2012 Disability Status Report: United States

Table of Contents

The 2012 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/acs/www/Downloads/methodology/content_test/SummaryResultsACS2006ContentTest.pdf

 

Suggested Citation

Erickson, W. Lee, C., & von Schrader, S. (2014). 2012 Disability Status Report: United States. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Yang Tan Institute (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 NIDRR.

Puerto Rico: A Puerto Rico Disability Status Report, based on the parallel 2012 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS).

Age: In 2012, the prevalence of disability in the US was:

  • 12.1 percent for persons of all ages
  • 0.8 percent for persons ages 4 and under
  • 5.3 percent for persons ages 5 to 15
  • 5.5 percent for persons ages 16 to 20
  • 10.4 percent for persons ages 21 to 64
  • 25.0 percent for persons ages 65 to 74
  • 50.0 percent for persons ages 75+

Disability Type: In 2012, the prevalence of the six disability types among persons of all ages in the US was:

  • 2.2% reported a Visual Disability
  • 3.4% reported a Hearing Disability
  • 6.9% reported an Ambulatory Disability
  • 4.9% reported a Cognitive Disability
  • 2.7% reported a Self-Care Disability
  • 5.6% reported an Independent Living Disability

Gender: In 2012, 12.3 percent of females of all ages and 12.0 percent of males of all ages in the US reported a disability.

Hispanic/Latino: In 2012, the prevalence of disability among persons of all ages of Hispanic or Latino origin in the US was 8.5 percent.

Race: In the US in 2012, the prevalence of disability for working-age people (ages 21 to 64) was:

  • 10.2 percent among Whites
  • 14.2 percent among Black / African Americans
  • 4.3 percent among Asians
  • 17.6 percent among Native Americans
  • 9.9 percent among persons of some other race(s)

Employment: In 2012, the employment rate of working-age people (ages 21 to 64) with disabilities in the US was 33.5 percent.

Looking for Work: In the US in 2012, the percentage actively looking for work among people with disabilities who were not working was 10.8 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year Employment: In the US in 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year was 20.9 percent.

Annual Earnings: In 2012, the median annual earnings of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was $36,400.

Annual Household Income: In the US in 2012, the median annual income of households with working-age people with disabilities was $37,300.

Poverty: In the US in 2012, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities was 28.4 percent.

Supplemental Security Income: In 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving SSI payments in the US was 19.9 percent.

Educational Attainment: In 2012, 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 31.0 percent
  • with a bachelor's degree or more was 12.4 percent.

Veterans Service-Connected Disability: In 2012, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans with a VA determined Service-Connected Disability was 20.2 percent in the US.

Health Insurance Coverage: In 2012 in the US, 82.8 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). The US disability prevalence rate for this population was 10.4%

Location 2012 (%) Location 2012 (%)
Alabama 15.5 Montana 10.7
Alaska 10.6 Nebraska 8.5
Arizona 10.1 Nevada 10.6
Arkansas 15.8 New Hampshire 9.9
California 8.1 New Jersey 7.9
Colorado 8.7 New Mexico 13.5
Connecticut 8.4 New York 8.6
Delaware 10.9 North Carolina 11.7
District of Columbia 9.8 North Dakota 8.6
Florida 10.3 Ohio 12.3
Georgia 10.9 Oklahoma 14.1
Hawaii 8.7 Oregon 12.1
Idaho 11.3 Pennsylvania 11.4
Illinois 8.7 Puerto Rico 19.1
Indiana 11.3 Rhode Island 10.6
Iowa 9.8 South Carolina 12.7
Kansas 11.2 South Dakota 10.2
Kentucky 15.8 Tennessee 13.9
Louisiana 14.0 Texas 10.4
Maine 13.7 Utah 8.7
Maryland 8.4 Vermont 11.2
Massachusetts 9.2 Virginia 8.7
Michigan 12.1 Washington 10.4
Minnesota 8.5 West Virginia 17.6
Mississippi 16.2 Wisconsin 9.5
Missouri 13.1 Wyoming 10.1

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). The employment rate in the US for this population was 33.5% for people with disabilities and 76.3% for people without disabilities.

