FIND Disability Statistics
American Community Survey (ACS)
- Employment Rate
- Not Working but Actively Looking for Work
- Full-Time / Full-Year Employment
- Annual Earnings
- Annual Household Income
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Educational Attainment
- Veterans Service-Connected Disability
- Health Insurance Coverage (and Type)
Current Population Survey (CPS)
EEOC Charge Data
Rehabilitation Dataset Directory: Dataset Profile
Dataset: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
|Dataset Full Name
|National Health Interview Survey
The NHIS is a cross-sectional household interview survey. It is the primary data source on the health of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States. The survey, initiated in 1957, was designed "to produce statistics on disease, injury, impairment, disability, and related topics on a uniform basis for the Nation.” In general, the NHIS exists to monitor the health of the U.S. non-institutional population, and to display these characteristics by socio-economic and demographic characteristics. NHIS data are used within government agencies and the academic research community to monitor developments in the prevalence of illness, disability, and other health-related conditions. Survey content of the NHIS is updated about every 10-15 years. A redesign was instated in 1997. The most recent test redesign occurred in 2018. A full implementation of the redesign is scheduled for 2019.
The redesigned 2019 NHIS continues to identify people with functional limitations and difficulties and a battery of mental health questions have been added to the new rotating core to assess depression and anxiety. More about the 2018/19 questionnaire redesign can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/2019_quest_redesign.htm .
|Health, Disability, Health Care Access, Health Care Utilization
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
|Health Conditions/Disability Measures
ADD/ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Arthritis, Blood disorder, Body mass index (BMI)/obesity, Cancer, Cardiovascular conditions, Chronic pain, Congenital conditions, Depression, Diabetes, Epilepsy or seizure disorder, Missing limbs/hand/finger/feet, Neurological conditions, Orthopedic conditions, Pulmonary disorders, Stroke
Washington Group Questions on Disability (2018 onward), ACS 6 question disability series, Ambulatory disability, Cognitive disability, Communication impairment (child), Developmental disabilities, Functional limitations (ADLs & IADLs), Hearing disability, Independent living disability, Intellectual disability, Mental health disability, Physical disability, Self-care disability, Special equipment use/assistive technology, Visual disability, Work limitation
|Measures/Outcomes of Interest
|Health status including: Obesity and other health conditions, Health behavior (includes alcohol, tobacco, and substance use), Health care access and utilization, Access to health insurance, Employment
|Civilian households & non-institutionalized group quarters
|103,789 persons completed the survey across 41,493 households in 2015 (most recent data available). Representative sample of civilian non-institutionalized population, with oversampling of African American, Hispanic, and Asian Americans in the sample adult selection stage (more recent change since 2006)
|Unit of Observation
|National-level estimates; some state-level estimates possible with pooling of data across several years (may not be very reliable)
|Data Collection Mode
|In-person interviews administered to household representative (age equal to or greater than age of majority) by trained interviewers from U.S. Census Bureau. One random sample adult from household is interviewed to document adult health status and data are collected from one random household child from an adult household informant.
1957 - present
2018 introduces a split sample test redesign
2019 - full implementation of redesign
|Data Collection Frequency
|Strengths and Limitations
|Contains a broad set of disability-related questions and a large set of other variables (very detailed health information). Annual national estimates with oversampling of minority populations including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans. Currently fielding ACS-based disability questions. Can be used to examine relationship between environmental factors, individual factors and health/health care outcomes. Linkages to SSA benefits history, MEPS, and Medicare enrollment and claims data help in examining various relationships between health and community-engagement for individuals with disabilities. See NCHS data linkage activities documentation. NDI mortality data and NIPRCS immunization records can also be merged to supplement or verify NHIS content.
|Only national level statistics. Changes in sampling frame and recent 13% permanent reduction in sample size makes comparison across years problematic. Does not include population living in institutionalized group quarters. Sampling frame is refreshed every 10 years and certain minority groups may be underrepresented (e.g., American Indians).
CDC All years (see Data Release links):
ADDEP at ICPSR (2013 data and earlier):
ADDEP includes additional value added information for researchers
|Data Access Requirements
|Public Use Dataset
NHIS Survey Reports:
|Harris, B., Hendershot, G., & Stapleton, D. (2005, October). A Guide to Disability Statistics from the National Health Interview Survey. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/edicollect/186/
|Multiple technical reports on sample design and variance estimation procedures
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The Rehabilitation Research Cross-dataset Variable Catalog has been developed through the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation involves a consortium of investigators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cornell University's Yang Tan Institute (YTI), and the University of Michigan. The CLDR is funded by NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. (P2CHD065702).
Other CLDR supported resources and collaborative opportunities:
- Archive of Data on Disability to Enable Policy and research (ADDEP)
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- Pilot Project Program
- Visiting Scholars Program
Acknowledgements: This tool was developed through the efforts of William Erickson and Arun Karpur, and web designers Jason Criss and Jeff Trondsen at Cornell University. Many thanks to graduate students Kyoung Jo Oh and Yeong Joon Yoon who developed much of the content used in this tool.
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