 21,641,500 205,004
Ambulatory 0.8 3.29 178,000 11,050 21,641,500 205,004
Cognitive 4.3 0.11 931,800 25,240 21,641,500 205,004
Self-Care 0.8 3.29 166,900 10,700 21,641,500 205,004
Independent Living 2.3 0.09 505,400 18,600 21,641,500 205,004

Prevalence

Ages 21 to 64 years

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of working age people (ages 21 to 64) with a disability in the US was 10.9 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 20,062,500 of the 184,582,700 individuals ages 21 to 64 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 5.4 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was "Self-Care Disability," 1.9 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 21 to 64 in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 10.9 0.06 20,062,500 113,600 184,582,700 1,735,531
Visual 2.1 0.03 3,798,200 50,740 184,582,700 1,735,531
Hearing 2.1 0.03 3,934,300 51,630 184,582,700 1,735,531
Ambulatory 5.4 0.04 10,027,900 81,630 184,582,700 1,735,531
Cognitive 4.6 0.04 8,408,200 74,940 184,582,700 1,735,531
Self-Care 1.9 3.29 3,575,900 49,250 184,582,700 1,735,531
Independent Living 3.9 0.04 7,156,600 69,280 184,582,700 1,735,531

Prevalence

Ages 65 to 74 years

Introduction

This section explores the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 65 to 74 in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 65 to 74 in the US was 25.3 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 7,188,600 of the 28,387,900 individuals ages 65 to 74 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 15.4 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Self-Care Disability," 4.4 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 65 to 74 in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 25.3 0.21 7,188,600 69,430 28,387,900 341,367
Visual 4.5 0.10 1,277,600 29,540 28,387,900 341,367
Hearing 9.2 0.14 2,623,500 42,240 28,387,900 341,367
Ambulatory 15.4 0.18 4,381,400 54,440 28,387,900 341,367
Cognitive 5.4 0.11 1,535,100 32,370 28,387,900 341,367
Self-Care 4.4 0.10 1,253,600 29,260 28,387,900 341,367
Independent Living 7.6 0.13 2,169,700 38,450 28,387,900 341,367

Prevalence

Ages 75 and Older

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 75 and older in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 75 and older in the US was 49.6 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 9,683,900 of the 19,530,600 individuals ages 75 and older in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 32.7 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 9.7 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 75 and older in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 49.6 0.30 9,683,900 80,260 19,530,600 233,367
Visual 9.7 0.18 1,893,500 35,930 19,530,600 233,367
Hearing 22.4 0.25 4,371,000 54,380 19,530,600 233,367
Ambulatory 32.7 0.28 6,386,000 65,520 19,530,600 233,367
Cognitive 13.9 0.21 2,717,400 42,990 19,530,600 233,367
Self-Care 13.6 0.20 2,654,800 42,490 19,530,600 233,367
Independent Living 24.9 0.26 4,854,200 57,260 19,530,600 233,367

Prevalence

Gender and Age

Introduction

This section examines the prevalence of disability among people by gender and age group in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In the US in 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of males with a disability of all ages was 12.7 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 19,803,600 of the 156,357,700 males of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of females with a disability of all ages was 12.9 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 21,087,300 of the 162,857,500 females of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people by gender and age group in the United States in 2016

Gender & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Males
Males: All Ages 12.7 0.07 19,803,600 112,910 156,357,700 1,497,200
Males: Ages 4 and under 0.8 3.29 78,500 7,340 10,115,000 83,161
Males: Ages 5-15 6.9 0.14 1,591,900 32,960 23,189,600 208,789
Males: Ages 16-20 6.9 0.20 766,100 22,890 11,032,400 103,932
Males: Ages 21-64 11.0 0.09 9,960,200 81,370 90,722,600 842,620
Males: Ages 65-74 26.7 0.32 3,539,300 49,000 13,241,800 160,174
Males: Ages 75+ 48.0 0.46 3,867,500 51,190 8,056,300 98,524
Females
Females: All Ages 12.9 0.07 21,087,300 116,270 162,857,500 1,588,078
Females: Ages 4 and under 0.6 3.29 59,900 6,410 9,610,400 78,913
Females: Ages 5-15 4.0 0.11 892,200 24,700 22,157,600 199,146
Females: Ages 16-20 5.3 0.18 567,200 19,710 10,609,100 101,072
Females: Ages 21-64 10.8 0.08 10,102,300 81,920 93,860,000 892,911
Females: Ages 65-74 24.1 0.29 3,649,300 49,740 15,146,100 181,193
Females: Ages 75+ 50.7 0.39 5,816,400 62,590 11,474,200 134,843