Location People with Disabilities 2012 People without Disabilities 2012 Location People with Disabilities 2012 People without Disabilities 2012
Alabama 29.4 73.2 Montana 37.8 78.1
Alaska 42.3 76.8 Nebraska 43.6 84.5
Arizona 35.1 73.1 Nevada 36.1 74.6
Arkansas 32.3 75.2 New Hampshire 37.4 83.5
California 32.2 73.1 New Jersey 36.0 76.5
Colorado 42.0 79.6 New Mexico 34.7 73.3
Connecticut 40.2 78.8 New York 32.0 75.6
Delaware 35.5 78.7 North Carolina 30.8 75.3
District of Columbia 31.0 79.0 North Dakota 53.0 84.9
Florida 29.4 73.8 Ohio 32.9 77.2
Georgia 30.9 73.7 Oklahoma 34.2 77.9
Hawaii 38.6 78.7 Oregon 34.8 74.0
Idaho 40.8 76.5 Pennsylvania 33.1 77.7
Illinois 33.2 76.7 Puerto Rico 24.0 57.0
Indiana 34.9 77.8 Rhode Island 28.2 79.7
Iowa 42.1 83.5 South Carolina 27.7 74.7
Kansas 41.1 81.0 South Dakota 54.1 83.6
Kentucky 26.6 74.9 Tennessee 28.2 75.2
Louisiana 35.0 75.5 Texas 37.4 76.5
Maine 34.1 79.1 Utah 41.4 78.9
Maryland 42.1 80.1 Vermont 37.2 82.9
Massachusetts 33.0 79.6 Virginia 36.0 79.9
Michigan 27.6 73.1 Washington 36.9 76.8
Minnesota 42.7 83.4 West Virginia 24.5 72.9
Mississippi 26.4 73.4 Wisconsin 36.3 81.3
Missouri 32.7 78.3 Wyoming 43.9 80.8

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability of all ages in the US was 12.1 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 37,627,800 of the 309,936,400 individuals of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, 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," 2.2 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people of all ages in the United States in 2012*

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 12.1 0.05 37,627,800 150,710 309,936,400 3,035,296
Visual 2.2 0.02 6,670,300 66,910 309,936,400 3,035,296
Hearing 3.4 0.03 10,511,400 83,470 309,936,400 3,035,296
Ambulatory 6.9 0.04 20,008,400 113,350 290,128,100 2,866,339
Cognitive 4.9 0.03 14,315,000 96,800 290,128,100 2,866,339
Self-Care 2.7 0.02 7,711,400 71,820 290,128,100 2,866,339
Independent Living 5.6 0.04 13,877,000 95,370 248,829,200 2,487,808

* 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). Only the two sensory disability questions were asked of this population. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, 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 2012, 162,900 of the 19,808,400 children ages 0 to 4 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, 0.5 percent reported a visual disability
  • In the US in 2012, 0.5 percent reported a hearing disability

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 4 and under in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 0.8 3.29 162,900 10,570 19,808,400 168,957
Visual 0.5 3.29 100,700 8,310 19,808,400 168,957
Hearing 0.5 3.29 107,600 8,590 19,808,400 168,957

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of children with a disability ages 5 to 15 in the US was 5.3 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 2,393,300 of the 45,411,700 individuals ages 5 to 15 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, among the five types of disabilities* identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 4.0 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 5.3 0.09 2,393,300 40,360 45,411,700 417,759
Visual 0.8 3.29 357,900 15,660 45,411,700 417,759
Hearing 0.6 3.29 285,900 14,000 45,411,700 417,759
Ambulatory 0.6 3.29 288,300 14,050 45,411,700 417,759
Cognitive 4.0 0.08 1,827,900 35,300 45,411,700 417,759
Self-Care 1.0 3.29 463,200 17,810 45,411,700 417,759

