May 24, 2018

New video demonstrates how to use American FactFinder to lookup disability data

Cropped image of map of the United States. Map title: Disability in America: Employed with a Disability (2015).

To see the full image of this map, click here to go to the Maps of Disability and Employment- Disability in America Map series webpage.

Here at RTC:Rural, we’re into big data sets. We regularly use large national data sets, including the American Housing Survey, the American Time Use Survey, and other US Census data in our research. For example, our Geography project uses data from the American Community Survey to create these maps: Geography and Rural Disability Maps.

What do we do with these data? Disability data can be used to gain a better understanding of a community and service outreach areas, to inform policy development, or to build community outreach materials. Our researchers analyze these data so that we can help inform decisions that affect the quality of life for people with disabilities across the nation, in both rural and urban areas. Primarily, RTC:Rural analyzes disability data to identify county-level trends across the nation.

Want to look up some data for your own research, advocacy, or programs? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for national, regional, state, or county-level data, you can use these two tools to help you find the information you’re looking for.

RTC:Rural Disability Data Tools

Disability Counts logoThe first tool is RTC:Rural’s Disability Counts Data Finder website. This is an accessible, simple lookup tool that is the easiest way to view and download the most recent data on disability rates and rural status of every county in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Click on the following link to go to the Disability Counts Data Finder website.


Logo American FactFinder

The second tool is the Step-by-Step Guide to Accessing Disability Data using the American FactFinder. If you are primarily looking for the most recent disability rates by county, it is easiest to use the Disability Counts Data Finder, mentioned above. The American FactFinder will allow you to access more complex data, such as more detailed information about employment and occupation, income, household characteristics, race, or ethnicity.

Click on the following link to go to the Guide to Accessing Disability Data webpage.

To help you with navigating the American FactFinder website, RTC:Rural Research Associate Lillie Greiman created a Step-by-Step Guide to accessing disability data. This guide can be accessed in multiple ways:

  • As a webpage (in HTML format) on our website
  • Downloaded in PDF or text-only format

RTC:Rural Research Associate Lillie Greiman recently created an instructional video to demonstrate using the American FactFinder. This close-captioned video can be viewed on the “A Step-by-Step Guide to Accessing Disability Data” webpage, or by clicking here: “Using the American FactFinder to visualize disability data.”

If you have any questions about these resources, contact us by emailing We are happy to provide technical assistance in using these data lookup resources.