2017 Disability Status Report: Pennsylvania

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: Pennsylvania. 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.

Pennsylvania Summary

These statistics indicate the social and economic status of non-institutionalized people with disabilities in Pennsylvania, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS).

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

  • 14.2 percent for persons of all ages
  • 0.8 percent for persons ages 4 and under
  • 6.9 percent for persons ages 5 to 15
  • 7.6 percent for persons ages 16 to 20
  • 11.8 percent for persons ages 21 to 64
  • 24.0 percent for persons ages 65 to 74
  • 48.9 percent for persons ages 75+

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

  • 2.4% reported a Visual Disability
  • 3.9% reported a Hearing Disability
  • 7.6% reported an Ambulatory Disability
  • 6.0% reported a Cognitive Disability
  • 2.9% reported a Self-Care Disability
  • 6.4% reported an Independent Living Disability

Gender: In 2017, 14.4 percent of females of all ages and 14.1 percent of males of all ages in PA reported a disability.

Hispanic/Latino: In 2017, the prevalence of disability among persons of all ages of Hispanic or Latino origin in PA was 13.1 percent.

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

  • 11.3 percent among Whites
  • 16.2 percent among Black / African Americans
  • 5.9 percent among Asians
  • 22.4 percent among Native Americans
  • 16.3 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 PA was 37.1 percent.

Looking for Work: In PA in 2017, the percentage actively looking for work among people with disabilities who were not working was 7.6 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year Employment: In PA in 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year was 23.3 percent.

Annual Earnings: In 2017, the median annual earnings of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in PA was $42,500.

Annual Household Income: In PA in 2017, the median annual income of households with working-age people with disabilities was $44,900.

Poverty: In PA in 2017, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities was 28.0 percent.

Supplemental Security Income: In 2017, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving SSI payments in PA was 20.4 percent.

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

  • with only a high school diploma or equivalent was 41.6 percent
  • with only some college or an associate degree was 27.6 percent
  • with a bachelor's degree or more was 13.9 percent.

Veterans Service-Connected Disability: In 2017, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans with a VA determined Service-Connected Disability was 19.1 percent in PA.

Health Insurance Coverage: In 2017 in PA, 94.2 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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 14.2 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 1,795,800 of the 12,608,800 individuals of all ages in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 7.6 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 2.4 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people of all ages in Pennsylvania in 2017*

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 14.2 0.23 1,795,800 28,470 12,608,800 124,305
Visual 2.4 0.10 301,300 12,430 12,608,800 124,305
Hearing 3.9 0.13 493,400 15,780 12,608,800 124,305
Ambulatory 7.6 0.18 909,600 21,060 11,905,900 118,323
Cognitive 6.0 0.16 709,400 18,760 11,905,900 118,323
Self-Care 2.9 0.11 343,900 13,260 11,905,900 118,323
Independent Living 6.4 0.17 664,300 18,190 10,414,000 104,668

* 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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 0.8 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 5,900 of the 702,900 children ages 0 to 4 in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, 0.6 percent reported a visual disability
  • In PA in 2017, 0.5 percent reported a hearing disability

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 4 and under in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 0.8 3.29 5,900 1,760 702,900 5,982
Visual 0.6 3.29 4,100 1,460 702,900 5,982
Hearing 0.5 3.29 3,600 1,370 702,900 5,982

Prevalence

Ages 5 to 15 years

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized children ages 5 to 15 in Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 6.9 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 112,700 of the 1,640,100 individuals ages 5 to 15 in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, among the five types of disabilities* identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 5.9 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Hearing Disability," 0.5 percent.

Prevalence of disability* among non-institutionalized people ages 5 to 15 in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 6.9 0.45 112,700 7,660 1,640,100 15,066
Visual 0.8 3.29 13,100 2,620 1,640,100 15,066
Hearing 0.5 3.29 8,500 2,120 1,640,100 15,066
Ambulatory 0.6 3.29 10,500 2,350 1,640,100 15,066
Cognitive 5.9 0.42 96,800 7,100 1,640,100 15,066
Self-Care 1.3 3.29 20,700 3,300 1,640,100 15,066

* 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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 7.6 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 62,300 of the 822,000 individuals ages 16 to 20 in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 5.5 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Hearing Disability," 0.7 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 16 to 20 in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 7.6 0.67 62,300 5,710 822,000 8,540
Visual 0.8 3.29 7,000 1,910 822,000 8,540
Hearing 0.7 3.29 5,900 1,770 822,000 8,540
Ambulatory 0.8 3.29 6,900 1,910 822,000 8,540
Cognitive 5.5 0.58 45,200 4,860 822,000 8,540
Self-Care 0.8 3.29 6,600 1,860 822,000 8,540
Independent Living 2.9 0.43 24,000 3,550 822,000 8,540

