2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium - Tables by Topic 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. It is modeled after the Statistical Abstracts of the United States, published yearly by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Compendium is designed to serve as a summary of government statistics.

New this year.

The 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium underwent significant revisions this year. Over 40 tables were added with additional age ranges of data-the Compendium now has tables representing the aging population whenever possible. The Health Insurance and Medicaid and Medicare sections from previous years were combined, and time trend data was added where available.

The introductory text of each section has been revised. This text now describes table sources and content, defining disability and employment for any given section. The text acknowledges the source information at the bottom of each table, where the source of data appearing in each table is presented. These sources contain additional statistical information about the ways the data were collected and the statistics were generated. Each year, the Compendium reflects the statistics published over the year, where available.


The glossary has been expanded to assist in the interpretation of the statistics contained in the Compendium was revised and expanded. Words and phrases defined in the glossary are now in boldface text throughout the report.

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. The statistics presented here, as well as those in the Annual Report, can be viewed and downloaded at Help navigating the Compendium can be found at, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions section at Assistance in interpreting and locating additional statistics is available via our toll-free number, 866.538.9521, or by email,