* Note: Children ages 0-4 were only asked about visual and hearing disabilities, children ages 5-15 were not asked the "Independent Living Disability" question.

Prevalence

Hispanic/Latino Origin and Age

Introduction

This section examines the prevalence of disability among people by Hispanic/Latino origin and age group in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In the US in 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 9.1 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 5,191,500 of the 56,811,800 people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2016, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of non-Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 13.6 percent.
  • In other words, in 2016, 35,699,400 of the 262,403,400 people of non-Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.

* Note: Children ages 0-4 were only asked about visual and hearing disabilities, children age 5-15 were not asked the "Independent Living Disability" question.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people by Hispanic / Latino origin and age group in the United States in 2016

Hispanic/Latino Origin & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Hispanic
Hispanic - All Ages 9.1 0.10 5,191,500 59,190 56,811,800 444,792
Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.9 3.29 45,900 5,610 5,074,400 33,930
Hispanic - Ages 5-15 5.3 0.18 604,300 20,340 11,299,000 86,219
Hispanic - Ages 16-20 5.4 0.27 262,700 13,420 4,844,500 39,426
Hispanic - Ages 21-64 8.7 0.13 2,769,600 43,400 31,733,700 246,784
Hispanic - Ages 65-74 29.7 0.78 704,300 21,950 2,368,100 23,107
Hispanic - Ages 75+ 53.9 1.07 804,500 23,460 1,492,100 15,326
Non-Hispanic
Non-Hispanic - All Ages 13.6 0.06 35,699,400 147,570 262,403,400 2,640,486
Non-Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.6 3.29 92,600 7,970 14,650,900 128,144
Non-Hispanic - Ages 5-15 5.5 0.10 1,879,800 35,800 34,048,200 321,716
Non-Hispanic - Ages 16-20 6.4 0.16 1,070,600 27,050 16,797,000 165,578
Non-Hispanic - Ages 21-64 11.3 0.07 17,292,900 105,950 152,849,000 1,488,747
Non-Hispanic - Ages 65-74 24.9 0.22 6,484,200 66,010 26,019,800 318,260
Non-Hispanic - Ages 75+ 49.2 0.31 8,879,300 76,960 18,038,500 218,041

* Note: Children ages 0-4 were only asked about visual and hearing disabilities, children ages 5-15 were not asked the "Independent Living Disability" question.

Prevalence

Race

Introduction

This section presents the disability prevalence rate among non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by race category in the US, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

In 2016, among working-age people in the US:

  • 10.9 percent of persons who were White reported a disability.
  • 14.0 percent of persons who were Black/African American reported a disability.
  • 18.1 percent of persons who were Native American reported a disability.
  • 4.5 percent of persons who were Asian reported a disability.
  • 10.1 percent of persons who were some other race(s) reported a disability.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by race in the United States in 2016

Race Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
White 10.9 0.07 14,576,100 97,700 134,256,600 1,327,419
Black/African American 14.0 0.19 3,267,600 47,100 23,322,800 173,912
Native American or
Alaska Native
18.1 0.82 272,900 13,680 1,508,600 18,961
Asian 4.5 0.16 509,700 18,680 11,223,000 102,195
Some other race(s) 10.1 0.21 1,436,200 31,310 14,271,600 113,044

Employment

Introduction

This section examines the employment rates of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities in the US was 36.2 percent.
  • In 2016, the employment rate of working-age people without disabilities in the US was 78.9 percent.
  • The gap between the employment rates of working-age people with and without disabilities was 42.7 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest employment rate was for people with a "Hearing Disability," 52.1 percent. The lowest employment rate was for people with a "Self-Care Disability," 15.4 percent.

