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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 4: Disability, the Elderly, Children and Youth

4.3. How many children have limitations in activity?

Over 4.7 million children under age 18 have activity limitations (6.7% of all children). An estimated 1.8% of children (1.3 million children) are limited in an activity other than playing or attending school, 4.2% (2.9 million) are limited in kind or amount of play or school they can attend, and 0.7% (519,000) are unable to play or attend school at all.

An estimated 7.9% of boys under age 18 have an activity limitation (2.8 million) compared to 5.6% of girls of the same age (1.9 million). Age breakdowns can be seen in the chart below.

Technical Note: Major activity for children changes from playing for those under age 5 to attending school from age 5-17.

The percent of children limited in their major activity ranges from 5% for those ages 5-13 to 1.4% for children under age 5.

Figure 4.3

Source: NCHS, 1995; LaPlante, Disability Abstract #15, 1995

Survey: NHIS 1994, 1992

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