2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium


Overview. Statistics are a powerful tool - in research, policymaking, program evaluation, and advocacy. They are used to frame issues, monitor current circumstances and progress, judge the effectiveness of policies and programs, make projections about the future, and predict the costs of potential policy changes.

In the United States, disability statistics – information about the population with disabilities and about the government programs that serve people with disabilities - are often difficult to find. Numerous government agencies generate and publish disability statistics, and as a result, the data are scattered across various federal government documents and websites.

The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and its complement, the Annual Disability Statistics Supplement, are summaries of statistics about people with disabilities and about the government programs which serve them. The Compendium, available both in hard copy and online (at www.disabilitycompendium.org) presents key overall statistics on topics including the prevalence of disability, employment among persons with disabilities, rates of participation in disability income and social insurance programs, and other statistics. The Annual Disability Statistics Supplement, only available online (also at www.disabilitycompendium.org), presents tables with over 150 additional categorizations of data for each section highlighted in the Compendium.

New this year. The 2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium includes several new sections:

  • The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities sponsored a new section with national estimates of sociodemographic information about people with disabilities in the rural US;
  • Focusing on factors in the social and physical environments, sections have been added on the intersection of functional difficulties and activities of daily living and housing (e.g., housing quality, year built, type). Housing quality estimates were based on a Census Bureau index that includes adequacy of kitchen and bathroom facilities, overcrowding, and cost burden; and
  • Industry and occupation for people with disabilities were added, and the four most prevalent industries and occupations were stratified by state.


Additional Resources. A companion Annual Report is available, providing graphic representations of key findings. The Annual Report highlights trend data related to specific tables in the Compendium and Supplement. The statistics presented here, as well as those in the Supplement and Annual Report, can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.disabilitycompendium.org.

Help navigating any of the resources described here can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section at https://www.DisabilityCompendium.org/faq. Assistance interpreting and locating additional statistics is available via our toll-free number, 866.538.9521, or by email at disability.statistics@unh.edu. For more information about our research projects, please visit https://www.ResearchonDisability.org

Suggested Citation. Lauer, E.A., Boege, S.L., & Houtenville, A.J., 2020. Annual Disability Statistics Compendium: 2019. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire, Institute on Disability.