Employment of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 78.9 0.08 129,870,100 229,850 164,520,200 1,536,835
Any Disability 36.2 0.28 7,262,500 69,770 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 43.7 0.67 1,658,600 33,640 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 52.1 0.66 2,051,300 37,390 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 24.9 0.36 2,493,800 41,190 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 26.4 0.40 2,218,300 38,870 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 15.4 0.50 552,500 19,450 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 17.1 0.37 1,221,200 28,880 7,156,600 71,736

Not Working but Actively Looking for Work

Introduction

This section focuses on the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the United States who are not working but actively looking for work, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016 in the US, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 7.8 percent.
  • In 2016 in the US, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 18.6 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage not working but actively looking for work between working-age people with and without disabilities was 10.8 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage of not working but actively looking for work was for people with a "Hearing Disability," 9.1 percent. The lowest percentage was for people with a "Self-Care Disability," 3.4 percent.

Percentage who are not working but actively looking for work among non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 18.6 0.17 6,448,500 65,830 34,650,100 325,555
Any Disability 7.8 0.20 997,800 26,120 12,799,900 126,788
Visual 8.5 0.50 181,200 11,140 2,139,600 20,414
Hearing 9.1 0.55 170,800 10,820 1,883,000 18,681
Ambulatory 4.9 0.21 369,600 15,910 7,534,200 74,962
Cognitive 8.3 0.29 511,800 18,720 6,189,900 60,807
Self-Care 3.4 0.27 102,800 8,400 3,023,500 30,640
Independent Living 4.7 0.23 277,000 13,780 5,935,400 59,635

Full-Time / Full-Year Employment

Introduction

This section presents the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was 23.0 percent.
  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was 59.4 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage working full-time/full-year between working-age people with and without disabilities was 36.4 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest full-time/full-year employment rate was for people with "Hearing Disability," 37.9 percent. The lowest full-time/full-year employment rate was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 8.0 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year employment of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 59.4 0.10 97,694,900 216,200 164,520,200 1,536,835
Any Disability 23.0 0.25 4,607,300 55,810 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 29.5 0.61 1,120,700 27,680 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 37.9 0.64 1,491,200 31,910 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 15.4 0.30 1,548,500 32,510 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 13.4 0.31 1,127,900 27,760 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 8.7 0.39 309,800 14,570 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 8.0 0.27 570,100 19,760 7,156,600 71,736

Annual Earnings (Full-Time / Full-Year workers)

Introduction

This section examines the median annual earnings of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities who work full-time/full-year in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the median earnings of working-age people with disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in the US was $40,300.
  • In 2016, the median earnings of working-age people without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in the US was $45,300.
  • The difference in the median earnings between working-age people with and without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year was $5,000.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest annual earnings was for people with "Hearing Disability," $46,300. The lowest annual earnings was for people with "Cognitive Disability," $35,000.

Median annual earnings of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) who work full-time/full-year by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Median Earnings MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $45,300 $110 97,695,000 910,394
Any Disability $40,300 $450 4,607,000 45,879
Visual $38,500 $870 1,121,000 11,081
Hearing $46,300 $890 1,491,000 15,171
Ambulatory $39,300 $740 1,549,000 15,104
Cognitive $35,000 $800 1,128,000 10,490
Self-Care $38,300 $1,660 310,000 2,927
Independent Living $35,300 $1,120 570,000 5,452

Annual Household Income

Introduction

This section illustrates the median annual income* of households that include any working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the median income of households that include any working-age people with disabilities in the US was $43,300.
  • In 2016, the median income of households that do not include any working-age people with disabilities in the US was $68,700.
  • The difference in the median income between households including and not including working-age people with disabilities was $25,400.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest median income was for households including persons with a "Hearing Disability," $55,000. The lowest median income was for households containing persons with a "Self-Care Disability" $36,300.

