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Census Brief: Disabilities Affect One-Fifth of All Americans: Proportion Could Increase in Coming Decades

Report Number CENBR/97-5

About 1 in 5 Americans have some kind of disability, and 1 in 10 have a severe disability (see box for definitions).  And, with the population aging and the likelihood of having a disability increasing with age, the growth in the number of people with disabilities can be expected to accelerate in the coming decades.

If current trends continue, Americans 65 years old and over will make up 20 percent of the total population by the year 2030 compared with about 12 percent currently. In the October 1994 - January 1995 period, for example, about 16 million of an estimated 31 million seniors age 65 and over reported some level of disability.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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