Fact Sheet People with disabilities constitute the nation's largest minority group, and is the only group that any of us can become a member of at any time. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of Americans with disabilities increased by 25%, outpacing any other subgroup of the U.S. population. People with disabilities represent the single largest minority group seeking employment in today's marketplace. Of the 69.6 million families in the United States, more than 20 million have at least one family member with a disability. According to the U.S. Department of Education, workers with disabilities are rated consistently as average or above average in performance, quality and quantity of work, flexibility, and attendance. Over 65% of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed. of these working adults, nearly one-third earn an income below the poverty level. People with disabilities are nearly twice as likely as people without disabilities to have an annual household income of $15,000 or less. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is ten times greater than the national unemployment rate. 1 billion people globally report having a disability, and people with disabilities in the U.S. control aggregate annual income of greater than $1 trillion. 2.3 million undergraduate and graduate students reported having disabilities in 2004, more than double the 1.1 million reported in 1996. The employment rate for people with disabilities was 38.1% in 2005, roughly half of that for people without disabilities. There are 133 million people in the United States living with a chronic health condition. That number is expected to increase by more than one percent a year to 150 million by 2030. 75% of people with chronic health conditions are younger than 65. Globally, people with disabilities represent an emerging market on par with the size of China. Approximately 54 million Americans have at least one disability, making them the largest minority group in the nation. As our baby boomer population ages and more veterans return from war, this number will double in the next 20 years. Notwithstanding the strides made in disability rights in the past 25 years, the majority of people with disabilities are poor, under-employed, and under-educated due largely to unequal opportunities. People with disabilities constitute the largest minority group in the United States, making up an estimated 20% of the total population. It is a diverse group, crossing lines of age, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. We all have a personal stake in this community: it is open to anyone who might experience an accident, illness, genetic difference or the effects of aging. And yet, the Foundation Center reports that out of over $3 billion spent in philanthropic giving, only 2.9% of grants made by institutionalized philanthropy are directed to programs serving people with disabilities. According to the Social Security Disability Resource Center (SSDRC), more than 50 million Americans have some level of disability. Of these individuals, 44% have a disability that is not considered severe and are able to work year-round on a full-time basis. Of the total number, 80% are individuals who are 80 years of age or older. Among the 51.2 million Americans with disabilities are 1 million individuals who report they are unable to hear and 1.8 million individuals who report they are unable to see. For more than a third of individuals with disabilities, assistive technology is essential to being able to take care of themselves at home. Disability rates vary among the major racial and ethnic groups: African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native persons report the highest rate of disability, at 24.3% for each group. Asians reported the lowest rate of disability, 16.6%. Disability rates vary geographically: Nearly 40% of persons reporting a disability live in the South, as opposed to the 20% reported by the other three geographic areas of the nation. Persons living in Alaska, Utah, and Minnesota each reported the lowest rates of disability, about 15%. Persons living in West Virginia reported the highest rate of disability, at 24.4%, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi, each over 23%. Of the 49.7 million non-institutionalized individuals aged five and older who reported having a disability in the U.S. 2000 Census: 9.3 million reported having a sensory disability involving sight or hearing. 21.2 million reported having a disability that limits their ability to engage in basic physical activity such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or carrying. 12.4 million reported having a physical, mental or emotional condition that makes it difficult to learn, remember or concentrate. 6.8 million reported a physical, mental or emotional condition that makes it difficult to dress, bathe or get around the house. 18.2 million reported their disability makes it difficult to venture outside the home.