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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 5: Work and Disabilities

5.1. How many people are considered to be work disabled?

The number of noninstitutionalized people in the United States with a work disability is estimated to be 16.9 million, which represents 10.1% of the working age population (16 to 64 years old).

Higher percentages of blacks are work disabled than whites or Hispanics: 15.4% of blacks have a work disability (3.2 million people) compared to 9.6% for people of Hispanic origin (1.6 million), 9.4% of whites (13 million) and 8.5% of other races (700,000).

Work disability increases in frequency with age. At 16-24 years, 4.2% are work disabled; for 25-34 years, the proportion rises to 6.4%; for 35-44 years, 9.4%; from 45-54 years, 13.3%; and for 55-64 years, 22.9% are work disabled.

Technical Note: The Hispanic category can include people of any race.

Blacks report the highest rates of work disability.

Figure 5.1

Source: LaPlante, Disability Abstract #11

Survey: CPS 1995

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