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 11.8 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 855,400 of the 7,245,600 individuals ages 21 to 64 in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 5.8 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was "Visual Disability," 2.1 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 21 to 64 in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 11.8 0.27 855,400 20,470 7,245,600 69,715
Visual 2.1 0.12 152,300 8,890 7,245,600 69,715
Hearing 2.2 0.13 159,800 9,100 7,245,600 69,715
Ambulatory 5.8 0.20 417,000 14,550 7,245,600 69,715
Cognitive 5.3 0.19 385,200 14,010 7,245,600 69,715
Self-Care 2.2 0.12 156,700 9,020 7,245,600 69,715
Independent Living 4.4 0.17 318,500 12,770 7,245,600 69,715

Prevalence

Ages 65 to 74 years

Introduction

This section explores the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 65 to 74 in Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 24.0 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 303,600 of the 1,264,800 individuals ages 65 to 74 in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 14.5 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 3.5 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 65 to 74 in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 24.0 0.87 303,600 12,470 1,264,800 14,707
Visual 3.5 0.37 44,100 4,800 1,264,800 14,707
Hearing 8.7 0.57 109,600 7,550 1,264,800 14,707
Ambulatory 14.5 0.72 182,900 9,730 1,264,800 14,707
Cognitive 5.1 0.45 64,200 5,790 1,264,800 14,707
Self-Care 3.6 0.38 45,500 4,880 1,264,800 14,707
Independent Living 7.0 0.52 88,000 6,770 1,264,800 14,707

Prevalence

Ages 75 and Older

Introduction

This section focuses on the prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 75 and older in Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 48.9 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 456,000 of the 933,400 individuals ages 75 and older in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 31.3 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 8.6 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 75 and older in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 48.9 1.19 456,000 15,200 933,400 10,295
Visual 8.6 0.67 80,700 6,490 933,400 10,295
Hearing 22.1 0.98 206,000 10,320 933,400 10,295
Ambulatory 31.3 1.10 292,200 12,240 933,400 10,295
Cognitive 12.6 0.79 118,100 7,840 933,400 10,295
Self-Care 12.3 0.78 114,400 7,720 933,400 10,295
Independent Living 24.6 1.02 229,900 10,890 933,400 10,295

Prevalence

Gender and Age

Introduction

This section examines the prevalence of disability among people by gender and age group in Pennsylvania, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In PA in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of males with a disability of all ages was 14.1 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 866,600 of the 6,153,000 males of all ages in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of females with a disability of all ages was 14.4 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 929,200 of the 6,455,800 females of all ages in PA reported one or more disabilities.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people by gender and age group in Pennsylvania in 2017

Gender & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Males
Males: All Ages 14.1 0.32 866,600 20,600 6,153,000 60,334
Males: Ages 4 and under 0.8 3.29 3,000 1,260 365,400 3,127
Males: Ages 5-15 8.9 0.71 74,200 6,220 835,900 7,645
Males: Ages 16-20 8.0 0.96 33,900 4,210 421,500 4,216
Males: Ages 21-64 11.8 0.39 420,100 14,610 3,562,500 34,136
Males: Ages 65-74 26.2 1.31 154,500 8,950 590,300 6,982
Males: Ages 75+ 47.9 1.86 180,900 9,680 377,400 4,228
Females
Females: All Ages 14.4 0.32 929,200 21,270 6,455,800 63,971
Females: Ages 4 and under 0.9 3.29 2,900 1,230 337,500 2,855
Females: Ages 5-15 4.8 0.55 38,500 4,490 804,200 7,421
Females: Ages 16-20 7.1 0.93 28,400 3,860 400,500 4,324
Females: Ages 21-64 11.8 0.39 435,200 14,860 3,683,100 35,579
Females: Ages 65-74 22.1 1.16 149,100 8,800 674,500 7,725
Females: Ages 75+ 49.5 1.54 275,100 11,890 556,000 6,067

