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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 5: Work and Disabilities

5.5. How do the states differ in numbers of people with work disabilities?

States where the proportion of persons age 16-64 with work disabilities is the highest are concentrated in the southern United States. The top 10 states (and District of Columbia) in percentage of disabled working age persons are: (1) West Virginia (12.6%); (2) Kentucky (11.4%); (3) Arkansas (11.1%); (4) Mississippi (11.0%); (5) Louisiana (10.3%); (6) Oklahoma (10.2%); (7) Maine (10.2%); (8) Oregon (10.0%); (9) Tennessee (9.7%); and (10) Montana and Alabama (9.7%). The states (and District of Columbia) with the lowest proportions of work disabilities are: (51) New Jersey (6.2%); (50) Connecticut (6.4%); (49) Hawaii (6.6%); (48) Alaska (6.6%); (47) Illinois (6.9%); (46) North Dakota (7.0%); (45) & (44) Nebraska and Maryland (7.1%); and (43) & (42) Kansas and Massachusetts (7.2%).

States with the largest increases in this rate from 1980 to 1990 are Alaska (up 22.0 percent from 5.4 percent in 1980 to 6.6 percent in 1990), Montana (up 19.3%), Wyoming (up 18.4%), Hawaii (up 11.4%) and Colorado (up 8.3%). States with the largest decreases in work disability from 1980 to 1990 are District of Columbia (down 15.0%), Florida (down 12.8%), Arkansas (down 12.2%), Maryland (down 11.9%) and Virginia (down 10.6%).

The highest rates of disability occur in the South.

Figure 5.5

Source: LaPlante and Cyril, Disability Statistics Abstract #6, 1993

Survey: 1990 Census of Population and Housing

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