* Note: Household income is not available for persons living in group quarters.

Median annual income* of households including any working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Median H.H. Income MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $68,700 $230 79,907,000 785,456
Any Disability $43,300 410 15,681,000 163,672
Visual $41,300 880 3,179,000 32,458
Hearing $55,000 1,020 3,479,000 36,584
Ambulatory $37,400 500 8,417,000 87,078
Cognitive $36,900 580 6,502,000 67,105
Self-Care $36,300 840 2,931,000 30,560
Independent Living $37,500 610 5,654,000 60,191

* Note: Household income is not available for persons living in group quarters.

Poverty

Introduction

This section examines the poverty rates* of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities in the US was 26.6 percent.
  • In 2016, the poverty rate of working-age people without disabilities in the US was 10.9 percent.
  • The difference in the poverty rate between working-age people with and without disabilities was 15.7 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest poverty rate was for people with "Cognitive Disability," 32.1 percent. The lowest poverty rate was for people with "Hearing Disability," 20.4 percent.

* Note: The Census Bureau does not calculate poverty status for those people living in military group quarters or college dormitories.

Poverty rates* of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 10.9 0.08 17,924,800 127,960 163,771,100 1,524,358
Any Disability 26.6 0.31 5,323,500 71,160 20,024,300 198,038
Visual 27.7 0.71 1,048,600 31,790 3,791,700 36,617
Hearing 20.4 0.63 802,600 27,830 3,929,500 39,325
Ambulatory 29.3 0.45 2,932,400 53,010 10,022,400 99,121
Cognitive 32.1 0.50 2,694,900 50,840 8,382,400 81,514
Self-Care 31.6 0.76 1,128,100 32,970 3,574,400 35,946
Independent Living 31.4 0.54 2,248,000 46,460 7,151,200 71,643

* Note: The Census Bureau does not calculate poverty status for those people living in military group quarters or college dormitories.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Introduction

This section focuses on the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary. Please note that these results will differ from official Social Security Administration reports for several reasons. For additional information, please email DisabilityStatistics@cornell.edu.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in the US was 19.2 percent.
  • In 2016, the number of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in the US was 3,858,100.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage that received SSI was people with "Self-Care Disability," 29.5 percent. The lowest percentage that received SSI was people with "Hearing Disability," 12.4 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability 19.2 0.23 3,858,100 51,130 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 17.1 0.51 649,900 21,090 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 12.4 0.44 488,100 18,280 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 22.1 0.34 2,219,100 38,880 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 26.4 0.40 2,220,200 38,890 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 29.5 0.63 1,053,300 26,830 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 29.5 0.45 2,114,700 37,960 7,156,600 71,736

Education

High School Diploma/Equivalent

Introduction

This section explores the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the US was 34.1 percent.
  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the US was 24.9 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent between working-age people with and without disabilities was 9.2 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 37.0 percent. The lowest percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent was for people with "Visual Disability," 31.6 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with only a high school diploma or equivalent by disability status in the US in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 24.9 0.09 41,024,600 156,730 164,520,200 1,536,835
Any Disability 34.1 0.28 6,849,800 67,810 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 31.6 0.62 1,201,600 28,650 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 31.6 0.61 1,241,400 29,120 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 35.0 0.39 3,508,700 48,790 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 35.6 0.43 2,996,700 45,120 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 35.3 0.66 1,261,300 29,350 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 37.0 0.47 2,651,400 42,470 7,156,600 71,736

Education

Some College/Associate's Degree

Introduction

This section examines the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the US was 31.5 percent.
  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the US was 31.5 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only some college or an Associate's degree between working-age people with and without disabilities was 0 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage with only some college or an Associate's degree was for people with "Hearing Disability," 32.8 percent. The lowest percentage with only some college or Associate's degree was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 27.8 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with only some college or an Associate's degree by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 31.5 0.09 51,804,400 172,720 164,520,200 1,536,835
Any Disability 31.5 0.27 6,313,900 65,160 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 30.3 0.62 1,151,500 28,050 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 32.8 0.62 1,289,400 29,680 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 31.5 0.38 3,159,200 46,320 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 29.3 0.41 2,462,200 40,940 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 28.6 0.63 1,024,100 26,460 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 27.8 0.44 1,992,100 36,850 7,156,600 71,736

