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Chartbook on Work and Disability

Section 3: Factors Related to Work Disability

3.8. How does work disability differ by educational level?

There is a strong inverse relationship between level of education and work disability among people 25-64 years old. As the level of educational attainment rises, the percentage of people with work disability goes down. According to 1998 CPS data, people with less than 8 years of schooling had a work disability rate of 25.8%; people with a high school degree (12 years of schooling) had a work disability rate of 12.3%; and people with a college degree (16 or more years of schooling) had a work disability rate of 4.8%.

The inverse relationship is even stronger between education and severe work disability. People with less than 8 years of schooling had a severe work disability rate of 22.9%; people with a high school degree (12 years of schooling) had a severe work disability rate of 8.2%; while people with a college degree (16 or more years of schooling) had a severe work disability rate of only 2.2%.

As educational attainment goes up, work disability goes down.

Bar graph

Figure 20: Percentage with work disability and severe work disability, by level of eduation, 25-64 years

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census Website: Table 198.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disable/cps/cps198.html

Surveys: CPS, 1998.

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