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The ACS collects data on six different kinds of difficulty to help communities provide adequate housing, health care, and assistance


Although the word "disability" can be complex in its definition and application, the ACS uses six questions to determine if a person has a disability. Each question asks if a person has difficulty with a specific action or function. For each of these six questions, there's a table which provides responses broken down by sex and age group.

  • Hearing difficulty ( B18102): deaf or has serious difficulty hearing
  • Vision difficulty ( B18103): blind or has serious difficulty seeing even with glasses
  • Cognitive difficulty ( B18104): has serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Ambulatory difficulty ( B18105): has serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs
  • Self-care difficulty ( B18106): has difficulty dressing or bathing
  • Independent Living difficulty ( B18107): has difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping

Disability Status

Disability status is simply defined as having one or more of the difficulties listed above. However, for children under five, only hearing and vision difficulties are considered. Independent living difficulty is also only applied to adults.

The Census Bureau uses table codes beginning with 18 to organize the main tables on disability. Most of these tables simply indicate ‘With a disability/No disability,’ but a few tables are further broken down by type of disability.

Code Title
B18101‡† Sex by Age by Disability Status
B18102 Sex by Age by Hearing Difficulty
B18103 Sex by Age by Vision Difficulty
B18104 Sex by Age by Cognitive Difficulty
B18105 Sex by Age by Ambulatory Difficulty
B18106 Sex by Age by Self-care Difficulty
B18107 Sex by Age by Independent Living Difficulty
B18108 Age by Number of Disabilities
B18120 Employment Status by Disability Status and Type
B18121 Work Experience by Disability Status and Type
B18130 Age by Disability Status by Poverty Status
B18131 Age by Ratio of Income to Poverty Level by Disability Status and Type
B18135 Age by Disability Status by Health Insurance Coverage Status
B18140 Median Earnings by Disability Status by Sex for the Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population With Earnings
Table also available in "collapsed" version: change "B" to "C" for table code.
Also available in racial iterations.

Other tables

Disability status is included in a small number of tables in other subject areas.

Code Title
B10052 Disability Status of Grandparents Living With Own Grandchildren by Responsibility for Own Grandchildren and Age of Grandparent
B21007 Age by Veteran Status by Poverty Status by Disability Status for the Civilian Population 18 Years and Over
B21100 Service-connected Disability-rating Status and Ratings for Civilian Veterans 18 Years and Over
B22010 Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP by Disability Status for Households
B23024 Poverty Status by Disability Status by Employment Status for the Population 20 to 64 Years
B26108 Group Quarters Type (3 Types) by Age by Disability Status
B26208 Group Quarters Type (5 Types) by Age by Disability Status
Table also available in "collapsed" version: change "B" to "C" for table code.