2017 Disability Status Report: United States

Table of Contents

The 2017 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). 2017 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 2017 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS).

Age: In 2017, the prevalence of disability in the US was:

  • 12.7 percent for persons of all ages
  • 0.8 percent for persons ages 4 and under
  • 5.4 percent for persons ages 5 to 15
  • 6.2 percent for persons ages 16 to 20
  • 10.6 percent for persons ages 21 to 64
  • 25.1 percent for persons ages 65 to 74
  • 48.7 percent for persons ages 75+

Disability Type: In 2017, the prevalence of the six disability types among persons of all ages in the US was:

  • 2.3% reported a Visual Disability
  • 3.6% reported a Hearing Disability
  • 6.9% reported an Ambulatory Disability
  • 5.1% reported a Cognitive Disability
  • 2.6% reported a Self-Care Disability
  • 5.6% reported an Independent Living Disability

Gender: In 2017, 12.8 percent of females of all ages and 12.5 percent of males of all ages in the US reported a disability.

Hispanic/Latino: In 2017, the prevalence of disability among persons of all ages of Hispanic or Latino origin in the US was 8.9 percent.

Race: In the US in 2017, the prevalence of disability for working-age people (ages 21 to 64) was:

  • 10.6 percent among Whites
  • 13.6 percent among Black / African Americans
  • 4.4 percent among Asians
  • 18.1 percent among Native Americans
  • 9.5 percent among persons of some other race(s)

Employment: In 2017, the employment rate of working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the US was 37.3 percent.

Looking for Work: In the US in 2017, the percentage actively looking for work among people with disabilities who were not working was 7.4 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year Employment: In the US in 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year was 23.9 percent.

Annual Earnings: In 2017, the median annual earnings of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was $40,400.

Annual Household Income: In the US in 2017, the median annual income of households with working-age people with disabilities was $45,500.

Poverty: In the US in 2017, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities was 26.1 percent.

Supplemental Security Income: In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving SSI payments in the US was 18.9 percent.

Educational Attainment: In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities in the US:

  • with only a high school diploma or equivalent was 34.4 percent
  • with only some college or an associate degree was 31.7 percent
  • with a bachelor's degree or more was 14.8 percent.

Veterans Service-Connected Disability: In 2017, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans with a VA determined Service-Connected Disability was 26.3 percent in the US.

Health Insurance Coverage: In 2017 in the US, 90.2 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The US disability prevalence rate for this population was 10.6%

Location 2017 (%) Location 2017 (%)
Alabama 14.9 Montana 11.2
Alaska 12.4 Nebraska 10.4
Arizona 10.7 Nevada 10.5
Arkansas 16.5 New Hampshire 10.0
California 8.3 New Jersey 7.9
Colorado 9.0 New Mexico 14.7
Connecticut 8.4 New York 9.1
Delaware 8.8 North Carolina 11.3
District of Columbia 11.3 North Dakota 7.7
Florida 10.5 Ohio 12.3
Georgia 10.7 Oklahoma 15.3
Hawaii 7.4 Oregon 11.6
Idaho 13.0 Pennsylvania 11.8
Illinois 9.0 Puerto Rico 17.9
Indiana 12.1 Rhode Island 11.8
Iowa 9.0 South Carolina 13.0
Kansas 11.5 South Dakota 9.0
Kentucky 16.7 Tennessee 13.7
Louisiana 13.3 Texas 9.7
Maine 14.1 Utah 8.7
Maryland 9.0 Vermont 12.0
Massachusetts 9.4 Virginia 9.7
Michigan 12.3 Washington 10.6
Minnesota 9.2 West Virginia 19.0
Mississippi 15.7 Wisconsin 9.6
Missouri 13.1 Wyoming 12.3

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The employment rate in the US for this population was 37.3% for people with disabilities and 79.4% for people without disabilities.

