U.S. Department of Commerce

Newsroom

Skip top of page navigation
Facts for Features
CB13-FF.15
May 29, 2013

PDF Version [81K]

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26

This day marks the 23rd 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.

Population Distribution

56.7 million

image of People With Disabilities

Number of people with a disability living in the United States in 2010. They represented 19 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. Disabilities include, for instance, having difficulty seeing, hearing, having speech understood, walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, going outside the home, or doing housework, having Alzheimer's, dementia, autism, cerebral palsy, or dyslexia, and being frequently depressed or anxious.

By age —

  • 8 percent of children under 15 had disabilities.
  • 21 percent of people 15 and older had disabilities.
  • 17 percent of people 21 to 64 had disabilities.
  • 50 percent of adults 65 and older had disabilities.

Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

20%

Percentage of females with a disability, compared with 17 percent of males.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

Where They Live

19%

Percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in West Virginia with a disability ─ the highest rate of any state in the nation. Utah, at 9 percent, had the lowest rate.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table R1810 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/R1810.US01PRF>

Specific Disabilities

7.6 million

image of How Common are Specific Disabilities

Number of people 15 and older who had a hearing difficulty. Among people 65 and older, 4 million had difficulty hearing.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

8.1 million

Number of people 15 and older with a vision difficulty.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

30.6 million

Number of people 15 and older who had difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

3.6 million

Number of people 15 and older who used a wheelchair to assist with mobility. This compares with 11.6 million people who used a cane, crutches or walker.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

2.4 million

Number of people 15 and older who had Alzheimer's disease, senility or dementia.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010
<www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

12.0 million

Number of people 15 and older who required the assistance of others in order to perform one or more activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, doing housework, and preparing meals.
Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>

On the Job

33%

Percentage of the civilian noninstitutionalized population 18 to 64 with a disability who were employed.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18120 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B18120>

53%

Percentage of the civilian labor force with a disability who worked as either service workers (except protective services), with 18.2 percent, administrative support (15.1 percent), sales workers (10.4 percent) and management, business and finance (8.9 percent).
Source: Disability Employment Tabulation, from 2008-2010 American Community Survey,
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-47.html>

315,000

The number of janitors and building cleaners with a disability ─ the most common occupation for people with disabilities. Among occupations with 100,000 or more people, dishwashers had the highest disability rate, with 14.3 percent.
Source: Disability Employment Tabulation, from 2008-2010 American Community Survey,
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-47.html>

Earnings and Poverty

$19,735

Median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability. This compares with $30,285 for those without a disability.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18140
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B18140>

323,000

Number of employed people with disabilities earning $100,000 or more annually. This amounts to 4 percent of all people with disabilities who were employed, compared with 8 percent of people without a disability who were employed.
Source: Disability Employment Tabulation, from 2008-2010 American Community Survey, Table Set 7A
<http://www.census.gov/people/disabilityemptab/data/>

23%

Percentage of people with a disability who were in poverty. By comparison, those without a disability had a poverty rate of 15 percent.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18130
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B18130>

Government Assistance

30%

Among people who received income-based government assistance, the percentage who had a disability; 18 percent of assistance recipients had difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-33.html>

57%

Percentage of assistance recipients with a disability who received only in-kind assistance. By comparison, 2 percent received cash assistance only and 41 percent received both kinds.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf>

58%

Among people who received both cash and in-kind assistance, the percentage who had a disability.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf>

42%

The percentage of income-based assistance recipients in West Virginia who had a disability, which led all states. Arizona ranked the lowest, at 25 percent.
Source: Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011 (from American Community Survey)
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf>

Health Insurance

10%

Percentage of people with a disability who lacked health insurance. Those without a disability were more likely to be without coverage (16 percent).
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B18135
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-12.pdf>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014