How is poverty status related to disability?
Official data breakdown

In 2014, the overall poverty rate was 15%.  Poverty rates by disability status* in the United States ranged from 12% to 29%.

Poverty rates by disability status for those ages 18 to 64 were

  • 12% for those without a disability
  • 29% for those with a disability

Another way to think about the relationship between poverty and disability is to look at how the distribution of people in poverty by disability status compares to that of the population as a whole.

By that measure, in 2014 the disabled comprise a greater share of the population in poverty than their share of the general population; while those without a disability are underrepresented.

* These rates are for those ages 18-64 and they do not include members of the Armed Forces because disability status is not defined for them.

DeNavas-Walt, Carmen and Bernadette D. Proctor, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports P60-252, (PDF) U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2015.  Accessed 10/15/2015

Official Poverty Statistics
from the Current Population Survey


The official poverty statistics, which have been in use since the 1960s, calculate poverty status by comparing a family’s or an individual’s cash income to their poverty threshold.