Disability and Functioning

Data are for the U.S.

Selected sensory problems
  • Number of adults aged 18 and over with hearing trouble: 41.3 million
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over with hearing trouble: 16.5%
  • Number of adults aged 18 and over with vision trouble: 32.2 million
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over with vision trouble: 12.9%

Source: Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2018, Tables A-6b, A-6c pdf icon[PDF – 147 KB]

Difficulties in physical functioning
  • Number of adults aged 18 and over unable (or very difficult) to walk a quarter mile: 19.4 million
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over unable (or very difficult) to walk a quarter mile: 7.8%
  • Number of adults aged 18 and over with any physical functioning difficulty: 40.7 million
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over with any physical functioning difficulty: 16.3%

Source: Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2018, Tables A-10b, A-10c pdf icon[PDF – 263 KB]

Level of reported difficulty in six domains of functioning (seeing, hearing, mobility, communication, cognition, self-care)
  • Number of adults aged 18 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 24.8 million (2018)
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 10.2% (2018)
  • Number of adults aged 65 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 11.0 million (2018)
  • Percent of adults aged 65 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 21.9% (2018)

Source: Health, United States, 2019, table 15 pdf icon[PDF – 9.8 MB]

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Page last reviewed: March 1, 2021