Census: 1 In 20 Kids Have A Disability

 November 22, 2011
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Census: 1 In 20 Kids Have A Disability

By Michelle Diament

November 22, 2011

About 5 percent of school-age children in the United States have a disability, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The statistic comes from a brief released this month offering an in-depth look at kids ages 5 through 17 with disabilities who live in community settings.

While the Census has long collected data on this group through its annual American Community Survey, this year marks the first time that government officials analyzed the results, said Matthew Brault, a Census statistician and the author of the report.

Brault found about 2.8 million children living with cognitive, vision, hearing, ambulatory, self-care or independent difficulties in 2010, the most recent year data is available. That represents about 5 percent of the nation’s 53.9 million school-age children.

Those with special needs were most likely to have cognitive difficulties, which were reported by more than half of kids with disabilities in every geographical area of the country.

What’s more, the Census report found that children with disabilities were more likely than their typically developing peers to attend public schools rather than private. However, the number of students with special needs enrolled in public schools varied dramatically from 76.5 percent in some areas of the country to almost 100 percent in others.

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