Disability and Poverty – Disability in America Series

September 2016

The maps and charts below explore the American Community Survey 5-year data (Table S1810) on disability estimates by county type (OMB county classifications). The ACS asks a set of disability indicator questions to determine disability. If a respondent can answer “yes” to any disability question they are classified as having a disability. The data below are for all age groups.

A bar chart comparing disability rates between people above and below the poverty line by county type.

Chart 8. Disability Rate by Poverty Status and County Type. This chart depicts the disability rate broken down by poverty status and county type. People who live below the poverty line report higher rates of disability. Further, rates of disability are higher in more rural counties regardless of poverty status. People above the poverty line reported lower disability rates (10.8% in metropolitan, 14.5% in micropolitan, 16.2% in noncore) while people below the poverty line reported higher rates (17%, 20.9%, 23.8%). Overall, these data indicate that disability rates increase consistently with poverty and rurality. Source: American Community Survey 2010-2014 5-year estimates (Table C18130).


A bar chart comparing rates of poverty between people with disabilities and without by county type.

Chart 9. Poverty Rate by Disability Status and County Type. This chart shows the poverty rate among people with disability and without split by county type. These data indicate that people with a disability are more likely to report living below the poverty line than people without a disability. People without disabilities reported lower overall poverty rates (14.7% in metropolitan, 17.1% in micropolitan, 17.1% in noncore) compared to people with disabilities who report higher rates across all county types (22.4%, 24.4%, 25%). Overall, poverty rates are considerably higher among people with disabilities, and slightly higher in more rural areas. Source: American Community Survey 2010-2014 5-year estimates (Table C18130).

Click here to view maps of this disability and poverty data.

This work is part of the RTC:Rural Geography of Disability Project.