Location People with Disabilities 2017 People without Disabilities 2017 Location People with Disabilities 2017 People without Disabilities 2017
Alabama 27.0 74.9 Montana 43.8 81.8
Alaska 40.3 79.5 Nebraska 51.8 86.4
Arizona 36.9 77.2 Nevada 41.1 78.6
Arkansas 31.8 78.3 New Hampshire 45.0 85.1
California 36.8 77.3 New Jersey 39.2 80.9
Colorado 45.7 82.4 New Mexico 33.1 73.6
Connecticut 40.4 80.4 New York 34.9 78.8
Delaware 37.0 76.5 North Carolina 34.6 79.2
District of Columbia 44.8 81.9 North Dakota 56.1 85.3
Florida 34.2 77.6 Ohio 37.0 80.7
Georgia 34.9 78.4 Oklahoma 36.6 78.3
Hawaii 41.3 81.4 Oregon 37.0 79.8
Idaho 43.5 78.7 Pennsylvania 37.1 80.4
Illinois 38.8 79.7 Puerto Rico 23.7 57.1
Indiana 38.3 80.6 Rhode Island 42.1 81.8
Iowa 46.0 85.0 South Carolina 33.0 78.5
Kansas 46.1 82.7 South Dakota 53.2 85.1
Kentucky 30.9 78.0 Tennessee 34.5 79.4
Louisiana 34.3 75.2 Texas 40.2 78.3
Maine 32.9 81.9 Utah 49.4 81.1
Maryland 42.6 82.4 Vermont 45.9 81.5
Massachusetts 37.6 82.7 Virginia 41.3 81.8
Michigan 33.5 78.5 Washington 41.7 80.2
Minnesota 49.0 85.7 West Virginia 25.0 73.1
Mississippi 28.8 75.3 Wisconsin 40.5 84.3
Missouri 35.9 81.7 Wyoming 51.3 82.3

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability of all ages in the US was 12.7 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 40,714,800 of the 321,823,700 individuals of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 6.9 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 2.3 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people of all ages in the United States in 2017*

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 12.7 0.05 40,714,800 156,310 321,823,700 3,118,647
Visual 2.3 0.02 7,543,000 71,090 321,823,700 3,118,647
Hearing 3.6 0.03 11,524,400 87,320 321,823,700 3,118,647
Ambulatory 6.9 0.04 20,898,200 115,810 302,104,600 2,955,036
Cognitive 5.1 0.03 15,391,000 100,280 302,104,600 2,955,036
Self-Care 2.6 0.02 7,935,500 72,870 302,104,600 2,955,036
Independent Living 5.6 0.04 14,592,000 97,770 260,869,300 2,581,685

* 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Only the two sensory disability questions were asked of this population. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of children with a visual and/or hearing disability ages 0 to 4 in the US was 0.8 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 148,300 of the 19,719,100 children ages 0 to 4 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, 0.4 percent reported a visual disability
  • In the US in 2017, 0.5 percent reported a hearing disability

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 4 and under in the United States in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 0.8 3.29 148,300 10,080 19,719,100 163,611
Visual 0.4 3.29 88,700 7,800 19,719,100 163,611
Hearing 0.5 3.29 99,800 8,270 19,719,100 163,611

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of children with a disability ages 5 to 15 in the US was 5.4 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 2,427,700 of the 45,320,000 individuals ages 5 to 15 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 5.4 0.09 2,427,700 40,650 45,320,000 411,951
Visual 0.9 3.29 387,300 16,290 45,320,000 411,951
Hearing 0.6 3.29 262,700 13,420 45,320,000 411,951
Ambulatory 0.6 3.29 270,300 13,610 45,320,000 411,951
Cognitive 4.2 0.08 1,901,600 36,010 45,320,000 411,951
Self-Care 1.0 3.29 462,300 17,790 45,320,000 411,951

* 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, 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 2017, 1,348,800 of the 21,674,500 individuals ages 16 to 20 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 4.4 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 6.2 0.14 1,348,800 30,350 21,674,500 207,022
Visual 1.1 3.29 239,700 12,820 21,674,500 207,022
Hearing 0.7 3.29 148,200 10,080 21,674,500 207,022
Ambulatory 0.8 3.29 174,100 10,930 21,674,500 207,022
Cognitive 4.4 0.12 951,500 25,510 21,674,500 207,022
Self-Care 0.8 3.29 165,000 10,640 21,674,500 207,022
Independent Living 2.4 0.09 527,100 19,000 21,674,500 207,022

