American Community Survey

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Why We Ask Questions About...

Your privacy concerns

Questions as they appear on the form

We ask three questions about disability to identify limitations in basic areas of functioning and independent living.

Results from these questions

We compile the results from these questions to provide communities with important statistics to help in their disability services planning. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.

United States

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View Results for a County or City / Town in (↑ change state using menu above ↑)

Disability data help communities:

Community disability data are also used to ensure that these programs are adequately serving eligible families.

Ensure Equal Opportunity

We ask about disability status to help governments and communities enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination on the basis of disability status. For example, disability data determine whether there are health care or public health program disparities on the basis of disability status (Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000).

Provide Assistance to People with Disabilities

We ask about disability to help local officials provide programs and services that:

  • Enable older adults to remain living safely in their homes and communities (Older Americans Act).
  • Provide services and assistance to people with a disability, such as financial assistance with utilities (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program).

Understand Changes

We ask about disability and other topics to inform researchers, advocacy groups, and policymakers on whether people with disabilities have the same opportunities in education, employment, voting, and home ownership. Communities use data on the prevalence of various types of disabilities to ensure that they can meet needs during weather events, disasters, and public health emergencies.

History of disability questions

Disability questions originated with the 1830 Census. The current questions were added to the ACS in 2008.

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