Using the CPS-ASEC to Estimate the Ill or Disabled U.S. Population

Danielle Wilson , American University

In 2016 approximately 15 million U.S. adults were recorded as having a disability. Of those individuals, 28.5% were poor according to the official poverty measure. Comparatively, 11% of non-disabled individuals fell below the same poverty threshold. Adults with a disability are more susceptible to income poverty than those without a disability. In addition, those in poverty, or who fluctuate in and out of poverty, are more burdened by expenses when ill and unable to work. Using data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, I created an indicator to identify ill or disabled adults to estimate the population in 2016. I then compare the poverty rates among these adults using two different measures and analyze how rates differ depending on adult’s family structure. Doing this comparison allows us to gauge the susceptibility of adults who are or are not able to share resources with other family members.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality