Facts and Figures

Disabilities in the United States 
61 million Americans live with a disability

  • 6 percent of children 5 to 17 have disabilities.
  •  11 percent of people 18 to 64 have disabilities.
  •  35 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities.

Assistance

  • 11 million people (ages 6 and older) need personal assistance with everyday activities. These activities include tasks like getting around the home, bathing, preparing meals and performing light housework.
  •  2.7 million people (ages 15 and older) use a wheelchair. 9.1 million use a walking aid, such as a cane, crutches, or a walker.

Specific Disabilities

  • 1.8 million people (ages 15 and older) report being unable to see printed words.
  • 1 million people (ages 15 and older) and older report being unable to hear conversations.
  • 16.1 million people have limitations in cognitive functioning or a mental illness that interferes with daily activities, including those with Alzheimer's disease and intellectual disabilities

Employment 

  • In 2019, the labor force participation rate was 21 percent for people (ages 16 and older) with a disability, compared to 69 percent for people (ages 16 and older) without a disability.
  •  In 2019, the largest gap in the labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities occurred in the 45-54 age range, when 86 percent of people without disabilities were participating, compared to 34 percent of people with a disability.

Income and Poverty

  • People with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty as people without disabilities.
  • People with disabilities make up approximately 12 percent of the U.S. working-age population; however, they account for more than half of those living in long-term poverty.
  • 65 percent of adults with disabilities participate in at least one safety net or income support program.

Education

  • Students with a disability are half as likely to earn a high school diploma as students without a disability.
  • 16.4 percent of people with a disability (ages 25 - 64) completed at least a bachelor’s degree. By comparison, 34.6 percent of people without a disability (ages 25 - 64) completed at least a bachelor’s degree.

Did You Know?