Congregate Settings and Disability
Congregate living settings are places where people live together, often in close quarters, and share facilities like bathrooms, kitchens, living spaces. Some examples of congregate settings are nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, group homes, homeless shelters, military barracks, detention centers, prisons, and psychiatric facilities to name a few.
People with disabilities are disproportionately represented in many congregate living settings. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how dangerous these places can be, particularly for people with disabilities, in emergencies. Understanding who lives in congregate settings at the county level is important for emergency planning and public health response.
Data Limitations and Institutionalized Populations
However, there is sparse data available on people with disabilities living in congregate settings, in part because there are so many different types of facilities. The US Census separates congregate settings into institutional and non-institution settings. Institutional settings are places "that house those who are primarily ineligible, unable, or unlikely to participate in the labor force while resident. The institutionalized population is the population residing in institutional group quarters such as adult correctional facilities, juvenile facilities, skilled-nursing facilities, and other institutional facilities such as mental (psychiatric) hospitals and in-patient hospice facilities."
Because of concerns about data confidentiality, the US Census does not provide information on people with disabilities living in congregate settings at the county level. Therefore, the data in this dashboard focuses on the general population living in two types of institutional settings: nursing facilities and correctional facilities. However, keep in mind that people with disabilities are overrepresented in both nursing facilities and correctional facilities. More on data limitations can be found on the data definitions page.
Navigating the Dashboard
Select the map you are interested in viewing from the tabs below the map. You can also use the check lists on the left to select a state, county and/or metropolitan area you are interested in viewing. Please note that only county level maps and graphics will be updated with a change in metropolitan selection. If you have any questions, are having trouble accessing the data, or would like to provide feedback, please Contact Us
Tip: If you want to capture an image of the map on the screen, we suggest using a screen capture tool such as snip and sketch from Microsoft (access using Windows key + Shift + S) or the snipping tool for Mac (access using shift + command key + 5).
Additional Resources and Information
- For information on the risks of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other congregate facilities see this RTC:Rural factsheet, People with Disabilities Still at Risk in Congregate Care Settings.
- See our Data Definitions page for information on how the Census defines the institutionalized population. Visit the US Census website for more information.
- If you are interested in learning more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in congregate settings or interested in learning more about current efforts across the country to improve data collection for people with disabilities in institutions connect with DisDATA (Disability Data Advocates Taking Actions).
- DisDATA (Disability Data Advocates Taking Action) is a cross-disability, national collaborative of people with disabilities, researchers, service providers, activists, and allies committed to making data about disability equitable, actionable, and transparent. DisDATA works with partners to connect people to the data that they need to advocate for change and policymakers with the expertise they need from disability communities to be effective. For more information contact: DisDATA@mso.umt.edu
Dashboard Data Sources
United States Census Bureau. 2020. Data. Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data Summary Files, 2020. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau's Redistricting Data Program. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/about/rdo/summary-files.html