Education

Bachelor's Degree or More

Introduction

This section presents the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the US was 14.4 percent.
  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the US was 33.8 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more between working-age people with and without disabilities was 19.4 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more was for people with "Hearing Disability," 18.1 percent. The lowest percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 10.8 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with a Bachelor's degree or more by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 33.8 0.10 55,661,700 177,760 164,520,200 1,536,835
Any Disability 14.4 0.21 2,890,200 44,320 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 15.7 0.49 598,000 20,230 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 18.1 0.51 710,200 22,050 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 12.1 0.27 1,210,400 28,760 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 11.3 0.29 948,200 25,460 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 11.3 0.44 402,500 16,600 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 10.8 0.30 771,100 22,970 7,156,600 71,736

Veterans Service-Connected Disability Rating

Introduction

This section presents the percentage of non-institutionalized working-age (ages 21 to 64) civilian veterans reporting a service-connected disability rating in the United States. The 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) asks if the veteran has a service-connected disability, and if so, what their rating is (0-100%). A "service-connected" disability is one that has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as being a result of disease or injury incurred or aggravated during military service. Note that a veteran can receive disability compensation for a wide range of conditions, and a veteran with a service-connected disability may not report having one of the six ACS functional or activity limitation disabilities. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, there were 9,127,900 working-age civilian veterans in the US, of whom 2,287,800 had a VA service-connected disability.
  • In 2016, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans in the US with a VA service-connected disability was 25.1 percent.
  • In 2016, 704,300 working-age civilian veterans in the US had the most severe service-connected disability rating (70 percent or above).
  • In 2016, 30.8 percent of the working-age civilian veterans in the US who had a service connected disability had a service-connected disability rating of 70 percent or above.

Disability rating of working-age civilian veterans (ages 21 to 64) with a service-connected disability in the United States in 2016

Service-Connected Disability Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Has a service-connected disability rating (0-100%) 25.1 0.38 2,287,800 39,470 9,127,900 90,868
Disability rating of veterans with a service connected-disability
0 percent 4.7 0.37 106,500 8,540 2,287,800 22,745
10 or 20 percent 27.4 0.77 627,400 20,720 2,287,800 22,745
30 or 40 percent 17.5 0.66 399,900 16,550 2,287,800 22,745
50 or 60 percent 14.1 0.60 321,600 14,840 2,287,800 22,745
70 percent or higher 30.8 0.80 704,300 21,950 2,287,800 22,745
Rating not reported 5.6 0.40 128,200 9,370 2,287,800 22,745

Health Insurance Coverage

Introduction

This section examines the health insurance coverage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, 90.3 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US had some type of health insurance coverage.
  • In 2016, 87.7 percent of working-age people without disabilities in the US had some type of health insurance coverage.
  • The difference in the health insurance coverage rate between working-age people with and without disabilities was 2.6 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest health insurance coverage rate was for people with "Self-Care Disability," 93.0 percent. The lowest health insurance coverage rate was for people with "Visual Disability," 87.6 percent.

Health Insurance Coverage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 87.7 0.07 144,363,400 234,040 164,520,200 1,536,835
Any Disability 90.3 0.17 18,112,700 108,290 20,062,500 198,696
Visual 87.6 0.44 3,326,300 47,520 3,798,200 36,727
Hearing 90.1 0.39 3,544,600 49,030 3,934,300 39,416
Ambulatory 91.7 0.23 9,197,700 78,280 10,027,900 99,215
Cognitive 90.7 0.26 7,622,800 71,450 8,408,200 81,954
Self-Care 93.0 0.35 3,326,000 47,510 3,575,900 35,973
Independent Living 92.5 0.26 6,619,200 66,680 7,156,600 71,736

