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Disability in Rural Areas

According to the 2011-2015 American Community Survey five-year estimates, an estimated 8,848,180 non-institutionalized people with a disability live in a rural community. This equates to nearly 15% of people living in rural areas, higher than the national average (12%). Across the whole United States, around 39 million people are living with some type of disability.

For both rural and non-rural areas, disability rates are higher in certain sub-groups, including adults ages 65 and older and veterans. However, because disabilities exist on a wide spectrum it can be difficult to identify an exact number of people who are living with a disability, especially in rural communities.

Population with Disabilities for Nonmetropolitan Counties

Resources to Learn More

American Fact Finder: US Census Bureau
Database
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau you can search for data specific to a state, community or subpopulation.
Organization(s): United States Census Bureau

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Data
Database
For more information about data and figures, the BRFSS data page can provide more details about the number of people living with disabilities in different states.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 11/2015