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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 2: Characteristics of People With Disabilities

2.6. How does activity limitation differ for males and females?

In general, women are more likely to have activity limitations than men. Of the 129.3 million noninstitutionalized females in the U.S., 15.4% are limited in activity compared to 14.6% of the 122.2 million males. Women are less likely to be unable to perform their major activity than men (4.3% compared to 4.9%) but are more likely to be limited in the amount or kind of major activity they can perform (6.1% to 5.3%) or to be limited in activities other than their major activity (5.0% to 4.4%).

Under the age of 25, men are more likely than women to report being limited in amount or kind of their major activity; however, at ages 25 and older, women are more likely to report a limitation.

Technical Note: Since keeping house and working are the major activities for ages 18-69, people whose major activity is keeping house and are not limited in this activity are classified as being limited in a non-major activity if they report a work limitation.

In youth, males report more limitations, while in old age, females report more limitations.

Figure 2.6

Source: LaPlante, 1996

Survey: NHIS, 1992

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