We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Counting Working-Age People with Disabilities

What Current Data Tell Us and Options for Improvement

Andrew J. Houtenville, David C. Stapleton, Robert R. Weathers III, and Richard V. Burkhauser, Editors

Publication Year: 2009

U.S. government agencies compile a thorough set of statistics on populations defined by age, race, ethnicity, and marital status—but not by disability status. Therefore, working-age people with disabilities are often overlooked in discussions of the latest statistics on employment, income, poverty, and other measures of the status of a particular population. This book helps remedy this situation by providing a systematic review of what current statistics and data on working-age people with disabilities can and cannot tell us, and how the quality of the data can be improved to better inform policymakers, advocates, analysts, service providers, administrators, and others interested in this at-risk population.

Published by: W.E. Upjohn Institute

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (160.3 KB)

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (203.2 KB)
pp. vii-ix

For decades, disability policymakers, administrators, researchers, advocates, and people with disabilities themselves have been frustrated with the lack of quality, comprehensible data and statistics about people with disabilities. This frustration has been heightened by the increased aspirations of...

read more

1. Purpose, Overview, and Key Conclusions

pdf iconDownload PDF (504.9 KB)
pp. 1-26

Efforts to provide statistics on the number and status of working-age people with disabilities have a history of being fragmented and sporadic. As a group, they are often overlooked in mainstream discussions of the latest statistics on employment, income, poverty, and other...

read more

2. The Disability Data Landscape

pdf iconDownload PDF (805.1 KB)
pp. 27-67

According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), there were 26.6 million working-age Americans (aged 25–61) with disabilities in 2002. In contrast, there are only 17.1 million working-age Americans with disabilities according to the 2003 American...

read more

3. Disability Prevalence and Demographics

pdf iconDownload PDF (696.6 KB)
pp. 69-99

The estimates of the prevalence of disability from various major national surveys have a wide range, depending on which definition of disability is used (Weathers 2009). In this chapter, we focus on trends and demographic patterns in the prevalence of disability among the...

read more

4. Employment

pdf iconDownload PDF (771.3 KB)
pp. 101-143

A major challenge in tracking the employment outcomes of working-age people (aged 25–61) with disabilities is that a large range of employment rate estimates exists in the literature and in government publications. The availability of multiple measures and the wide variation in...

read more

5. Household Income

pdf iconDownload PDF (766.3 KB)
pp. 145-192

The economic well-being of households in market economies like the United States is most easily measured by income. So it is not surprising that U.S. statistical agencies have been tracking household income and its sources for representative samples of the American population...

read more

6. Poverty

pdf iconDownload PDF (644.3 KB)
pp. 193-225

Every year, the Economic Report of the President provides information on the median income and poverty status of families and individuals in the United States. This is one of many government reports that use statistics generated by the Census Bureau from the March...

read more

7. Health and Functional Status

pdf iconDownload PDF (597.1 KB)
pp. 227-263

Information on the health and functional status of people with disabilities (and the broader population) is fundamental to our understanding of who is at risk for disability, the mental and physical challenges they face, their well-being and support needs, how well they are served...

read more

8. Survey Data Collection Methods

pdf iconDownload PDF (718.3 KB)
pp. 265-297

Prior chapters of this book have delved into the major national surveys providing specific types of information about people with disabilities. The purpose of this chapter is to review the survey methods that are used to obtain this information, prioritize methodological issues...

read more

9. Program Participants

pdf iconDownload PDF (878.5 KB)
pp. 299-351

In this chapter we review the data available for studying working-age (aged 18–64) participants in the largest federal and federal-state programs that serve people with disabilities, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income...

read more

10. The Group Quarters Population

pdf iconDownload PDF (523.7 KB)
pp. 353-379

Little is known about the disability status of residents of institutional group quarters (GQ), noninstitutional GQ, and the homeless population as compared to residents of households, especially for those of working age. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the Survey of...

read more

11. Options for Improving Disability Data Collection

pdf iconDownload PDF (637.8 KB)
pp. 381-418

This book has demonstrated the great value of the extensive federal data on working-age people with disabilities, but it also provides insights on how the value of these data might be enhanced through efforts to coordinate the numerous diverse, and largely independent, federal...

The Authors

pdf iconDownload PDF (181.5 KB)
pp. 419-420


pdf iconDownload PDF (477.5 KB)
pp. 421-446

About the Institute

pdf iconDownload PDF (289.0 KB)
pp. 447

E-ISBN-13: 9780880994408
E-ISBN-10: 0880994401
Print-ISBN-13: 9780880993463
Print-ISBN-10: 0880993464

Page Count: 447
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: First

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • People with disabilities -- Employment -- United States -- Statistics.
  • People with disabilities -- United States -- Social conditions -- Statistics.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access