DD Data Brief: Demographic Characteristics of Persons with MR/DD Living in Their Own Homes or With Family Members

Part of the DD Data Brief series.
Sheryl A Larson, Charlie Lakin, Lynda Lahti Anderson, Nohoon Kwak


A brief describing people with mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities (MR/ DD) living in the community in terms of demographic characteristics and economic status. Those characteristics are analyzed to determine how they are interrelated, and are compared to those of the general population. The data is based on the 1994-95 National Health Interview Survey Disability Supplement (NHIS-D) that collected extensive information about disabilities among the individuals sampled as part of the annual census-based household interview surveys. The NHIS focuses on the civilian, noninstitutionalized population in the United States, describing demographic characteristics, health status, functional limitations, and supports and services used. The authors of this brief identified 3,076 individuals in the combined 1994/1995 NHIS-D sample as having MR/DD, estimating that 3,887,158 (plus or minus 1.9%) non-institutionalized Americans meet the criteria for one or both of these categories, a prevalence rate of 1.49%. An additional 245,720 people with MR/DD are estimated to be living in nursing homes, psychiatric facilities or congregate care (institutional) settings of four or more residents.


June 2001 
Volume 3, Number 2
Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)


  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Culture and diversity
    • Other cultural groups
    • Women
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)