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SteveGoldADA Information Bulletin # 186 (12/06).
Many disability advocates need up to date statistics by State or county for people with disabilities. The 2005 American Community Survey which can be found on the web factfinder.census.gov provides a lot of useful current data. Here is a national summary of the data:
Nearly 15% of the population 5 years and over (i.e., 40 million people) have one or more disabilities.
For the population 16-64 years, 12% of that population (i.e., nearly 23 million people) have one or more disabilities. Of all people 16-64 years, nearly 3% have a sensory disability, more than 7% have a physical disability, and 4.5% have a mental disability. [Remember people can have more than one type of disability and show up in two categories.]
For the population 16-64 years, only 37.5% of the people with a disability are employed. That is, more than 14 million people with disabilities who are unemployed.
For the population 65 years and over, 40.5% of that population (i.e., more than 14 million people) have one or more disabilities. Of all people over 65 years, 16% have a sensory disability, 31% have physical disability, 11.5% have a mental disability, nearly 10% have a self-care disability, and 16.6% have a "go-outside-home disability."
For the population 5 years and over who have one or more disabilities, 21.1% are below the poverty level (which is about $9,200 for a single person). That is, more than 8 million persons have a disability and are below the poverty level. Of all people 5 years and over who are below the poverty level, 18.7% have a sensory disability, 21% have a physical disability, and 26.4% have a mental disability.
As a comparison, for the population 5 years and over with no disability, 11.3% are below the poverty level, while for the same age group with one or more disabilities, 21.1% are below the poverty level.
This data is available by State and county at the above Census Bureau's web site.
Advocates should use this data to hold accountable public officials with respect to "Annual Plans" [for public housing and vouchers] and "Consolidated Plans" [for HOME and CDBG funds]. Make sure the public officials note the correct percentage of persons with disabilities who are below the poverty level. That information informs (or should inform) their planning processes. Without the correct data, people will disabilities will be shortchanged.
Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues
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