Statistics of Disability

According to the US Department of Commerce, a person has a disability when he/she has difficulty with any of the following:

  • normal body functions, such as seeing, hearing, talking, or walking
  • activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing or dressing
  • certain expected roles, such as doing housework, schoolwork, or working at a job
  • performing usual activities, such as driving or taking a bus

Statistics related to disability:

  • Approximately 54 million people in the US have some type of disability, with physical, sensory, mental, and self-care effects ranging from mild to severe.
  • Nearly 52 percent of persons over age 65 (or 18 million people) have some level of disability.
  • About 35 million people of all ages are severely disabled.
  • Annually, about 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke. About 600,000 of these incidents are first time strokes, and 185,000 are recurrent attacks. In the U.S. a person normally suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.
  • Approximately 1.4 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year.
  • There are 250,000--400,000 people in the United States with spinal cord injuries or dysfunction.

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