2013 OODH Chartbook: Executive Summary & Disability Prevalence Map

Executive Summary

Nearly one third (28.8%) of adults in Oregon has a disability, according to 2011 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Compared to Oregonians without disabilities, people with disabilities:

  • Tend to be older
  • Are less likely to be college graduates
  • Are much less likely to be employed
  • Are much more likely to have low household incomes
  • Are less likely to be married and more likely to be divorced or separated
  • Generally rate their health more poorly

Nevertheless, more than half of people with disabilities describe their health as good, very good, or excellent. Most people with disabilities are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. With regard to specific health risks, people with disabilities are:

  • More likely to be obese
  • Less likely to exercise
  • More likely to experience food insecurity
  • More likely to smoke
  • More likely to be unable to see a doctor due to cost
  • Less likely to have received a recent mammogram (women age 50 or older)
  • Less likely to have received a recent Pap test for cervical cancer (women age 18 or older)

On the other hand, people with disabilities are:

  • More likely than people without disabilities to have health care coverage
  • Less likely to drink regularly or binge drink
  • As likely to have had a recent checkup with a doctor
  • More likely to have a regular source of health care
  • More likely to have been vaccinated for flu or pneumonia
  • As likely to have been screened for colorectal cancer (people age 50 or older)

Although there are some health areas in which people with disabilities are doing as well or better than people without disabilities, there are several ways in which people with disabilities appear to be at a disadvantage. Efforts are needed to continue promoting health and access to affordable health care for Oregonians with disabilities.

Disability in Oregon

How many people in Oregon have a disability? More than 800,000 Oregon adults age 18 and older have a disability. This is almost one third (28.8%) of the adult population of Oregon. Nationally, about one quarter (25.3%) of adults age 18 and older has a disability. However, when Oregonians were asked directly if they considered themselves to have a disability, only 18.5% said yes.

When looking at specific counties, the percent of disability ranges from a low of 20.6% in Harney and Hood River Counties to a high of 35.1% in Douglas County. Figure 1 shows counties and percentages on a visual map of Oregon; Table 1 presents all counties and their disability prevalence percentages in easy-to-read table format. Neighboring counties of Sherman, Wasco, and Gilliam have one combined estimate due to their small population sizes. Wheeler County’s estimate was not large enough to be released.

Figure 1. Map of Disability Prevalence by Oregon County

Map image showing percentage of people with disabilities in each county. For percentage details, please see Table 1.

Table 1. Detailed Disability Prevalence by Oregon County



Baker 27.0%
Benton 22.4%
Clackamas 22.4%
Clatsop 27.0%
Columbia 26.8%
Coos 34.0%
Crook 33.3%
Curry 32.2%
Deschutes 26.2%
Douglas 35.1%
Gilliam (combined with Sherman and Wasco Counties) 28.7%
Grant 21.6%
Harney 20.6%
Hood River 20.6%
Jackson 30.1%
Jefferson 27.5%
Josephine 33.5%
Klamath 32.9%
Lake 26.7%
Lane 27.7%
Lincoln 32.6%
Linn 29.6%
Malheur 21.0%
Marion 24.4%
Morrow 23.2%
Multnomah 25.8%
Polk 24.9%
Sherman (combined with Gilliam and Wasco Counties) 28.7%
Tillamook 26.5%
Umatilla 24.1%
Union 26.9%
Wallowa 21.2%
Wasco (combined with Gilliam and Sherman Counties) 28.7%
Washington 22.7%
Wheeler Data Unavailable
Yamhill 25.7%