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Disability Status by Metropolitan Area

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The latest data providing insights into the population with disabilities is from the Census Bureau 2009 American Community Survey. Using these data, we can gain a better understanding of the characteristics of the population with disabilities such as:

  • In 2009, 19.5 million people, or 9.9 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population age 16 to 64, had a disability. Between 2008 and 2009, both the number and percent of people with disabilities did not change.
  • In 2009, West Virginia had the highest disability prevalence rate for people age 16 to 64 at 16.8 percent. Hawaii has the lowest prevalence rate, not different from California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Utah.
  • About 34.7 percent of people with disabilities were employed compared with 71.9 percent of people without a disability. North Dakota had the highest employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities, not different from Wyoming.
  • The District of Columbia had the lowest employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities, not different from Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

This section will update in fall 2011.

U.S. Population with Disabilities
The following table presents an overview of the disability status of the civilian noninstitutionalized population by age for the United State overall for 2008 compared to 2009. Little annual change; consistent patterns.

  2008 2008% 2009 2009%
Total Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population 298,574,528 100.00 301,472,074 100.00
   With a disability 36,071,802 12.08 36,150,710 11.99
   Under 18 years 73,786,055 24.71 74,358,353 24.67
       With a disability 2,896,937 0.97 2,907,117 0.96
   18 to 64 years 187,579,233 62.82 189,181,224 62.75
       With a disability 18,995,085 6.36 19,054,587 6.32
   65 years and over 37,209,240 12.46 37,932,497 12.58
       With a disability 14,179,780 4.75 14,189,006 4.71

More detailed table with national scope disability data.

Comparative Analysis & Geographic Drill-down
How do the above national data compare with your local situation? How does your local situation compare with other areas/metros in your state/region? While the above data provide some geographic attributes, we have a very incomplete picture of how the population with disabilities is distributed across the U.S. This section provides a ranking table using data from the 2009 ACS that enables ranking and comparison of metros based on selected age groups.

Portions of the ACS 2009 DP2 dataset have been integrated into the Metro GIS Toolset. Download and use the Metro GIS Toolset; optionally combine your own data; examine your markets.

Data presented in the ranking table are part of a broader set of demographic-economic profiles. Use the pick-from list tables to view profiles for individual states, congressional districts, metro areas.

Disability Status by Metro Interactive Ranking Table ... rank by column
  Click column header to sort; click again to sort other direction. See related Ranking Tables Main Page

Usage Notes
  • Click on a column header to sort on that column; click column header again to sort in other direction.
  • Click ShowAll button to show all areas and restore full set of data view.
  • Click State to view metros in a selected state (click ShowAll between selections).
  • Find by Name: key in partial area name in text box to right of Find-in-Name button
      then click button to locate all matches (case sensitive).
  • See related ranking tables.

Column Headers
All items are for calendar years 2009
  • CBSA - Core-Based Statistical Area Code
  • State - dominant MSA state
All population items are civilian noninstitutionalized population.
  • Pop -- Population
  • PopDis -- Population with disabilities
  • %PopDis -- Percent Population with disabilities
  • Pop<18 -- Population <18 years
  • Pop<18Dis -- Population <18 years with disabilities
  • %Pop<18Dis -- Percent Population <18 years with disabilities
  • Pop1864 -- Population 18-64 years
  • Pop1864 -- Population 18-64 years with disabilities
  • %Pop1864Dis -- Percent Population 18-64 years with disabilities
  • Pop65+ -- Population 65 years and over
  • Pop65+Dis -- Population 65 years and over with disabilities
  • %Pop65+Dis -- Percent Population 65 years and over with disabilities

Terms and Definitions

Data presented on disability status are based on data tabulated from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS). See definitions and discussion. There are other disabilities, not covered on the ACS questionnaire. Among the noteworthy omissions in the terms listed below is the inability to speak or limitations with respect to speech ability.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines a speech or language impairment as a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, oral motor disorders, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Speech disability is also referred to as communication disorder, speech impairment, language disorders, speech and language impediments, communication disability.

Disability. Difficulty with any of the six types of disability collected in the American Community Survey: vision, hearing, ambulatory, cognitive, selfcare, and independent living. It covers functional limitations in the three domains of disability (communication, mental, and physical), activities of daily living (ADLs), and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).

Vision difficulty. Blindness or serious difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses or contacts.

Hearing difficulty. Deafness or serious difficulty hearing.

Cognitive difficulty. Serious difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions.

Ambulatory difficulty. Serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

Self-care difficulty. Difficulty dressing or bathing. This type relates to ADLs.

Independent living difficulty. Difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping. This type relates to IADLs.

Additional Information
Proximity develops geographic-demographic-economic data and analytical tools and helps organizations knit together and use diverse data in a decision-making and analytical framework. We develop custom demographic/economic estimates and projections, develop geographic and geocoded address files, and assist with impact and geospatial analyses. Wide-ranging organizations use our tools (software, data, methodologies) to analyze their own data integrated with other data. Contact Proximity (888-364-7656) with questions about data covered in this section or to discuss custom estimates, projections or analyses for your areas of interest.

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