* 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 16 to 20 in the US was 5.5 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 1,215,100 of the 21,895,700 individuals ages 16 to 20 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Cognitive Disability," 3.9 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Hearing Disability," 0.6 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 16 to 20 in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 5.5 0.13 1,215,100 28,810 21,895,700 211,006
Visual 0.9 3.29 201,100 11,740 21,895,700 211,006
Hearing 0.6 3.29 133,100 9,550 21,895,700 211,006
Ambulatory 0.8 3.29 173,300 10,900 21,895,700 211,006
Cognitive 3.9 0.11 852,000 24,140 21,895,700 211,006
Self-Care 0.7 3.29 155,900 10,340 21,895,700 211,006
Independent Living 2.0 0.08 441,800 17,390 21,895,700 211,006

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of working age people (ages 21 to 64) with a disability in the US was 10.4 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 18,890,100 of the 180,997,100 individuals ages 21 to 64 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 5.5 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was "Visual Disability," 1.8 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 21 to 64 in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 10.4 0.06 18,890,100 110,340 180,997,100 1,727,327
Visual 1.8 3.29 3,286,100 47,220 180,997,100 1,727,327
Hearing 2.1 0.03 3,857,100 51,110 180,997,100 1,727,327
Ambulatory 5.5 0.04 9,888,800 81,040 180,997,100 1,727,327
Cognitive 4.3 0.04 7,748,800 71,990 180,997,100 1,727,327
Self-Care 1.9 3.29 3,493,800 48,680 180,997,100 1,727,327
Independent Living 3.7 0.04 6,719,800 67,160 180,997,100 1,727,327

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 65 to 74 in the US was 25.0 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 5,929,300 of the 23,731,800 individuals ages 65 to 74 in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 15.6 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 4.0 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 65 to 74 in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 25.0 0.23 5,929,300 63,160 23,731,800 288,521
Visual 4.0 0.11 947,500 25,450 23,731,800 288,521
Hearing 8.9 0.15 2,110,200 37,910 23,731,800 288,521
Ambulatory 15.6 0.20 3,701,100 50,080 23,731,800 288,521
Cognitive 5.4 0.12 1,285,800 29,630 23,731,800 288,521
Self-Care 4.6 0.11 1,091,700 27,320 23,731,800 288,521
Independent Living 8.0 0.15 1,908,800 36,070 23,731,800 288,521

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of people with a disability ages 75 and older in the US was 50.0 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 9,037,100 of the 18,091,700 individuals ages 75 and older in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for "Ambulatory Disability," 32.9 percent. The lowest prevalence rate was for "Visual Disability," 9.8 percent.

Prevalence of disability among non-institutionalized people ages 75 and older in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Any Disability 50.0 0.31 9,037,100 77,580 18,091,700 221,726
Visual 9.8 0.18 1,777,100 34,810 18,091,700 221,726
Hearing 22.2 0.26 4,017,500 52,150 18,091,700 221,726
Ambulatory 32.9 0.29 5,956,900 63,310 18,091,700 221,726
Cognitive 14.4 0.22 2,600,600 42,060 18,091,700 221,726
Self-Care 13.9 0.21 2,506,700 41,300 18,091,700 221,726
Independent Living 26.1 0.27 4,716,600 56,450 18,091,700 221,726

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In the US in 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of males with a disability of all ages was 12.0 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 18,138,200 of the 151,675,600 males of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of females with a disability of all ages was 12.3 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 19,489,600 of the 158,260,800 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 2012

