Every 2 years, the University of Minnesota conducts a survey of large state-operated residential facilities in the United States for persons with mental retardation and related conditions with 16 or more residents. The most recent of these surveys was completed in February 2001. Statistics with an effective date of June 30, 2000, were gathered. A total of 189 large state facilities were identified and surveyed. All responded. Responses included 173 long forms (91.5%) and 16 short forms (8.5%). The long-form survey gathered detailed information on current residents and those in movement categories (admissions, discharges, deaths) and is the source of most of the statistics provided in this report.

Table 1 presents a summary of selected statistics to show national trends in the numbers and characteristics of residents in large state facilities over about 10-year periods between 1977 and 1996, and then 2-year periods between 1996 and 2000.

There have been rather dramatic changes in numbers and characteristics of large state facilities residents over the period shown. By June 2000, total large state facilities populations had decreased to about 31.3% of the total in June 1977. In June 1977, 35.8% of residents were 21 years and younger (or about 54,100 children and youth); on June 30, 2000, 4.5% of large state facility residents were 21 and younger (or about 2,100 children and youth). In June 1977, persons 40 years or older made up 23% of large state facility residents, whereas in June 2000, persons 40 years and older made up 61% of large state facility residents. Residents in large state facilities were, on average, substantially more severely impaired over the period, but in the last few years there has been a changing pattern. Resident populations in June 2000 were quite similar in characteristics to those in June 1996 in terms of functional skills and secondary conditions, except that a higher percentage was identified as having psychiatric conditions (defined as requiring the attention of psychiatric personnel). Between 1996 and 2000, the percentage of large state facility residents reported to have a psychiatric condition increased from 31% to 42%.

Table 2 shows state-by-state summary statistics on selected characteristics of large state facility residents on June 30, 2000. As can be seen from the table, there were 9 states with no large state facility residents in June 2000, and 2 states with 60 or fewer (Minnesota and Oregon). It also shows many substantial differences among states in the proportion of total residents with various characteristics. For example, although institutions in 6 of the 42 states with large state facilities reported 12% or more of the large state facility residents 21 years or younger, 5 of the 42 reported that there were none. In 7 states more than 25% of large state facility residents were 55 or older, whereas 7 other states had less than 10%. Although only 20% of all large state facility residents were reported to have mild or moderate intellectual disability, more than 40% of large state facility residents had mild or intellectual disability in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, and South Dakota. Seven states reported that more than 75% of their residents had profound intellectual disability as compared with 10 with less than 50%. Similar differences were noted in ability to perform basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as walking, dressing, and toileting independently.