About one in five Americans has a disability

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 13, 2012

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Nineteen percent of the U.S. population had a disability in 2010, with more than half of this group reporting a severe disability, according to a report released July 25 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report updates disability survey data collected from a similar analysis in 2005. The latest report shows that the percentage of people with a disability remained unchanged in 2010, but the number of those with a severe disability rose by 0.6% (link).

A disability was defined as a physical or mental condition that limited a person from participating in daily activities. Severity was determined by how significantly the survey participant was limited.

The 2010 analysis found that 71% of people 80 or older had a disability, compared with 8% of people younger than 15. Four in 10 people age 21 to 64 who had a disability were employed, compared with eight in 10 adults without disabilities. Eleven percent of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities experienced persistent poverty, the survey found.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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