Gender & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Males
Males: All Ages 12.0 0.07 18,138,200 108,260 151,675,600 1,465,578
Males: Ages 4 and under 0.9 3.29 89,800 7,850 10,123,300 86,349
Males: Ages 5-15 6.6 0.13 1,531,200 32,330 23,226,800 213,609
Males: Ages 16-20 6.2 0.19 695,000 21,810 11,134,500 106,552
Males: Ages 21-64 10.7 0.09 9,463,600 79,340 88,826,600 833,428
Males: Ages 65-74 25.8 0.34 2,858,700 44,080 11,064,100 134,507
Males: Ages 75+ 47.9 0.48 3,499,900 48,720 7,300,300 91,133
Females
Females: All Ages 12.3 0.07 19,489,600 111,970 158,260,800 1,569,718
Females: Ages 4 and under 0.8 3.29 73,100 7,080 9,685,100 82,608
Females: Ages 5-15 3.9 0.11 862,100 24,280 22,184,900 204,150
Females: Ages 16-20 4.8 0.17 520,200 18,870 10,761,200 104,454
Females: Ages 21-64 10.2 0.08 9,426,500 79,190 92,170,500 893,899
Females: Ages 65-74 24.2 0.32 3,070,600 45,660 12,667,800 154,014
Females: Ages 75+ 51.3 0.40 5,537,200 61,080 10,791,400 130,593

* 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS)*. For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In the US in 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 8.5 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 4,456,200 of the 52,353,100 people of Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages in the US reported one or more disabilities.
  • In the US in 2012, the overall percentage (prevalence rate) of disability among people of non-Hispanic/Latino origin of all ages was 12.9 percent.
  • In other words, in 2012, 33,171,700 of the 257,583,300 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 2012

Hispanic/Latino Origin & Age Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
Hispanic
Hispanic - All Ages 8.5 0.10 4,456,200 54,890 52,353,100 424,971
Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.9 3.29 45,500 5,590 5,095,300 37,376
Hispanic - Ages 5-15 4.9 0.17 525,100 18,960 10,670,500 86,972
Hispanic - Ages 16-20 5.1 0.27 232,800 12,630 4,584,000 38,138
Hispanic - Ages 21-64 8.3 0.13 2,401,000 40,420 28,935,700 230,064
Hispanic - Ages 65-74 30.9 0.89 572,000 19,790 1,853,700 19,337
Hispanic - Ages 75+ 56.0 1.18 679,700 21,570 1,213,900 13,084
Non-Hispanic
Non-Hispanic - All Ages 12.9 0.05 33,171,700 142,640 257,583,300 2,610,325
Non-Hispanic - Ages 4 and under 0.8 3.29 117,300 8,970 14,713,000 131,581
Non-Hispanic - Ages 5-15 5.4 0.10 1,868,300 35,690 34,741,300 330,787
Non-Hispanic - Ages 16-20 5.7 0.15 982,300 25,910 17,311,700 172,868
Non-Hispanic - Ages 21-64 10.8 0.07 16,489,000 103,510 152,061,300 1,497,263
Non-Hispanic - Ages 65-74 24.5 0.24 5,357,300 60,100 21,878,200 269,184
Non-Hispanic - Ages 75+ 49.5 0.32 8,357,400 74,690 16,877,800 208,642

* 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

In 2012, among working-age people in the US:

  • 10.2 percent of persons who were White reported a disability.
  • 14.2 percent of persons who were Black/African American reported a disability.
  • 17.6 percent of persons who were Native American reported a disability.
  • 4.3 percent of persons who were Asian reported a disability.
  • 9.9 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 2012

Race Percent MOE Number MOE Base Population Sample Size
White 10.2 0.07 13,792,400 95,100 134,762,000 1,334,808
Black/African American 14.2 0.19 3,177,500 46,440 22,372,700 181,923
Native American or
Alaska Native
17.6 0.83 257,500 13,280 1,461,600 19,635
Asian 4.3 0.17 431,200 17,180 10,003,100 90,907
Some other race(s) 9.9 0.22 1,231,600 29,010 12,397,700 100,054

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities in the US was 33.5 percent.
  • In 2012, the employment rate of working-age people without disabilities in the US was 76.3 percent.
  • The gap between the employment rates of working-age people with and without disabilities was 42.8 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest employment rate was for people with a "Hearing Disability," 50.2 percent. The lowest employment rate was for people with a "Independent Living Disability," 15.7 percent.