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of working age people (ages 21 to 64) with a disability in the US was 10.6 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 19,637,200 of the 185,624,500 individuals ages 21 to 64 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 5.2 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 10.6 0.06 19,637,200 112,500 185,624,500 1,752,088
Visual 2.0 0.03 3,714,400 50,180 185,624,500 1,752,088
Hearing 2.1 0.03 3,847,000 51,060 185,624,500 1,752,088
Ambulatory 5.2 0.04 9,604,200 79,950 185,624,500 1,752,088
Cognitive 4.4 0.04 8,253,300 74,280 185,624,500 1,752,088
Self-Care 1.9 3.29 3,442,300 48,330 185,624,500 1,752,088
Independent Living 3.8 0.04 6,961,300 68,350 185,624,500 1,752,088

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 65 to 74 in the US was 25.1 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 7,368,100 of the 29,401,800 individuals ages 65 to 74 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 15.2 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Self-Care Disability," 4.2 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 65 to 74 in the United States in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 25.1 0.21 7,368,100 70,280 29,401,800 350,782
Visual 4.3 0.10 1,250,200 29,220 29,401,800 350,782
Hearing 9.1 0.14 2,686,700 42,750 29,401,800 350,782
Ambulatory 15.2 0.17 4,461,200 54,930 29,401,800 350,782
Cognitive 5.4 0.11 1,579,300 32,830 29,401,800 350,782
Self-Care 4.2 0.10 1,230,300 28,990 29,401,800 350,782
Independent Living 7.5 0.13 2,210,900 38,810 29,401,800 350,782

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 75 and older in the US was 48.7 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 9,784,600 of the 20,083,700 individuals ages 75 and older in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 31.8 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 9.3 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 75 and older in the United States in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 48.7 0.29 9,784,600 80,680 20,083,700 233,193
Visual 9.3 0.17 1,862,700 35,640 20,083,700 233,193
Hearing 22.3 0.24 4,480,100 55,050 20,083,700 233,193
Ambulatory 31.8 0.27 6,388,500 65,540 20,083,700 233,193
Cognitive 13.5 0.20 2,705,400 42,900 20,083,700 233,193
Self-Care 13.1 0.20 2,635,500 42,340 20,083,700 233,193
Independent Living 23.9 0.25 4,798,300 56,940 20,083,700 233,193

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In the US in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of males with a disability of all ages was 12.5 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 19,782,700 of the 157,688,600 males of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of females with a disability of all ages was 12.8 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 20,932,100 of the 164,135,100 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 2017

Gender & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Males
Males: All Ages 12.5 0.07 19,782,700 112,890 157,688,600 1,514,265
Males: Ages 4 and under 0.8 3.29 78,500 7,340 10,105,300 83,684
Males: Ages 5-15 6.7 0.14 1,548,300 32,510 23,157,500 210,051
Males: Ages 16-20 6.8 0.20 748,500 22,630 11,071,000 104,937
Males: Ages 21-64 10.7 0.08 9,806,600 80,770 91,306,600 851,079
Males: Ages 65-74 26.7 0.31 3,660,700 49,820 13,715,600 165,227
Males: Ages 75+ 47.3 0.45 3,940,100 51,670 8,332,600 99,287
Females
Females: All Ages 12.8 0.07 20,932,100 115,900 164,135,100 1,604,382
Females: Ages 4 and under 0.7 3.29 69,800 6,920 9,613,800 79,927
Females: Ages 5-15 4.0 0.11 879,400 24,520 22,162,500 201,900
Females: Ages 16-20 5.7 0.19 600,300 20,270 10,603,500 102,085
Females: Ages 21-64 10.4 0.08 9,830,700 80,860 94,317,900 901,009
Females: Ages 65-74 23.6 0.28 3,707,400 50,140 15,686,200 185,555
Females: Ages 75+ 49.7 0.38 5,844,500 62,740 11,751,100 133,906

* 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In the US in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 8.9 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 5,200,900 of the 58,263,600 people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of non-Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 13.5 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 35,513,800 of the 263,560,100 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 2017

