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The Prevalence of Disabilities in the U.S. Farm Population

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 24(4): 243-260 . (doi: 10.13031/jash.12934) @2018
Authors:   Cristina D. Miller, Robert A. Aherin
Keywords:   Cognitive difficulty, Disability, Farm children, Farmer, Farm household, Farmworker, Hearing difficulty, Independent living difficulty, Physical difficulty, Self-care difficulty, Vision difficulty.

Abstract. Health limitations and disabilities among farmers, farmworkers, and farm family members may have implications on their day-to-day activities and well-being as well as the farm business, but little is known about the extent of these limitations and disabilities. Using the U.S. Census Bureau‘s American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files from 2008 to 2016, the following questions were examined: what is the prevalence of disability in the overall farm population; what is the prevalence of health difficulties and disability among farmers, farmworkers, and farm family members; and do farmer and farmworker disability prevalence rates vary over time, by state, gender, or race/ethnicity. Finally, the effects of demographic factors were estimated on the likelihood that farmers and farmworkers might experience a disability. The findings of this study indicated that the disability rate in the farm population was 12.9%. On average, almost two out of ten farmers (19.2%) and nearly one out of ten farmworkers (9.0%) had a disability. One in 25 farm family children (4.2%, ages 6 to 17) and slightly more than two in 25 farm family adults (10.5%) had a disability.

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