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Facts for Features
CB12-FF.16
July 25, 2012

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Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26

This day marks the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.

The statistics below come from “Americans with Disabilities: 2010” <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>. [PDF]

Population Distribution

57 million

Number of people with a disability living in the United States in 2010. They represent 19 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population.

By age --

  • 8 percent of children under 15 have disabilities.
  • 21 percent of people 15 and older have disabilities.
  • 17 percent of people 21 to 64 have disabilities.
  • 50 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities.
<Table 1>

20%

Percentage of females with a disability, compared with 17 percent of males. (When adjusted for the aging of the population, the disability rate was 18 percent for both males and females).

<Table 2>

Specific Disabilities

8 million

Number of people 15 and older who have a hearing difficulty. Among people 65 and older, 4 million have difficulty hearing.

8 million

Number of people 15 and older with a vision difficulty.

31 million

Number of people 15 and older who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

<Table A-1>

4 million

Number of people who used a wheelchair to assist with mobility. This compares with 12 million people who used a cane, crutches or walker.

<Table A-1>

On the Job

41%

Percentage of people 21 to 64 with a disability who were employed.

28%

Percentage of people 21 to 64 with severe disabilities who were employed. This compares with 71 percent for individuals with nonsevere disabilities.

<Table A-2>

Income and Poverty

$1,961

Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with a disability, compared with $2,724 for those with no disability.

$1,577

Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with severe disabilities, while those with nonsevere disabilities had median monthly earnings of $2,402.

$2,838

Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with disabilities associated only with communication, including blindness or difficulty seeing, deafness or difficulty hearing, and difficulty having speech understood.

29%

Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who were in poverty, while 18 percent with nonsevere disabilities were in poverty.

Program Participation

59%

Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive public assistance. Thirty-three percent receive social security benefits. This compares with 9 percent of adults 15 to 64 with nonsevere disabilities that receive Social Security benefits.

28%

Percentage of adults with severe disabilities who receive food stamp benefits, compared with 8 percent for those with no disability.

11%

Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive public housing assistance. This compares with 9 percent of people 65 and older with severe disabilities.

Health Insurance

48%

Percentage of adults 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive government health coverage.

40%

Percentage of adults 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who have private health insurance coverage.

23%

Percentage of people with severe disabilities who receive Medicare coverage.

35%

Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive Medicaid, while 9 percent have dual coverage, receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

21%

Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who were uninsured, not statistically different from the 21 percent of those with nonsevere disabilities.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014