According to the results of a new survey done nationwide, approximately one in five American adults report being disabled.
Right around one out of every eight adults said they have limited mobility like trouble walking or with climbing stairs; this being the most commonly reported disability. After that thought or memory problems was second most common, and that was followed by difficulty with the tasks of living independently such as going to the doctor without help or running errands.
The report also broke it down by area with the South reporting the highest percentage of disabled. Of that the highest state was Alabama with 31.5 percent of their population having a disability, then Mississippi with 31.4 percent, tied with the state of Tennessee. The least amount of reported disabilities came from Minnesotans.
There was no analysis done on the reasons behind the states’ disparity but it’s known that the South has higher rates of certain chronic diseases that can create disability such as diabetes and heart disease according to the CDC.
The Director of the CDC Dr. Tom Frieden stated that every one is at risk at some point in their life of having a disability and called for the necessity of the health care system and personnel to be prepared to meet the growing disabled population’s needs.
The report, published on July 30 marks the anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act that George H.W. Bush signed into law as of July 26, 1990 and was run due to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. This act made the government required to collect data on the country’s disability rates. The data was collected in 2013 from about 465,000 adult American residents. Notably absent though was the inclusion of group homes and institutions that commonly house the disabled and these figures could understate the percentage.