U.S. Wheelchair User Statistics

April 25, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

For those in a wheelchair, it’s normal to feel alienated and kind of alone. Unless you engage in some wheelchair activities, you probably spend most of your time around folks who aren’t in a wheelchair. And we know that strangers aren’t always the friendliest – they often stare, or they try to “figure out” why you’re in a wheelchair, or they do some other mildly offensive thing, often without even knowing it.

But despite your feelings of solitude, you’re not alone! If you’re in a wheelchair and you’re feeling a bit discouraged, we want you to brighten up. That’s why we’ve compiled some fascinating wheelchair user statistics. There are many wheelchair users out there just like you, and just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t live a full, exciting, fulfilling life.

Let’s look at some of these numbers so you can see what we mean:

20 percent vs. 17 percent: These are the numbers of women and men with disabilities in America, respectively. As you can see, one out of every five women has a disability in the US.

3.6 million: This is the amount of people over the age of 15 who use a wheelchair. Perhaps that seems kind of small, but it doesn’t include all the folks using a cane, crutches or a walker (11.6 million).

6.8 billion: This is the combined projected value of the power and manual wheelchair market in 2018. That’s a lot of money! The good news: a bigger market means more manufacturers, which means more competition, which should benefit you, the consumer.

98 percent: The portion of public transportation buses that are equipped to handle and accommodate wheelchair users. That’s good news if you need to get around town.

17.4 percent: The amount of wheelchair users with a job. And remember, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer must make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees or applicants. So don’t be afraid to go job hunting!

2 million: The amount of new wheelchair users every single year in the United States. And with the aging Baby Boomer population, that number will probably swell in the coming years. You are not alone!

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