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 nationís 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.
Whatís 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.