From the Census:
On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.
This Facts for Features provides a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time.
56.7 million The number of people in the United States with a disability in 2010, representing 19.0 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. People with a disability have a physical or mental impairment that affects one or more major life activities, such as walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, doing errands alone or doing housework. A disability can occur at birth or at any point in a person’s life.
Americans With Disabilities: 2010
How Common Are Specific Disabilities by Age?
Percentage of civilian noninstitutionalized population
15.7 million The number of people age 65 and older with at least one disability, according to data collected from 2008 to 2012, which makes up 39.0 percent of the population in this age group. Of this group, two-thirds had difficulty in walking or climbing stairs. The second-most cited disability was difficulty with independent living, such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping.
Older Americans With a Disability: 2008-2012
14,060 The number of business establishments that provided pet care (except veterinary services) in 2012. These businesses generated revenues of $3.4 billion. Among these businesses are those that train assistance dogs.
2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS 812910)
25,964 The number of business establishments primarily providing services for the elderly and persons with disabilities in 2012. These establishments provided for the welfare of these individuals in such areas as day care, nonmedical home care or homemaker services, social activities, group support and companionship. These businesses employed 901,359 workers and generated $34.1 billion in revenues. In 2015, these businesses generated $40.7 billion in revenues.
2012 Comparative-Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS 624120) 2015 Service Annual Survey (NAICS 624120), Table 2
7,832 The number of business establishments providing vocational rehabilitation services in 2012. These businesses employed 312,659 people and generated revenues of $12.4 billion. In 2007, there were 7,631 such establishments, employing 303,713 people and producing revenues of $11.5 billion. These businesses provide job counseling, job training and work experience to people with disabilities.
2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS 624310)
Note: All statistics in this section come from the 2015 American Community Survey, measuring the civilian noninstitutionalized population.
12.9 million The number of people age 18 and older in 2015 who had serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions due to a physical, mental or emotional condition. Among people age 65 and older, 4.2 million had serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
14.2 million The number of people age 18 and older in 2015 who had difficulty doing errands alone, such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping, due to a physical, mental or emotional condition. Among people age 65 and older, 6.9 million had difficulty doing errands alone.
7.5 million The number of people age 18 and older in 2015 who had difficulty dressing or bathing. Among people age 65 and older, 3.8 million had difficulty dressing or bathing.
$21,572 The median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability. This is 69.0 percent of the median earnings, $31,872, for those without a disability. (Both figures pertain to the civilian, noninstitutionalized population age 16 and older, with earnings in the past 12 months.)
Note: The source for the statistics in this section is Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011, which come from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.
12.5% The percentage of householders with a disability who desired to move to another residence, higher than the corresponding figure of 8.2 percent for those without a disability. Those with mental disabilities were the most likely to desire to move (20.6 percent).
17.3% The percentage of householders with a disability who desired to move to another residence and actually did so over a one-year period.
9.3% The percentage of all householders with a disability who moved to another residence over a one-year period.