* 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 Pennsylvania, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In PA in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 13.1 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 120,700 of the 920,100 people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages in PA reported one or more disabilities.
  • In PA in 2017, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of non-Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 14.3 percent.
  • In other words, in 2017, 1,675,100 of the 11,688,700 people of non-Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages in PA 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Hispanic/Latino Origin & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Hispanic
Hispanic - All Ages 13.1 0.81 120,700 7,920 920,100 5,492
Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 1.3 3.29 1,100 760 86,100 453
Hispanic - Ages 5-15 10.7 1.57 21,900 3,390 204,700 1,188
Hispanic - Ages 16-20 8.9 2.28 7,300 1,950 81,700 570
Hispanic - Ages 21-64 14.0 1.12 69,800 6,040 499,300 2,900
Hispanic - Ages 65-74 36.5 6.30 11,200 2,420 30,700 228
Hispanic - Ages 75+ 53.2 8.59 9,400 2,230 17,700 153
Non-Hispanic
Non-Hispanic - All Ages 14.3 0.23 1,675,100 27,650 11,688,700 118,813
Non-Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.8 3.29 4,800 1,590 616,800 5,529
Non-Hispanic - Ages 5-15 6.3 0.47 90,800 6,880 1,435,400 13,878
Non-Hispanic - Ages 16-20 7.4 0.70 55,000 5,360 740,400 7,970
Non-Hispanic - Ages 21-64 11.6 0.28 785,600 19,680 6,746,300 66,815
Non-Hispanic - Ages 65-74 23.7 0.88 292,400 12,250 1,234,100 14,479
Non-Hispanic - Ages 75+ 48.8 1.20 446,600 15,040 915,700 10,142

* 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 PA, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

In 2017, among working-age people in PA:

  • 11.3 percent of persons who were White reported a disability.
  • 16.2 percent of persons who were Black/African American reported a disability.
  • 22.4 percent of persons who were Native American reported a disability.
  • 5.9 percent of persons who were Asian reported a disability.
  • 16.3 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Race Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
White 11.3 0.30 661,900 18,150 5,878,800 61,303
Black/African American 16.2 0.94 130,100 8,220 803,600 4,501
Native American or
Alaska Native
22.4 8.19 3,000 1,260 13,600 106
Asian 5.9 1.02 16,600 2,950 281,500 2,070
Some other race(s) 16.3 1.64 43,700 4,780 268,100 1,735

Employment

Introduction

This section examines the employment rates of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 37.1 percent.
  • In 2017, the employment rate of working-age people without disabilities in PA was 80.4 percent.
  • The gap between the employment rates of working-age people with and without disabilities was 43.3 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest employment rate was for people with a "Hearing Disability," 52.9 percent. The lowest employment rate was for people with a "Self-Care Disability," 17.5 percent.

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

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 80.4 0.36 5,137,600 39,980 6,390,200 61,390
Any Disability 37.1 1.20 317,400 12,750 855,400 8,325
Visual 43.0 2.91 65,500 5,850 152,300 1,331
Hearing 52.9 2.86 84,500 6,640 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 24.5 1.53 102,000 7,290 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 29.5 1.68 113,600 7,690 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 17.5 2.20 27,400 3,790 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 18.0 1.56 57,200 5,470 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania 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 PA, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 7.6 percent.
  • In 2017 in PA, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 18.4 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 "Cognitive Disability," 8.6 percent. The lowest percentage was for people with a "Independent Living Disability," 4.5 percent.

Percentage who are not working but actively looking for work among non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 18.4 0.79 230,300 10,900 1,252,600 11,748
Any Disability 7.6 0.83 40,900 4,630 538,000 5,124
Visual 7.2 2.01 6,300 1,820 86,700 722
Hearing 7.9 2.25 6,000 1,770 75,300 709
Ambulatory 4.9 0.88 15,500 2,850 315,000 2,892
Cognitive 8.6 1.23 23,200 3,490 271,600 2,587
Self-Care 5.1 1.40 6,700 1,870 129,400 1,199
Independent Living 4.5 0.93 11,900 2,490 261,200 2,414

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 23.3 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities working full-time/full-year in PA was 61.6 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage working full-time/full-year between working-age people with and without disabilities was 38.3 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," 39.2 percent. The lowest full-time/full-year employment rate was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 8.3 percent.

