Disability

According to 2011 American Community Survey estimates, there are approximately 37,188,115 Americans (12.1% of the population) living with a disability. Within the population of Americans with a disability, an estimated 147,717 are under age 5, an estimated 2,731,692 are age 5-17, about 3,672,141 are age 18-34, approximately 15,217,397 are age 35-65, about 5,450,149 are 65-74,  and approximately 8,797,193 are 75 and older. 
 
The US Census Bureau categorizes the types of difficulties Americans with a disability status experiences into ambulatory difficulty, cognitive difficulty, independent living difficulty, hearing difficulty, self care difficulty, and vision difficulty categories. According to the 2010 American Community Survey, a disability characterized by ambulatory difficulty (9,856,708) is the most common difficulty experienced by Americans with a disability status, followed by a disability characterized by a cognitive difficulty (7,943,029) an independent living difficulty (6,648,045) a hearing difficulty (3,924,360) a self care difficulty (3,444,202) and vision difficulty (3,209,067).  
 
A significant majority of the population with a disability status is not in the labor force.  79.35% of the population with a self-care difficulty, 78.88% of the population with an independent living difficulty, 69.41% of those with a disability status characterized by an ambulatory difficulty, 67.30% of the population with a cognitive difficulty, 54.00% of those with a vision difficulty, and 42.58% of the population with a hearing difficulty are not active in the labor force. Comparatively, of the population of Americans without a disability status, 18.98% are not in the country’s labor force.  
 
Correspondingly, Americans with a disability status are also more likely to live in poverty than Americans without a disability status in every cohort.  
 
 

Age

Percentage of Population with a Disability Living in Poverty

Percentage of Population Without a Disability Living In Poverty

 Under 5

33.94%

23.30%

 5-17

30.75%

18.17%

18-34

31.31%

17.92%

35-64

25.26%

7.99%

65-74

13.82%

6.43%

75 and over

12.79%

8.69%

Total Population

33.39%

13.41%