Employment of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 76.3 0.09 123,685,100 225,770 162,107,000 1,532,753
Any Disability 33.5 0.28 6,328,000 65,200 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 37.7 0.70 1,240,200 29,110 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 50.2 0.67 1,936,300 36,330 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 24.1 0.36 2,380,500 40,250 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 23.2 0.40 1,800,900 35,040 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 16.2 0.52 566,100 19,690 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 15.7 0.37 1,053,900 26,840 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012 in the US, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 10.8 percent.
  • In 2012 in the US, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities who were not working but actively looking for work was 27.5 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage not working but actively looking for work between working-age people with and without disabilities was 16.7 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage of not working but actively looking for work was for people with a "Hearing Disability," 13.4 percent. The lowest percentage was for people with a "Self-Care Disability," 4.7 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 27.5 0.19 10,582,800 83,740 38,421,900 366,703
Any Disability 10.8 0.23 1,353,800 30,410 12,562,000 131,310
Visual 12.3 0.60 250,900 13,110 2,045,900 20,556
Hearing 13.4 0.64 256,500 13,260 1,920,800 20,328
Ambulatory 7.1 0.25 536,700 19,170 7,508,300 78,671
Cognitive 10.5 0.33 624,200 20,670 5,947,800 62,429
Self-Care 4.7 0.32 136,700 9,680 2,927,700 31,358
Independent Living 5.6 0.25 316,600 14,730 5,665,900 60,317

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was 20.9 percent.
  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities working full-time/full-year in the US was 56.4 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage working full-time/full-year between working-age people with and without disabilities was 35.5 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," 36.0 percent. The lowest full-time/full-year employment rate was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 7.4 percent.

Full-Time/Full-Year employment of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 56.4 0.10 91,375,700 210,770 162,107,000 1,532,753
Any Disability 20.9 0.24 3,957,100 51,770 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 24.6 0.62 809,900 23,540 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 36.0 0.64 1,387,800 30,780 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 14.8 0.30 1,465,200 31,630 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 11.4 0.30 887,000 24,630 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 9.1 0.40 316,300 14,720 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 7.4 0.26 496,100 18,430 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the median earnings of working-age people with disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in the US was $36,400.
  • In 2012, the median earnings of working-age people without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year in the US was $42,400.
  • The difference in the median earnings between working-age people with and without disabilities who worked full-time/full-year was $6,000.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest annual earnings was for people with "Hearing Disability," $40,400. The lowest annual earnings was for people with "Cognitive Disability," $30,300.

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 2012

Disability Type Median Earnings MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $42,400 $110 91,376,000 860,790
Any Disability $36,400 $430 3,957,000 39,355
Visual $32,300 $860 810,000 7,384
Hearing $40,400 $810 1,388,000 14,305
Ambulatory $35,400 $690 1,465,000 14,367
Cognitive $30,300 $790 887,000 8,285
Self-Care $38,400 $1,550 316,000 3,025
Independent Living $33,300 $1,100 496,000 4,812

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the median income of households that include any working-age people with disabilities in the US was $37,300.
  • In 2012, the median income of households that do not include any working-age people with disabilities in the US was $60,600.
  • The difference in the median income between households including and not including working-age people with disabilities was $23,300.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest median income was for households including persons with a "Hearing Disability," $48,400. The lowest median income was for households containing persons with a "Cognitive Disability" $31,300.

