Just Released: 2017 Disability Statistics Compendium

February 22, 2018

Dr. Andrew Houtenville at Disability Compendium Release

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (IOD) released its 2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium at a February 13, 2018 event at the National Academies of Science in Washington, DC. The Compendium pulls together disability statistics on a variety of topics from numerous US federal agencies.

“The statistics contained in the 2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium highlight the work that still needs to be done to improve the lives of Americans with disabilities,” said Andrew Houtenville, research director at the IOD and principal investigator of the StatsRRTC. “Statistics are crucial for monitoring progress—or the lack thereof—in key areas and motivating positive change with respect to expectations, attitudes, and policies.”

Key findings from the 2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium include:

  • In 2016, people with disabilities comprised 12.8% of the US population, up from 11.9% in 2010.
  • West Virginia had highest proportion of people with disabilities in 2016, 20.1%, while Utah had the lowest, 9.9%
  • The likelihood of experiencing a disability increases with age. In 2016, the percentage experiencing a disability was less than 1.0% for children under 5 years old 5.6% for youth ages 5-17, 10.6% for adults ages 18-64, and 35.2% for adults ages 65 and older.
  • In 2016, 35.9% of people with disabilities were employed, compared to 76.6% of people without disabilities—an employment gap of 40.9%pts.
  • Employment improved for people with disabilities in 2016—the employment gap between people with disabilities and people without disabilities narrowed, from 41.2%pts in 2015 to 40.9%pts in 2016.
  • In 2016, the median earnings of people with disabilities was $22,047, about two-thirds of the median earnings of people without disabilities, $32,479.
  • Binge drinking was lower for people with disabilities, 13.1%, compared to people without disabilities, 18.3%, in 2016.

This year, the StatsRRTC also released the 2017 Disability Statistics Annual Report, a companion volume of maps and charts that highlights trend data and variations across states, and the 2017 Disability Statistics Compendium Supplement, which provides expanded tables which look at age, race and ethnicity, and more. To download these publications, visit www.DisabilityCompendium.org. For more information, contact us at Disability.Statistics@unh.edu or toll-free at 866-538-9521.

The Compendium is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), grant number 90RT5022-02-00. Key partners include Mathematica Policy Research, Kessler Foundation, Public Health Institute (PHI), American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR).