Section 3: Poverty

This section presents statistics on poverty in the United States. The statistics describe the number and percentage of people with and without disabilities who experience poverty as well as the difference between the poverty rates (poverty gap) of people with and without disabilities. The principal source of these data is the U.S. Census Bureau, specifically the American Community Survey.  For these tables, statistics for people with disabilities (disability status) are based on having responded ‘yes’ to a series of questions within the American Community Survey, (see the glossary for more details).  Annual time trends were produced by the authors using data from the Current Population Survey- Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which is fielded annually in March.  Similar to the American Community Survey, statistics for people with disabilities (disability status) are based on having responded ‘yes’ to a series of questions within the Current Population Survey. Poverty is defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and set as a dollar threshold by the U.S. Census Bureau in all sources (see glossary for details).


Table 3.1: Poverty - Civilians with Disabilities Ages Under 5 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.
Table 3.5: Poverty - Civilians without Disabilities Ages Under 5 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.

In 2014, of the 148,541 individuals with disabilities ages under 5 years who were living in the community, 50,456 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 34.0 percent. In contrast, of the 19,304,614 individuals without disabilities ages under 5 years living in the community, 4,607,731 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 23.9 percent. The poverty rate for people with disabilities was highest in Kentucky (66.8 percent) and lowest in New Jersey (9.0 percent).


Table 3.2 Poverty - Civilians with Disabilities Ages 5 to 17 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.
Table 3.6 Poverty - Civilians without Disabilities Ages 5 to 17 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.

In 2014, of the 2,837,660 individuals with disabilities ages 5 to 17 years who were living in the community, 924,033 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 32.6 percent. In contrast, of the 50,095,670 individuals without disabilities ages 5 to 17 years living in the community, 10,103,792 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 20.2 percent. The poverty rate for people with disabilities was highest in Puerto Rico (63.6 percent) and lowest in North Dakota (17.7 percent).


Table 3.3 Poverty - Civilians with Disabilities Ages 18 to 64 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.
Table 3.7 Poverty - Civilians without Disabilities Ages 18 to 64 Years Living in the Community for the U.S. 

In 2014, of the 20,349,020 individuals with disabilities ages 18 to 64 years who were living in the community, 5,744,797 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 28.2 percent. In contrast, of the 172,583,524 individuals without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community, 22,508,075 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 13.0 percent. The poverty rate for people with disabilities was highest in Puerto Rico (53.1 percent) and lowest in Alaska (19.2 percent).


Table 3.4 Poverty - Civilians with Disabilities Ages 65 Years and Over Living in the Community for the U.S.
Table 3.8 Poverty - Civilians without Disabilities Ages 65 Years and Over Living in the Community for the U.S. 

In 2014, of the 16,160,513 individuals with disabilities ages 65 years and over who were living in the community, 2,093,101 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 13.0 percent. In contrast, of the 28,752,287 individuals without disabilities ages 65 years living in the community, 2,161,792 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 7.5 percent. The poverty rate for people with disabilities was highest in Puerto Rico (44.4 percent) and lowest in Alaska (5.9 percent).


Table 3.9 Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages Under 5 Years Living in the Community for the U.S. by States and Disability Status

In 2014, the poverty rate of individuals with disabilities ages under 5 years living in the community was 34.0 percent, while the poverty rate of individuals without disabilities ages under 5 years living in the community was 23.9 percent—a difference of 10.1 percentage points. The poverty gap was smallest in North Dakota (a difference of 16.8 percentage points) and greatest in District of Columbia (a difference of 76.0 percentage points).


Table 3.10 Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages 5 to 17 Years Living in the Community for the U.S. by States and Disability Status

In 2014, the poverty rate of individuals with disabilities ages 5 to 17 years living in the community was 32.6 percent, while the poverty rate of individuals without disabilities ages 5 to 17 years living in the community was 20.2 percent—a difference of 12.4 percentage points. The poverty gap was smallest in Alaska (a difference of 2.8 percentage points) and greatest in District of Columbia (a difference of 37.0 percentage points).


Table 3.11 Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages 18 to 64 Years Living in the Community for the U.S. by States and Disability Status

In 2014, the poverty rate of individuals with disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community was 28.2 percent, while the poverty rate of individuals without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community was 13.0 percent—a difference of 15.2 percentage points. The poverty gap was smallest in Alaska (a difference of 9.5 percentage points) and greatest in District of Columbia (a difference of 27.1 percentage points).


Table 3.12 Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages 65 Years and Over Living in the Community for the U.S. by States and Disability Status

In 2014, the poverty rate of individuals with disabilities ages 65 years and over living in the community was 13.0 percent, while the poverty rate of individuals without disabilities ages 65 years and over living in the community was 7.5 percent—a difference of 5.4 percentage points. The poverty gap was smallest in Delaware (a difference of 1.4 percentage points) and greatest in District of Columbia (a difference of 12.9 percentage points).


Table 3.13 Change in Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages Under 5 Years Living in the Community for the U.S


In 2013, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages under 5 years living in the community was 11.3 percent. In 2014, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages under 5 years living in the community was 10.1 percent, a 1.2 percentage point decrease. The largest percentage point increase in the poverty gap from 2013 to 2014 was in Kentucky, a 35.8 percentage point increase, while the largest decrease in the poverty gap was in South Carolina, a 45.1 percentage point decrease.


Table 3.14 Change in Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages 5 to 17 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.

In 2013, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages 5 to 17 years living in the community was 13.5 percent. In 2014, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages 5 to 17 years living in the community was 12.4 percent, a 1.1 percentage point decrease. The largest percentage point increase in the poverty gap from 2013 to 2014 was in District of Columbia, a 20.1 percentage point increase, while the largest decrease in the poverty gap was in South Dakota, a 17.7 percentage point decrease.


Table 3.15 Change in Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages 18 to 64 Years Living in the Community for the U.S.

In 2013, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community was 15.1 percent. In 2014, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community was 15.2 percent, a 0.1 percentage point increase. The largest percentage point increase in the poverty gap from 2013 to 2014 was in District of Columbia, a 5.3 percentage point increase, while the largest decrease in the poverty gap was in Idaho, a 3.1 percentage point decrease


Table 3.16 Change in Poverty Gap - Civilians with and without Disabilities Ages 65 Years and Over Living in the Community for the U.S. 

In 2013, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages 65 years and over living in the community was 5.8 percent. In 2014, the poverty gap between individuals with and without disabilities ages 65 years and over living in the community was 5.4 percent, a 0.4 percentage point decrease. The largest percentage point increase in the poverty gap from 2013 to 2014 was in Rhode Island, a 4.6 percentage point increase, while the largest decrease in the poverty gap was in Hawaii, a 2.7 percentage point decrease.

Table 3.17 Poverty Rate among Civilians Ages 16 to 64 Years by Disability Status and Year, In March

In 2015, the poverty rate among non-institutionalized civilians ages 16 to 64 was 30.5 percent for people with a work limitation and 12.0 percent for people without a work limitation. The poverty rate was 28.5 percent for people with a broad disability as compared to 12.4 percent for people without a broad disability. The poverty rate was 27.6 percent for people with a work limitation and/or broad disability as compared to 11.7 percent for people without a work limitation and/or broad disability.

 


Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

Funding for this project
is made possible by:

The StatsRRTC is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, NIDILRR – Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs) Program under cooperative agreement 90RT5022-02-00, from 2013 - 2018.

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