Type of Health Insurance Coverage

Introduction

This section examines the type of health insurance coverage for non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the United States, using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). Note that people can report more than one type of insurance coverage. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2016, 34.3 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US reported health insurance coverage through a current or former employer or union (theirs or another family member).
  • In 2016, 64.9 percent of working-age people without disabilities in the US reported health insurance coverage through a current or former employer or union (theirs or another family member).
  • In 2016, 11.1 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US reported purchasing health insurance coverage directly from an insurance company (by themselves or another family member).
  • In 2016, 23.9 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US reported Medicare coverage and 42.1 percent reported Medicaid coverage (or other government-assistance plan for those with low incomes or a disability).

Type of Health Insurance Coverage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2016

Disability Status/ Insurance Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability
Uninsured 9.7 0.17 1,949,800 36,460 20,062,500 198,696
Employer/Union 34.3 0.28 6,890,100 68,000 20,062,500 198,696
Purchased 11.1 0.18 2,233,800 39,010 20,062,500 198,696
Medicare 23.9 0.25 4,799,700 56,950 20,062,500 198,696
Medicaid 42.1 0.29 8,441,200 75,090 20,062,500 198,696
Military/VA 6.8 0.15 1,364,800 30,530 20,062,500 198,696
Indian Health Service 0.8 3.29 158,500 10,420 20,062,500 198,696
No Disability
Uninsured 12.3 0.07 20,156,800 113,850 164,520,200 1,536,835
Employer/Union 64.9 0.10 106,827,200 221,460 164,520,200 1,536,835
Purchased 12.2 0.07 20,021,200 113,490 164,520,200 1,536,835
Medicare 1.7 3.29 2,747,400 43,220 164,520,200 1,536,835
Medicaid 11.6 0.07 19,139,500 111,120 164,520,200 1,536,835
Military/VA 3.4 0.04 5,565,000 61,240 164,520,200 1,536,835
Indian Health Service 0.4 3.29 719,200 22,180 164,520,200 1,536,835

Glossary

Actively Looking for Work

A person is defined as ACTIVELY looking for work if he or she reports looking for work during the last four weeks.

Ambulatory Disability

This disability type is based on the question (asked of persons ages 5 or older): Does this person have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs?

Base Population (Base Pop.)

The estimated number of individuals upon which the calculation is based. (For percentages, this is the denominator).

Cognitive Disability

This disability type is based on the question (asked of persons ages 5 or older): Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?

Disability and Disability Types

The ACS definition of disability is based on six questions. A person is coded as having a disability if he or she or a proxy respondent answers affirmatively for one or more of these six categories.

  • Hearing Disability (asked of all ages): Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing?
  • Visual Disability (asked of all ages): Is this person blind or does he/she have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses?
  • Cognitive Disability (asked of persons ages 5 or older): Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?
  • Ambulatory Disability (asked of persons ages 5 or older): Does this person have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs?
  • Self-care Disability (asked of persons ages 5 or older): Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?
  • Independent Living Disability (asked of persons ages 15 or older): Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping?

Earnings

Earnings are defined as wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs including self-employment income (NET income after business expenses) from own nonfarm businesses or farm businesses, including proprietorships and partnerships.

Education

Our definition is based on the responses to the question: "What is the highest degree or level of school this person has completed? If currently enrolled, mark the previous grade or highest degree received." Our category "high school diploma/equivalent" includes those marking the ACS option "Regular high school diploma — GED or alternative credential." Our category "Some college/Associate's degree" includes those marking the ACS options: some college credit, but less than 1 year of college credit; one or more years of college credit but no degree, or "Associate's degree (for example: AA, AS)." Our category "a Bachelor's or more" includes those marking the ACS options: "Bachelor's degree (for example: BA, BS)"; "Master's degree (for example: MA, MS, MEng, MEd, MSW, MBA)"; "Professional degree (for example: MD, DDS, DVM, LLB, JD)"; or "Doctorate degree (for example: PhD, EdD)." Note in 2008 changes were made to some of the response categories and the layout of this question.

