Disability and Functioning (Noninstitutionalized Adults Aged 18 and Over)

Data are for the U.S.

Selected sensory problems
  • Number of adults with hearing trouble: 38.3 million
  • Percent of adults with hearing trouble: 15.5%
  • Number of adults with vision trouble: 26.9 million
  • Percent of adults with vision trouble: 10.9%

Source: Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2017, Tables A-6b, A-6c pdf icon[PDF – 147 KB]

Difficulties in physical functioning
  • Number of adults unable (or very difficult) to walk a quarter mile: 17.6 million
  • Percent of adults unable (or very difficult) to walk a quarter mile: 7.1%
  • Number of adults with any physical functioning difficulty: 38.2 million
  • Percent of adults with any physical functioning difficulty: 15.5%

Source: Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2017, 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: 20.2 million (2016)
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 8.6% (2016)
  • Number of adults aged 65 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 8.5 million (2016)
  • Percent of adults aged 65 and over reporting a lot of difficulty or cannot do at all in at least one domain of functioning: 18.2% (2016)

Source: Health, United States, 2017, table 42 pdf icon[PDF – 9.8 MB]

Need help with personal care
  • Percent of adults aged 65-74 who need help with personal care from other persons: 3.5%
  • Percent of adults aged 75 and over who need help with personal care from other persons: 11.4%

Source: Summary Health Statistics Tables for the U.S. Population: National Health Interview Survey, 2017, Table P-3c pdf icon[PDF – 104 KB]

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Page last reviewed: May 3, 2017