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

Median annual income* of households including any working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Median H.H. Income MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability $60,600 $200 80,262,000 791,326
Any Disability $37,300 360 14,970,000 160,160
Visual $33,400 750 2,785,000 28,314
Hearing $48,400 860 3,447,000 37,183
Ambulatory $33,000 430 8,394,000 89,868
Cognitive $31,300 500 6,066,000 64,768
Self-Care $32,100 720 2,933,000 31,677
Independent Living $32,300 530 5,426,000 59,817

* 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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities in the US was 28.4 percent.
  • In 2012, the poverty rate of working-age people without disabilities in the US was 12.4 percent.
  • The difference in the poverty rate between working-age people with and without disabilities was 16 percentage points.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest poverty rate was for people with "Cognitive Disability," 34.4 percent. The lowest poverty rate was for people with "Hearing Disability," 20.7 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 12.4 0.07 19,932,400 120,220 161,359,900 1,520,543
Any Disability 28.4 0.29 5,358,200 63,860 18,856,900 194,031
Visual 31.2 0.71 1,022,500 28,090 3,280,600 31,940
Hearing 20.7 0.57 797,100 24,810 3,848,400 40,069
Ambulatory 30.5 0.41 3,017,800 48,100 9,884,200 102,157
Cognitive 34.4 0.48 2,656,400 45,160 7,729,400 79,672
Self-Care 32.5 0.70 1,136,400 29,610 3,492,800 37,055
Independent Living 32.8 0.50 2,201,800 41,140 6,716,300 71,228

* 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 2012 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 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in the US was 19.9 percent.
  • In 2012, the number of working-age people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income payments in the US was 3,767,200.
  • Among the six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest percentage that received SSI was people with "Independent Living Disability," 30.6 percent. The lowest percentage that received SSI was people with "Hearing Disability," 12.2 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability 19.9 0.24 3,767,200 50,520 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 18.5 0.56 609,100 20,420 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 12.2 0.44 469,800 17,940 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 22.1 0.35 2,181,600 38,550 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 28.0 0.42 2,167,000 38,420 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 28.8 0.63 1,005,700 26,220 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 30.6 0.47 2,058,200 37,450 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the US was 34.4 percent.
  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only a high school diploma or equivalent in the US was 25.5 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent between working-age people with and without disabilities was 8.9 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," 36.4 percent. The lowest percentage with only a high school diploma or equivalent was for people with "Visual Disability," 32.3 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 25.5 0.09 41,283,400 156,810 162,107,000 1,532,753
Any Disability 34.4 0.29 6,501,300 66,080 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 32.3 0.68 1,060,500 26,920 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 33.3 0.63 1,284,800 29,620 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 34.7 0.40 3,427,000 48,210 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 35.7 0.45 2,762,700 43,340 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 34.2 0.66 1,193,500 28,560 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 36.4 0.49 2,443,300 40,780 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the US was 31.0 percent.
  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with only some college or an Associate's degree in the US was 32.6 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with only some college or an Associate's degree between working-age people with and without disabilities was 1.6 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," 32.4 percent. The lowest percentage with only some college or Associate's degree was for people with "Independent Living Disability," 27.5 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 32.6 0.10 52,769,800 173,510 162,107,000 1,532,753
Any Disability 31.0 0.28 5,854,900 62,770 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 29.1 0.66 955,000 25,550 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 32.4 0.62 1,250,300 29,220 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 31.4 0.39 3,108,800 45,950 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 28.1 0.42 2,177,500 38,510 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 28.9 0.64 1,010,100 26,280 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 27.5 0.45 1,846,600 35,480 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people with disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the US was 12.4 percent.
  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age people without disabilities with a Bachelor's degree or more in the US was 31.7 percent.
  • The difference in the percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more between working-age people with and without disabilities was 19.3 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," 15.8 percent. The lowest percentage with a Bachelor's degree or more was for people with "Cognitive Disability," 9.1 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 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 31.7 0.10 51,450,700 171,760 162,107,000 1,532,753
Any Disability 12.4 0.20 2,346,100 39,960 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 11.9 0.47 391,700 16,380 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 15.8 0.49 610,300 20,440 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 11.0 0.26 1,083,200 27,210 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 9.1 0.27 708,800 22,020 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 10.5 0.43 368,300 15,880 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 9.5 0.30 640,400 20,940 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012, there were 11,462,900 working-age civilian veterans in the US, of whom 2,313,600 had a VA service-connected disability.
  • In 2012, the percentage of working-age civilian veterans in the US with a VA service-connected disability was 20.2 percent.
  • In 2012, 534,800 working-age civilian veterans in the US had the most severe service-connected disability rating (70 percent or above).
  • In 2012, 23.1 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 2012

