Community Development, Reports and Publications, Supportive Housing

Census Report on People with Disabilities Shows Continued Income Disparity


56.7 million Americans, 19% of the population, almost 1 in 5 people, had a disability in 2010 according to a new report –Americans with Disabilities: 2010 - from the Census Bureau. This number has increased by 2.2 million since the 2005 report, but the percentage has stayed the same. However, the number and percentage of those who reported having a severe disability has increased to 38.3m from 34.9m which results in an increased need for assistance. A severe disability is based on the level of difficulty an individual has when performing a specific set of functional and participatory activities.

The report revealed that adults aged 21 to 64 with disabilities had median monthly earnings of $1,961 compared to $2,724 for those without a disability and 41% of those age 21 to 64 with a disability were employed compared with 79% of those without a disability. Unsurprisingly, the report noted that 29% of those aged 15 to 64 with severe disabilities lived in poverty, compared to 18% of adults with nonsevere disabilities, and 14% of those with no disability. Those with severe disabilities were also more likely to experience persistent poverty over a two-year period – 11% compared to 5% for those with nonsevere disabilities and 4% for those with no disabilities.

The report was timed to be released during the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The statistics above show that there is still much work to be done to guarantee equal opportunities for those who live with a disability.

The report is available here

Data tables are available here



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