Employment

A person is considered employed if he or she is either

  1. “at work”: those who did any work at all during the reference week as a paid employee (worked in his or her own business or profession, worked on his or her own farm, or worked 15 or more hours as an unpaid worker on a family farm or business) or
  2. “with a job but not at work”: had a job but temporarily did not work at that job during the reference week due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation or other personal reasons. The reference week is defined as the week preceding the date the questionnaire was completed.

Employment Rate

The employment rate is calculated by dividing the number of persons employed by the number of persons in that population.

** Note that the unemployment rate cannot be calculated using the employment rate:

  • The employment rate is the percentage of all persons who have a job.
  • The unemployment rate is the percentage of persons in the labor force who do not have a job but are actively looking for work. The labor force includes people who have a job, are on layoff, or who actively searched for work in the last four weeks.

Please see http://www.disabilitystatistics.org/faq.cfm#Q6 for more information on unemployment rate calculation and its implications.

Full-Time/Full-Year Employment

A person is considered employed full-time/full-year if he or she worked 35 hours or more per week (full-time) and 50 or more weeks per year (full-year). The reference period is defined as the year preceding the date the questionnaire was completed. Note: this does not signify whether a person is eligible for fringe benefits. The question and response categories regarding weeks worked per year was changed in 2008.

Group Quarters (GQ)

A GQ is a place where people live or stay that is normally owned or managed by an entity or organization providing housing and/or services for the residents. These services may include custodial or medical care as well as other types of assistance, and residency is commonly restricted to those receiving these services. People living in group quarters are usually not related to each other. Group quarters include such places as college residence halls, residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, group homes, military barracks, correctional facilities, and workers' dormitories. See the definitions of institutional GQs and non-institutional GQs for more information. In addition, a description of the types of group quarters included in the 2008 ACS is located on the U.S. Census Bureau's Web site at www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/
2008_ACS_GQ_Definitions.pdf
.

Health Insurance Coverage

Is based on the following question: Is this person CURRENTLY covered by any of the following types of health insurance or health coverage plans? Mark "Yes" or "No" for EACH type of coverage in items a – h.

  1. Insurance through a current or former employer or union (of this person or another family member)
  2. Insurance purchased directly from an insurance company (by this person or another family member)
  3. Medicare, for people 65 and older, or people with certain disabilities
  4. Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or any kind of government-assistance plan for those with low incomes or a disability
  5. VA (including those who have ever used or enrolled for VA health care)
  6. TRICARE or other military health care
  7. Indian Health Service
  8. Any other type of health insurance or health coverage plan – Specify (Note: “Other type” were recoded into one of the categories a-g by the Census Bureau)

Hearing Disability

This disability type is based on the question (asked of all ages): Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing?

Hispanic or Latino Origin

People of Hispanic or Latino origin are those who classify themselves in a specific Hispanic or Latino category in response to the question, "Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?" Specifically, those of Hispanic or Latino origin are those who are Cuban; Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano; Puerto Rican; or other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino. Origin may be the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.

Household Income

Household Income is defined as the total income of a household including: wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs; self-employment income (NET income after business expenses) from own non-farm or farm businesses, including proprietorships and partnerships; interest, dividends, net rental income, royalty income, or income from real estates and trusts; Social Security or Railroad Retirement; Supplemental Security Income; any public assistance or welfare payments from the state or local welfare office; retirement, survivor or disability pensions; and any other regularly received income (e.g., Veterans' payments, unemployment compensation, child support or alimony). Median household income is calculated with the household as the unit of analysis, using household weights without adjusting for household size.

Independent Living Disability

This disability type is based on the question (asked of persons ages 15 or older): Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctors office or shopping?

Institutional Group Quarters (GQs)

Includes facilities for people under formally authorized, supervised care or custody at the time of enumeration. Generally, restricted to the institution, under the care or supervision of trained staff, and classified as "patients" or "inmates." Includes: correctional, nursing, and in-patient hospice facilities, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile group homes and residential treatment centers.

