Research Findings Reveal the True Nature of Disability in New England by Region, State, and City

Regional Findings: Baby Boomers in New England

Research findings indicate that New England has the highest share of Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) in the US. Find out how your state ranks, open our Where do most Baby-Boomers Live PDF.

Where do most Baby-Boomers lice in the United State?

New England Findings: 

  • The prevalence of disability was 28% in the baby boomer population and 60% in the population 65 years and older. 
  • Roughly 26% of civilian non-institutionalized adults experienced some kind of communicative, physical or mental limitation.
  • 19% of New Englanders had physical functional limitations and 11% had mental or cognitive limitations.


State Findings: An Examination of Disability 

Read the full research report for New England as a whole, and for each state by disability and: age, gender, race and socioeconomics. Open our Examination of Disability PDF.


 State Findings:

  • Disability prevalence ranged from 26% in Connecticut and Massachusetts to 30% in Maine.
  • Mental disability prevalence ranged from 9% in Connecticut to 12% in Maine.
  • In several states, there was higher disability prevalence among the self-employed over other workers.


City Findings:

  • Startling findings show the largest percentage of adults (age 18+) with disabilities have: upper body limitations, mental disabilities, or use canes/crutches/walkers.
  • While the lowest percentage of adults with disabilities have: hearing difficulties, vision difficulties and use wheelchairs.

Find your City! Open our Data on Disability in Cities PDF

 Data on Disabilities in Cities cover

Also see our accessible (.docx) version of Data on Disabilities in Cities.




New England ADA Center Published Research 2006-2011

The following refereed publications are the results of cooperative research efforts between the New England ADA Center and Drexel University's Center for Labor Market Policies from 2006-2011.

The Impact of the Great Recession on the Unemployment of Americans with Disabilities

The impact of the great Recession upon the unemployement of American with disabilities


Recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics allows assessment of the impact of the Great Recession on working age persons with disabilities in America. Following an overview of the nature and scope of the Great Recession, the labor market experiences of persons with and without disabilities are compared for 16 of the 22 months of its duration. Differences which favor those without disabilities were detected in the labor market rate, the official unemployment rate, and in the desire for work among those who have quit the workforce. These differences persisted among subgroups based upon age and educational attainment. Finally, the reasons for unemployment are quite different for persons with and without disabilities.


From Paternalism to Self-Advocacy: President Obama’s Community College Strategy and Students with Disabilities

From paternalism to self-Advocacy


Our research found that community colleges appear to enroll disproportionately large shares of students with disabilities. To meet the challenge of increasing the number of associate degree awards, new organizational designs, programs and incentives are needed to increase retention and graduation of students with disabilities.


From Paternalism to Self Advocacy (Word)