Hispanic/Latino Origin & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Hispanic
Hispanic - All Ages 8.9 0.10 5,200,900 59,240 58,263,600 453,459
Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.9 3.29 45,000 5,550 5,085,900 33,873
Hispanic - Ages 5-15 5.1 0.17 587,200 20,050 11,458,100 87,176
Hispanic - Ages 16-20 5.5 0.27 272,400 13,660 4,958,500 40,504
Hispanic - Ages 21-64 8.4 0.13 2,735,900 43,130 32,656,300 252,335
Hispanic - Ages 65-74 28.5 0.74 717,500 22,160 2,520,300 24,269
Hispanic - Ages 75+ 53.2 1.04 842,900 24,010 1,584,500 15,302
Non-Hispanic
Non-Hispanic - All Ages 13.5 0.06 35,513,800 147,310 263,560,100 2,665,188
Non-Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.7 3.29 103,300 8,420 14,633,300 129,738
Non-Hispanic - Ages 5-15 5.4 0.10 1,840,500 35,430 33,861,900 324,775
Non-Hispanic - Ages 16-20 6.4 0.16 1,076,400 27,120 16,716,000 166,518
Non-Hispanic - Ages 21-64 11.0 0.07 16,901,300 104,830 152,968,300 1,499,753
Non-Hispanic - Ages 65-74 24.7 0.22 6,650,600 66,840 26,881,500 326,513
Non-Hispanic - Ages 75+ 48.3 0.30 8,941,700 77,230 18,499,200 217,891

* 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

In 2017, among working-age people in the US:

  • 10.6 percent of persons who were White reported a disability.
  • 13.6 percent of persons who were Black/African American reported a disability.
  • 18.1 percent of persons who were Native American reported a disability.
  • 4.4 percent of persons who were Asian reported a disability.
  • 9.5 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 2017

Race Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
White 10.6 0.07 14,234,200 96,620 134,218,100 1,339,033
Black/African American 13.6 0.18 3,218,200 46,750 23,608,100 170,465
Native American or
Alaska Native
18.1 0.82 274,400 13,710 1,517,400 19,358
Asian 4.4 0.16 515,400 18,790 11,655,400 107,868
Some other race(s) 9.5 0.20 1,395,100 30,870 14,625,600 115,364

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities in the US was 37.3 percent.
  • In 2017, the employment rate of working-age people without disabilities in the US was 79.4 percent.
  • The gap between the employment rates of working-age people with and without disabilities was 42.1 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest employment rate was for people with a "Hearing Disability," 53.4 percent. The lowest employment rate was for people with a "Self-Care Disability," 16.3 percent.

Employment of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 79.4 0.08 131,789,000 231,020 165,987,300 1,556,444
Any Disability 37.3 0.29 7,318,000 70,030 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 44.2 0.67 1,643,100 33,480 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 53.4 0.67 2,055,300 37,420 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 25.4 0.37 2,442,800 40,770 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 27.9 0.41 2,298,900 39,560 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 16.3 0.52 561,400 19,610 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 17.8 0.38 1,237,500 29,080 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017 in the US, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 7.4 percent.
  • In 2017 in the US, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 17.4 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage not working but actively looking for work between working-age people with and without disabilities was 10 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 "Visual Disability," 8.7 percent. The lowest percentage was for people with a "Self-Care Disability," 3.0 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 17.4 0.17 5,944,600 63,270 34,198,300 321,869
Any Disability 7.4 0.20 913,500 24,990 12,319,300 122,966
Visual 8.7 0.51 180,400 11,120 2,071,200 19,362
Hearing 8.5 0.55 152,700 10,230 1,791,600 17,829
Ambulatory 4.6 0.21 326,500 14,960 7,161,400 71,265
Cognitive 8.0 0.29 478,600 18,100 5,954,400 59,517
Self-Care 3.0 0.26 87,400 7,740 2,880,900 29,377
Independent Living 4.4 0.22 249,200 13,070 5,723,800 57,870

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was 23.9 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was 60.3 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," 39.0 percent. The lowest full-time/full-year employment rate was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 8.4 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year employment of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 60.3 0.10 100,076,900 218,050 165,987,300 1,556,444
Any Disability 23.9 0.25 4,687,900 56,290 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 30.5 0.63 1,133,700 27,840 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 39.0 0.65 1,499,400 31,990 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 16.0 0.31 1,534,500 32,360 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 14.2 0.32 1,175,000 28,340 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 9.4 0.41 321,900 14,850 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 8.4 0.28 583,100 19,980 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the median earnings of working-age people with disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in the US was $40,400.
  • In 2017, the median earnings of working-age people without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in the US was $47,500.
  • The difference in the median earnings between working-age people with and without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year was $7,100.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest annual earnings was for people with "Hearing Disability," $48,500. The lowest annual earnings was for people with "Cognitive Disability," $35,400.

