What does this measure?
The percentage of the people living with a disability, out of all people not living in institutions.
Why is this important?
The proportion of people living with a disability is an indicator of how many may need assistance from social networks or the government to live independently or maintain economic stability. It also indicates challenges a community may face to improve access to buildings, education, and employment opportunities for the disabled population.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, 12% of the population in Essex County, or about 93,800 people, had a disability. This was similar to Massachusetts and the U.S. The County, state and national rates were essentially flat since 2012-2016. Reported rates for 2017-21 in some communities were a bit higher than for the County as a whole, including 15% in Lynn and Peabody, and 14% in Haverhill, Lawrence and Salisbury.
How do we compare to similar counties?
All three comparison counties - Lake, IL and Middlesex, MA (both at 9%) and Westchester, NY (10%) - had lower disability rates.
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.