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Disability Prevalence among Adults: Estimates for 54 Countries and Progress towards a Global Estimate

Author

Listed:
  • Sophie Mitra

    (Fordham University)

  • Usha Sambamoorthi

    (West Virginia University)

Abstract

Objectives: We estimated disability prevalence among adults at global, regional and country levels using internationally comparable disability data and measure. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from the World Health Survey (WHS) (2002--2004) for nationally representative samples of civilian, non-institutionalized populations in 54 countries. A disability was measured as having at least one severe or extreme difficulty with bodily functions (seeing, concentrating) and activities (moving around, self--care) based on an individual's self-reports. Results: In the 54 countries under study, severe or extreme functional or activity difficulties are highly prevalent. For all countries, disability prevalence is estimated at 14% for all adults. Low and middle income countries have higher disability prevalence compared to high income countries. Among subgroups, disability prevalence stands at 12% amon working age adults and 39% among the elderly. Women have higher prevalence than men. Conclusions: Disability is found to be highly prevalent among adults, with an estimated global prevalence at 14%. Disability deserves enhanced policy attention and resources in public health and international development.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Mitra & Usha Sambamoorthi, 2013. "Disability Prevalence among Adults: Estimates for 54 Countries and Progress towards a Global Estimate," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2013-06, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2013-06
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    File URL: https://archive.fordham.edu/ECONOMICS_RESEARCH/PAPERS/DP2013_06_Mitra_Sambamoorthi.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Mizunoya, Suguru & Mitra, Sophie, 2013. "Is There a Disability Gap in Employment Rates in Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 28-43.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disability prevalence; Development;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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