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 2017

Disability Type Median Earnings MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $47,500 $120 100,077,000 934,843
Any Disability $40,400 $450 4,688,000 46,815
Visual $39,700 $870 1,134,000 11,116
Hearing $48,500 $890 1,499,000 15,408
Ambulatory $40,400 $730 1,534,000 15,088
Cognitive $35,400 $780 1,175,000 11,178
Self-Care $40,400 $1,630 322,000 2,998
Independent Living $35,500 $1,080 583,000 5,660

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the median income of households that include any working-age people with disabilities in the US was $45,500.
  • In 2017, the median income of households that do not include any working-age people with disabilities in the US was $71,000.
  • The difference in the median income between households including and not including working-age people with disabilities was $25,500.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest median income was for households including persons with a "Hearing Disability," $56,800. The lowest median income was for households containing persons with a "Self-Care Disability" $38,400.

* 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 2017

Disability Type Median H.H. Income MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $71,000 $270 80,724,000 796,528
Any Disability $45,500 490 15,439,000 161,580
Visual $43,500 1,060 3,123,000 31,443
Hearing $56,800 1,190 3,440,000 36,260
Ambulatory $39,100 600 8,104,000 84,140
Cognitive $38,800 690 6,414,000 66,448
Self-Care $38,400 990 2,832,000 29,481
Independent Living $39,300 730 5,539,000 58,758

* 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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities in the US was 26.1 percent.
  • In 2017, the poverty rate of working-age people without disabilities in the US was 10.4 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," 31.5 percent. The lowest poverty rate was for people with "Hearing Disability," 19.8 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 10.4 0.07 17,128,500 125,280 165,249,600 1,544,390
Any Disability 26.1 0.31 5,111,300 69,750 19,607,800 195,113
Visual 27.0 0.72 1,000,300 31,060 3,709,700 35,275
Hearing 19.8 0.63 762,300 27,120 3,843,300 38,727
Ambulatory 29.1 0.46 2,795,200 51,770 9,600,500 95,200
Cognitive 31.5 0.50 2,592,900 49,880 8,233,700 81,220
Self-Care 31.1 0.78 1,070,000 32,120 3,441,300 34,869
Independent Living 31.0 0.55 2,159,700 45,550 6,957,700 70,234

* 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 2017 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 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in the US was 18.9 percent.
  • In 2017, the number of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in the US was 3,718,700.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage that received SSI was people with "Self-Care Disability," 29.8 percent. The lowest percentage that received SSI was people with "Hearing Disability," 12.1 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability 18.9 0.23 3,718,700 50,210 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 16.9 0.51 627,700 20,730 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 12.1 0.44 466,100 17,870 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 22.2 0.35 2,128,500 38,080 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 25.8 0.40 2,129,400 38,090 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 29.8 0.65 1,024,800 26,470 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 29.6 0.45 2,059,400 37,460 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the US was 34.4 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the US was 25.0 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent between working-age people with and without disabilities was 9.4 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," 37.3 percent. The lowest percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent was for people with "Visual Disability," 31.9 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 25.0 0.09 41,490,900 157,580 165,987,300 1,556,444
Any Disability 34.4 0.28 6,749,600 67,330 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 31.9 0.63 1,185,200 28,460 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 32.5 0.63 1,251,900 29,240 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 34.9 0.40 3,355,700 47,720 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 36.0 0.44 2,970,700 44,930 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 35.5 0.68 1,220,700 28,880 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 37.3 0.48 2,593,200 42,000 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the US was 31.7 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the US was 31.2 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only some college or an Associate's degree between working-age people with and without disabilities was -0.5 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," 32.7 percent. The lowest percentage with only some college or Associate's degree was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 28.0 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 31.2 0.09 51,865,100 172,930 165,987,300 1,556,444
Any Disability 31.7 0.27 6,219,000 64,680 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 30.7 0.63 1,141,600 27,930 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 32.7 0.63 1,258,400 29,320 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 31.9 0.39 3,061,000 45,600 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 29.3 0.41 2,417,100 40,560 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 28.3 0.64 975,800 25,830 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 28.0 0.45 1,947,600 36,440 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the US was 14.8 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the US was 34.5 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more between working-age people with and without disabilities was 19.7 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," 18.5 percent. The lowest percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 10.9 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 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 34.5 0.10 57,190,300 179,820 165,987,300 1,556,444
Any Disability 14.8 0.21 2,915,100 44,510 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 15.9 0.50 589,500 20,090 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 18.5 0.52 713,600 22,100 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 12.5 0.28 1,197,200 28,600 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 11.7 0.29 964,600 25,680 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 11.5 0.45 397,300 16,500 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 10.9 0.31 758,700 22,780 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017, there were 8,958,400 working-age civilian veterans in the US, of whom 2,354,700 had a VA service-connected disability.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans in the US with a VA service-connected disability was 26.3 percent.
  • In 2017, 764,100 working-age civilian veterans in the US had the most severe service-connected disability rating (70 percent or above).
  • In 2017, 32.5 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 2017