Margin of Error (MOE)

Data, such as data from the American Community Survey, is based on a sample, and therefore statistics derived from this data are subject to sampling variability. The margin of error (MOE) is a measure of the degree of sampling variability. In a random sample, the degree of sampling variation is determined by the underlying variability of the phenomena being estimated (e.g., income) and the size of the sample (i.e., the number of survey participants used to calculate the statistic). The smaller the margin of error, the lower the sampling variability and the more "precise" the estimate. A margin of error is the difference between an estimate and its upper or lower confidence bounds. Confidence bounds are calculated by adding the MOE to the estimate (upper bound) and subtracting the MOE from the estimate (lower bound). All margins of error in this report are based on a 90 percent confidence level. This means that there is a 90% certainty that the actual value lies somewhere between the upper and lower confidence bounds.

Non-Institutional Group Quarters (GQs)

Includes facilities that are not classified as institutional group quarters; such as college/university housing, group homes intended for adults, residential treatment facilities for adults, workers' group living quarters and Job Corps centers and religious group quarters.

Not Working but Actively Looking for Work

A person is defined as not working but actively looking for work if he or she reports not being employed, but has been looking for work during the last four weeks.

Number

This term appears in the tables; it refers to estimated number of people in the category. (for percentages, this is the numerator).

Poverty

The poverty measure is computed based upon the standards defined in Directive 14 from the Office of Management and Budget. These standards use poverty thresholds created in 1982 and index these thresholds to 2008 dollars using poverty factors based upon the Consumer Price Index. They use the family as the income sharing unit and family income is the sum of total income from each family member living in the household. The poverty threshold depends upon the size of the family; the age of the householder; and the number of related children under the age of 18.

Race

Race categories are based on the question, "[w]hat is this person's race? Mark (X) one or more races to indicate what this person considers himself/herself to be." Responses include the following: White; Black or African-American; American Indian or Alaska Native (print name of enrolled or principal tribe); Asian Indian; Chinese; Filipino; Japanese; Korean; Vietnamese; Other Asian (Print Race); Native Hawaiian; Guamanian or Chamarro; Samoan; Other Pacific Islander (Print Race Below); Some other race (print race below). "Other race" also contains people who report more than one race.

Sample Size

The number of survey participants used to calculate the statistic.

Self-care Disability

This disability type is based on the question (asked of persons ages 5 or older): 17c. Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

A person is defined as receiving SSI payments if he or she reports receiving (SSI) income in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Note: The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not apply to Puerto Rico. SSI is a federal cash assistance program that provides monthly payments to low-income aged, blind, or disabled persons in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Veteran Service-Connected Disability

A disease or injury determined to have occurred in or to have been aggravated by military service. A disability is evaluated according to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities in Title 38, CFR, and Part 4. Extent of disability is expressed as a percentage from 0% (for conditions that exist but are not disabling to a compensable degree) to 100%, in increments of 10%. This information was determined by the following two part question:

  1. Does this person have a VA service-connected disability rating?
    Yes (such as 0%, 10%, 20%, ... , 100%)
    No SKIP to question 28a
  2. What is this person’s service-connected disability rating?”
    Responses included: 0 percent; 10 or 20 percent; 30 or 40 percent; 50 or 60 percent; 70 percent or higher

Visual Disability

This disability type is based on the question:(asked of all ages): Is this person blind or does he/she have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses?

About the Disability Status Reports

The Cornell University Disability Status Reports is produced and funded by the Yang Tan Institute at the Cornell University ILR School. This effort originated as a product of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Demographics and Statistics (StatsRRTC) funded to the Yang Tan Institute in the ILR School at Cornell University by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (grant No. H133B031111).

The contents of this report do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government (Edgar, 75.620 (b)).

 

Contact Us

K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan
Institute on Employment and Disability
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
Phone: 607.255.7727
Email: disabilitystatistics@cornell.edu
Web: www.disabilitystatistics.org