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

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 61.6 0.44 3,935,800 37,830 6,390,200 61,390
Any Disability 23.3 1.05 199,600 10,160 855,400 8,325
Visual 31.3 2.72 47,700 4,990 152,300 1,331
Hearing 39.2 2.80 62,600 5,720 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 14.3 1.24 59,700 5,590 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 15.1 1.32 58,200 5,510 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 10.0 1.74 15,700 2,870 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 8.3 1.12 26,600 3,730 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was $42,500.
  • In 2017, the median earnings of working-age people without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in PA was $49,500.
  • The difference in the median earnings between working-age people with and without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year was $7,000.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest annual earnings was for people with "Hearing Disability," $50,600. The lowest annual earnings was for people with "Independent Living 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Median Earnings MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $49,500 $510 3,936,000 38,149
Any Disability $42,500 $1,660 200,000 2,034
Visual $40,400 $3,710 48,000 452
Hearing $50,600 $3,430 63,000 668
Ambulatory $40,400 $2,750 60,000 617
Cognitive $37,400 $2,710 58,000 568
Self-Care $44,300 $6,620 16,000 167
Independent Living $35,400 $3,840 27,000 265

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was $44,900.
  • In 2017, the median income of households that do not include any working-age people with disabilities in PA was $73,800.
  • The difference in the median income between households including and not including working-age people with disabilities was $28,900.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest median income was for households including persons with a "Hearing Disability," $56,900. The lowest median income was for households containing persons with a "Cognitive Disability" $35,500.

* 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Median H.H. Income MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $73,800 $1,190 3,193,000 31,603
Any Disability $44,900 2,070 678,000 6,830
Visual $42,700 4,980 133,000 1,215
Hearing $56,900 4,770 146,000 1,519
Ambulatory $36,600 2,420 355,000 3,480
Cognitive $35,500 2,740 308,000 2,997
Self-Care $39,300 4,330 131,000 1,267
Independent Living $38,300 3,080 259,000 2,539

* 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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 28.0 percent.
  • In 2017, the poverty rate of working-age people without disabilities in PA was 9.4 percent.
  • The difference in the poverty rate between working-age people with and without disabilities was 18.6 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest poverty rate was for people with "Cognitive Disability," 34.9 percent. The lowest poverty rate was for people with "Hearing Disability," 21.2 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 9.4 0.36 599,400 23,510 6,353,200 60,720
Any Disability 28.0 1.51 238,500 15,050 853,400 8,290
Visual 26.1 3.50 39,800 6,190 152,200 1,329
Hearing 21.2 3.18 33,800 5,710 159,600 1,602
Ambulatory 31.3 2.23 130,700 11,180 416,900 3,900
Cognitive 34.9 2.39 133,900 11,320 383,900 3,676
Self-Care 31.8 3.66 49,800 6,930 156,600 1,479
Independent Living 33.9 2.61 108,000 10,170 318,000 3,028

* 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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 20.4 percent.
  • In 2017, the number of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in PA was 174,100.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage that received SSI was people with "Independent Living Disability," 32.0 percent. The lowest percentage that received SSI was people with "Hearing Disability," 14.6 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability 20.4 1.00 174,100 9,500 855,400 8,325
Visual 19.9 2.34 30,300 3,980 152,300 1,331
Hearing 14.6 2.02 23,300 3,490 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 24.0 1.52 100,100 7,220 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 27.0 1.64 104,000 7,360 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 29.3 2.63 45,900 4,900 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 32.0 1.89 101,900 7,280 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 41.6 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in PA was 30.5 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent between working-age people with and without disabilities was 11.1 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," 42.9 percent. The lowest percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent was for people with "Visual Disability," 40.1 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with only a high school diploma or equivalent by disability status in PA in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 30.5 0.42 1,947,100 29,440 6,390,200 61,390
Any Disability 41.6 1.22 355,600 13,470 855,400 8,325
Visual 40.1 2.88 61,100 5,650 152,300 1,331
Hearing 42.7 2.84 68,200 5,970 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 42.2 1.75 176,000 9,550 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 42.3 1.82 162,800 9,190 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 42.6 2.86 66,800 5,910 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 42.9 2.01 136,600 8,420 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 27.6 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in PA was 27.1 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 "Any Disability," 27.6 percent. The lowest percentage with only some college or Associate's degree was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 25.2 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 27.1 0.40 1,734,600 28,060 6,390,200 61,390
Any Disability 27.6 1.11 235,700 11,020 855,400 8,325
Visual 27.1 2.61 41,300 4,650 152,300 1,331
Hearing 27.6 2.56 44,100 4,800 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 27.6 1.59 115,300 7,740 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 26.8 1.64 103,300 7,330 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 25.4 2.52 39,700 4,560 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 25.2 1.76 80,100 6,470 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania, 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 PA was 13.9 percent.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in PA was 36.2 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more between working-age people with and without disabilities was 22.3 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," 16.5 percent. The lowest percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 11.0 percent.

