Close to 100 million children in the world have a disability. While disability depends on genetic and gestational factors, some studies indicate that disability may also be associated with ethnicity. This study aims to assess the disparities in the prevalence of disability or chronic limitation of activity between black and white, non-Hispanic children.

This nonconstitutionalized population study included a total of 419,843 children younger than 18 years old. Of the total participants, 22,758 had a disability. The primary outcome of the study was the prevalence of disability and its association with ethnicity.

The findings based on data collected from 1979-2000 suggested that the prevalence of disability increased for both black and white children. The Bivariate analysis indicated that though racial differences fluctuated through time, they remained persistent. The findings suggested that black children experienced a higher prevalence of disability than white children. However, the multivariable analysis confirmed that the difference in disability prevalence was due to differences in poverty status and did not have any association with ethnicity.

The research concluded that black children were at a higher risk of disability as compared with white children. However, the findings confirmed that the black-white difference in disability was due to increased exposure to poverty.