More on U.S. Deaf Population


I am still trying to understand the geography of the Deaf and interpreting community. I found the following data from Gallaudet University’s Library page, using data from the 2008 American Community Survey. Like most census data, it is measuring physical hearing ability, not cultural ties to a Deaf community. If we assume that people in the Deaf community are a subset of those who have hearing impairments, and we assume that the rate of Deaf communal membership is constant, then the ASC data might help. However, I suspect that things like state-level educational policy, the location of Deaf schools may cause Deaf communal membership to be higher or lower in some areas. In other words, in some parts of the country deaf children will be directed towards Deaf programs, and in other areas they will be directed towards speech programs.

Ah-hah! We need to document and map speech-based programs, too. I wonder if ASL-based and speech-based programs are co-located and spatially exclusive.

In any case, here’s the data:

State Deaf population (est) Total population (est) Deaf pct (est)
Alabama 199,230 4,574,185 4.36
Alaska 29,166 659,084 4.43
Arizona 236,638 6,402,786 3.7
Arkansas 130,464 2,801,628 4.66
California 1,038,126 36,160,600 2.87
Colorado 156,410 4,853,404 3.22
Connecticut 100,994 3,440,844 2.94
Delaware 29,915 856,131 3.49
District of Columbia 11,784 580,464 2.03
Florida 682,304 17,995,843 3.79
Georgia 288,922 9,473,441 3.05
Hawaii 45,334 1,236,665 3.67
Idaho 62,464 1,498,787 4.17
Illinois 369,403 12,709,312 2.91
Indiana 234,187 6,271,184 3.73
Iowa 115,008 2,951,468 3.9
Kansas 108,080 2,738,746 3.95
Kentucky 204,309 4,187,839 4.88
Louisiana 165,909 4,312,891 3.85
Maine 66,455 1,299,288 5.11
Maryland 150,669 5,530,013 2.72
Massachusetts 200,217 6,398,787 3.13
Michigan 360,505 9,866,139 3.65
Minnesota 163,645 5,150,617 3.18
Mississippi 129,853 2,867,519 4.53
Missouri 236,626 5,795,164 4.08
Montana 43,444 950,414 4.57
Nebraska 64,486 1,749,849 3.69
Nevada 77,377 2,568,111 3.01
New Hampshire 47,133 1,299,356 3.63
New Jersey 231,653 8,557,279 2.71
New Mexico 90,852 1,951,866 4.65
New York 541,349 19,207,057 2.82
North Carolina 326,390 9,004,442 3.62
North Dakota 25,521 623,970 4.09
Ohio 415,750 11,296,200 3.68
Oklahoma 181,173 3,550,098 5.1
Oregon 160,899 3,746,320 4.29
Pennsylvania 458,605 12,209,227 3.76
Puerto Rico 167,933 3,922,338 4.28
Rhode Island 34,896 1,030,284 3.39
South Carolina 163,367 4,373,390 3.74
South Dakota 30,079 783,531 3.84
Tennessee 260,794 6,113,391 4.27
Texas 810,485 23,827,328 3.4
Utah 73,850 2,704,865 2.73
Vermont 27,412 615,089 4.46
Virginia 219,104 7,520,250 2.91
Washington 249,564 6,428,235 3.88
West Virginia 108,193 1,787,710 6.05
Wisconsin 179,488 5,540,009 3.24
Wyoming 22,353 523,428 4.27
Total 10,528,767 302,496,866 3.48
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