Service-Connected Disability Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Has a service-connected disability rating (0-100%) 26.3 0.39 2,354,700 40,040 8,958,400 89,397
Disability rating of veterans with a service connected-disability
0 percent 4.7 0.36 110,100 8,690 2,354,700 23,456
10 or 20 percent 25.8 0.75 608,400 20,410 2,354,700 23,456
30 or 40 percent 17.4 0.65 409,000 16,740 2,354,700 23,456
50 or 60 percent 14.3 0.60 337,700 15,210 2,354,700 23,456
70 percent or higher 32.5 0.80 764,100 22,860 2,354,700 23,456
Rating not reported 5.3 0.38 125,400 9,270 2,354,700 23,456

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 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, 90.2 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US had some type of health insurance coverage.
  • In 2017, 87.6 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," 93.2 percent. The lowest health insurance coverage rate was for people with "Visual Disability," 87.5 percent.

Health Insurance Coverage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 87.6 0.07 145,400,200 234,960 165,987,300 1,556,444
Any Disability 90.2 0.18 17,704,000 107,150 19,637,200 195,644
Visual 87.5 0.45 3,248,400 46,960 3,714,400 35,356
Hearing 90.2 0.40 3,468,500 48,510 3,847,000 38,791
Ambulatory 91.7 0.23 8,804,700 76,650 9,604,200 95,270
Cognitive 90.4 0.27 7,461,900 70,710 8,253,300 81,575
Self-Care 93.2 0.36 3,206,800 46,660 3,442,300 34,887
Independent Living 92.6 0.26 6,447,500 65,840 6,961,300 70,302

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 2017 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 2017, 34.7 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 2017, 65.4 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 2017, 10.6 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 2017, 23.8 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 2017

Disability Status/ Insurance Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability
Uninsured 9.8 0.18 1,933,300 36,300 19,637,200 195,644
Employer/Union 34.7 0.28 6,806,200 67,600 19,637,200 195,644
Purchased 10.6 0.18 2,081,900 37,670 19,637,200 195,644
Medicare 23.8 0.25 4,664,900 56,160 19,637,200 195,644
Medicaid 42.1 0.29 8,266,600 74,330 19,637,200 195,644
Military/VA 6.9 0.15 1,348,700 30,350 19,637,200 195,644
Indian Health Service 0.8 3.29 152,900 10,240 19,637,200 195,644
No Disability
Uninsured 12.4 0.07 20,587,100 115,010 165,987,300 1,556,444
Employer/Union 65.4 0.10 108,631,700 222,830 165,987,300 1,556,444
Purchased 11.4 0.06 18,931,500 110,580 165,987,300 1,556,444
Medicare 1.7 3.29 2,798,000 43,620 165,987,300 1,556,444
Medicaid 11.6 0.07 19,304,500 111,600 165,987,300 1,556,444
Military/VA 3.3 0.04 5,552,800 61,180 165,987,300 1,556,444
Indian Health Service 0.4 3.29 726,700 22,300 165,987,300 1,556,444

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