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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 2: Characteristics of People With Disabilities

2.7. How do disability rates differ for males and females?

Of the noninstitutionalized population in the United States over the age of 15, 25.0 million females (24.6%) report disabilities compared to 21.0 million males (22.4%). Furthermore, 14.0 million females report severe disabilities (13.8%), while only 9.6 million males report severe disabilities (10.2%). Disability rates for both sexes increase as age increases. For some age groups, males report higher percentages of disabilities than women, and, in others, women have higher percentages than men.

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.

Disability rates are higher for females at older ages.

Figure 2.7

Technical Note: The midpoints of the groups have been used to create a continuous line.

Source: McNeil, 1993

Survey: SIPP, 1992

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