2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium


Overview. Statistics are a powerful tool—in research, policymaking, program evaluation, and advocacy. They are used to frame the 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, statistics about the population with disabilities and about the government programs that serve people with disabilities—disability statistics—are often difficult to find. Numerous government agencies generate and publish disability statistics, and as a result, disability statistics are scattered and buried in documents and websites all across the federal government.

The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium is a publication of statistics about people with disabilities and about the government programs which serve them. The Compendium is designed to serve as a summary of government statistics.

New this year. The 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium was substantially revised and expanded this year. The Compendium presents key overall statistics for each section. A new Annual Disability Statistics Supplement, only available online, presents tables with additional categorizations of data for each section highlighted in the Compendium. With the addition of over 150 tables, the Compendium and Supplement now provide enhanced tables by age, gender and race/ethnicity.

In addition, a section on Employment Policy has been added to the Compendium. The Employment Policy section includes statistics on topics such as minimum wage rates and earned income tax credit rates for people living in the United States and states.

Several sections in the Compendium were removed this year. The topics removed include Federal Government Spending and Employment, International Patterns, and Disability Type. These sections presented statistics based on reports that had not been updated by the authors for several years. Although no longer available in this year’s Compendium or Supplement, these older tables can still be accessed in previous Compendiums which are available online at www.disabilitycompendium.org.

Additional Resources. A companion Annual Report is available, providing graphic representations of key findings and state differences. The Annual Report highlights state and trend data using maps 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 www.disabilitycompendium.org. Help navigating any of the resources described here can be found at www.disabilitycompendium.org/help, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions section at www.disabilitycompendium.org/faq. Assistance in interpreting and locating additional statistics is available via our toll-free number, 866.538.9521, or by email, disability.statistics@unh.edu. For more information about our research projects, please visit www.researchondisability.org.

Suggested Citation. Lauer, E.A. & Houtenville, A.J., 2017. Annual Disability Statistics Compendium: 2016. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire, Institute on Disability