Visually, Cognitively, and Mobility Impaired Numbers

Goals

To better understand the primary demographic of those who are visually impaired, cognitively impaired, and have impaired mobility among people aged 75 to 100, and to determine how that demographic changes over time.

Early Findings

Preliminary research indicates that most statistics on visual, cognitive, and mobile disabilities are aggregated for people over the age of 75. The U.S. Census' oldest age bucket is 75+ and nearly all other studies use this same bucket. We found the following information that may be useful:

VISUALLY IMPAIRED

  • Using American FactFinder, we can find visually impaired statistics for 2017 for people who are 75 years old and older, but there is no breakdown above that. A screenshot of the data can be found here.
  • The percentage of visually impaired people over the age of 75 compared to the general population as of 2017 is 9.3%.
  • A breakdown of the number of visually impaired people by state is available in the 2018 Disability Statistics Compendium.
  • Charts on the Vision Atlas provide moderate-to-severe visual impairment (MSVI) statistics broken down by age to 90+ on a global basis.. Using the data found for the U.S. and the data found globally, there may be a way to triangulate the estimated number of people with MSVI in the U.S. for people ages 75, 80, 85, and above 90.

COGNITIVELY IMPAIRED

  • Using American FactFinder, we can find cognitively impaired statistics for 2017 for people who are 75 years old and older, but there is no breakdown above that. A screenshot of the data can be found here.
  • The percentage of cognitively impaired people over the age of 75 compared to the general population as of 2017 is 13.5%.
  • A breakdown of the number of cognitively impaired people by state is available in the 2018 Disability Statistics Compendium.
  • The Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report for 2018 contains numbers of people with Alzheimer's-related impairment by state.
  • There are global statistics for people who are 85 years old with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (37%), which may be used to triangulate an approximate percentage of people in the U.S. who are 85 years old and have MCI (using global proportions and applying them to U.S. numbers). Upon further research, there may be statistics for other ages as well.
  • For instance, the same report notes that 6% of the global population in their 60s has MCI. Since the data is available for the U.S. population in their 60s, it may be possible to use the percentage increase from the global figures and apply that to the U.S. figures as well.

IMPAIRED MOBILITY

  • Using American FactFinder, we can find ambulatory difficulty statistics for 2017 for people who are 75 years old and older, but there is no breakdown above that. A screenshot of the data can be found here.
  • The percentage of people with ambulatory difficulty over the age of 75 compared to the general population as of 2017 is 31.8%.
  • A breakdown of the number of people with ambulatory difficulty by state is available in the 2018 Disability Statistics Compendium.
  • A study conducted in 2017 shows that the prevalence of gait disorders in people between the ages of 60 and 69 is 10%, but that increased to 60% by age 80. Again, with more research, data for other ages may be available, but it will likely need to be compiled from several different reports and studies.

REPORTS THAT MAY CONTAIN DISABILITY STATISTICS

  • We found a list of reports that may contain statistics on disabilities in the U.S., but a spot check shows they are all based off the American FactFinder census data that is mentioned above.

Proposed next steps:

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