Percentage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with a Bachelor's degree or more by disability status in Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 36.2 0.44 2,314,100 31,550 6,390,200 61,390
Any Disability 13.9 0.86 119,000 7,870 855,400 8,325
Visual 14.2 2.05 21,700 3,370 152,300 1,331
Hearing 16.5 2.13 26,300 3,710 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 11.5 1.13 48,000 5,010 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 12.2 1.21 46,900 4,950 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 12.4 1.91 19,400 3,190 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 11.0 1.27 35,100 4,280 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania. 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 307,900 working-age civilian veterans in PA, of whom 58,800 had a VA service-connected disability.
  • In 2017, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans in PA with a VA service-connected disability was 19.1 percent.
  • In 2017, 19,600 working-age civilian veterans in PA had the most severe service-connected disability rating (70 percent or above).
  • In 2017, 33.3 percent of the working-age civilian veterans in PA 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Service-Connected Disability Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Has a service-connected disability rating (0-100%) 19.1 1.62 58,800 5,540 307,900 3,271
Disability rating of veterans with a service connected-disability
0 percent 7.2 2.44 4,300 1,500 58,800 642
10 or 20 percent 25.9 4.14 15,200 2,830 58,800 642
30 or 40 percent 17.9 3.62 10,500 2,350 58,800 642
50 or 60 percent 11.2 2.98 6,600 1,860 58,800 642
70 percent or higher 33.3 4.45 19,600 3,200 58,800 642
Rating not reported 4.4 1.94 2,600 1,170 58,800 642

Health Insurance Coverage

Introduction

This section examines the health insurance coverage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in Pennsylvania, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2017, 94.2 percent of working-age people with disabilities in PA had some type of health insurance coverage.
  • In 2017, 92.5 percent of working-age people without disabilities in PA had some type of health insurance coverage.
  • The difference in the health insurance coverage rate between working-age people with and without disabilities was 1.7 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest health insurance coverage rate was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 96.3 percent. The lowest health insurance coverage rate was for people with "Visual Disability," 92.9 percent.

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

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 92.5 0.29 5,911,700 49,640 6,390,200 61,390
Any Disability 94.2 0.70 805,800 24,180 855,400 8,325
Visual 92.9 1.83 141,400 10,410 152,300 1,331
Hearing 94.7 1.56 151,400 10,760 159,800 1,605
Ambulatory 95.3 0.91 397,300 17,260 417,000 3,902
Cognitive 94.2 1.05 363,000 16,530 385,200 3,699
Self-Care 95.7 1.43 150,000 10,710 156,700 1,481
Independent Living 96.3 0.93 306,800 15,230 318,500 3,035

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 Pennsylvania, 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, 34.9 percent of working-age people with disabilities in PA reported health insurance coverage through a current or former employer or union (theirs or another family member).
  • In 2017, 71.8 percent of working-age people without disabilities in PA reported health insurance coverage through a current or former employer or union (theirs or another family member).
  • In 2017, 11.1 percent of working-age people with disabilities in PA reported purchasing health insurance coverage directly from an insurance company (by themselves or another family member).
  • In 2017, 24.9 percent of working-age people with disabilities in PA reported Medicare coverage and 48.6 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 Pennsylvania in 2017

Disability Status/ Insurance Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability
Uninsured 5.8 0.70 49,500 6,180 855,400 8,325
Employer/Union 34.9 1.43 298,600 15,030 855,400 8,325
Purchased 11.1 0.95 95,200 8,550 855,400 8,325
Medicare 24.9 1.30 212,700 12,730 855,400 8,325
Medicaid 48.6 1.50 416,000 17,650 855,400 8,325
Military/VA 3.9 0.58 33,400 5,080 855,400 8,325
Indian Health Service 0.0 3.29 400 400 855,400 8,325
No Disability
Uninsured 7.5 0.29 478,500 18,880 6,390,200 61,390
Employer/Union 71.8 0.50 4,587,400 47,740 6,390,200 61,390
Purchased 11.0 0.34 700,400 22,640 6,390,200 61,390
Medicare 2.4 0.17 151,400 10,760 6,390,200 61,390
Medicaid 11.3 0.35 724,200 23,000 6,390,200 61,390
Military/VA 1.8 3.29 115,000 9,390 6,390,200 61,390
Indian Health Service 0.0 3.29 1,500 1,080 6,390,200 61,390

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