In 2018, 13.1% of the U.S. population was disabled. This rate increases with age; it also varies by income and by race/ethnicity. Disability and family caregiving are closely intertwined. Most persons with disability live in the community, typically by themselves or with other family members.
While there are many detailed reports on disability in the United States, very little attention has been paid to households with multiple persons with disabilities. The University of Pittsburgh’s National Center on Family Support has published a briefing report about this underrepresented group, using Pennsylvania American Community Survey (ACS) census data from 2014 to 2018.  While the data is Pennsylvania-centered, the findings are broadly generalizable to other states and to the United States as a whole.
Highlights from the report include:
  • Pennsylvania has an estimated 250,000 households with two or more persons with disability in the same household (approximately 5% of all households). Little is known about these living situations.
  • Persons with disability in these households are typically of similar age and have combinations of ambulatory, independent living, and cognitive disabilities.
  • More than half (approximately 60%) of these households do not have a non-disabled adult in the home to provide caregiving support.
Examining disability in households with multiple persons with disability raises important new questions about the role of formal and informal support for these households. Our report summarizes the prevalence of these households, but more fine-grained assessments will be required to better understand the unique needs of this understudied population.
The full report is available to be downloaded.. Contact us at caregiving@pitt.edu with any questions or for further discussion.