Service–Connected Disability Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Has a service-connected disability rating (0-100%) 20.2 0.31 2,313,600 39,690 11,462,900 115,095
Disability rating of veterans with a service connected-disability
0 percent 5.6 0.40 128,400 9,380 2,313,600 23,708
10 or 20 percent 32.2 0.80 744,200 22,560 2,313,600 23,708
30 or 40 percent 19.5 0.68 451,700 17,590 2,313,600 23,708
50 or 60 percent 12.4 0.57 288,000 14,050 2,313,600 23,708
70 percent or higher 23.1 0.73 534,800 19,130 2,313,600 23,708
Rating not reported 7.2 0.45 166,500 10,680 2,313,600 23,708

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 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). For definitions of terms, see Glossary.

Quick Statistics

  • In 2012, 82.8 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US had some type of health insurance coverage.
  • In 2012, 79.1 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 3.7 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," 88.3 percent. The lowest health insurance coverage rate was for people with "Visual Disability," 77.9 percent.

Health Insurance Coverage of non-institutionalized working-age people (ages 21 to 64) by disability status in the United States in 2012

Disability Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
No Disability 79.1 0.08 128,244,900 228,080 162,107,000 1,532,753
Any Disability 82.8 0.23 15,635,800 100,940 18,890,100 194,574
Visual 77.9 0.60 2,560,100 41,730 3,286,100 32,021
Hearing 83.4 0.50 3,218,500 46,740 3,857,100 40,210
Ambulatory 84.9 0.30 8,398,000 74,870 9,888,800 102,232
Cognitive 83.8 0.35 6,494,100 66,040 7,748,800 79,991
Self-Care 88.3 0.45 3,086,400 45,780 3,493,800 37,072
Independent Living 87.4 0.34 5,871,700 62,860 6,719,800 71,279

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 2012 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 2012, 33.8 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 2012, 63.1 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 2012, 8.5 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 2012, 24.9 percent of working-age people with disabilities in the US reported Medicare coverage and 37.2 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 2012

Disability Status/ Insurance Type Percent MOE Number MOE Base Pop. Sample Size
Any Disability
Uninsured 17.2 0.23 3,254,200 47,000 18,890,100 194,574
Employer/Union 33.8 0.29 6,376,500 65,450 18,890,100 194,574
Purchased 8.5 0.17 1,608,600 33,130 18,890,100 194,574
Medicare 24.9 0.26 4,703,900 56,370 18,890,100 194,574
Medicaid 37.2 0.29 7,026,100 68,630 18,890,100 194,574
Military/VA 7.3 0.16 1,383,900 30,740 18,890,100 194,574
Indian Health Service 0.7 3.29 131,000 9,470 18,890,100 194,574
No Disability
Uninsured 20.9 0.08 33,862,100 143,940 162,107,000 1,532,753
Employer/Union 63.1 0.10 102,356,200 217,510 162,107,000 1,532,753
Purchased 9.5 0.06 15,466,600 100,420 162,107,000 1,532,753
Medicare 1.4 3.29 2,348,500 39,980 162,107,000 1,532,753
Medicaid 7.5 0.05 12,099,700 89,320 162,107,000 1,532,753
Military/VA 3.5 0.04 5,634,900 61,600 162,107,000 1,532,753
Indian Health Service 0.4 3.29 666,900 21,360 162,107,000 1,532,753

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. were “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.

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

Yang Tan Institute
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
Phone: 607.255.7727
Email: disabilitystatistics@cornell.edu
Web: www.disabilitystatistics.org