In the past 3 decades, there have been substantial, important changes in the sizes of residential settings in which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) live. At the same time, there has been substantial change in the number of people with ID/DD who receive residential supports while living away from the homes of their parents or other relatives, from 248,000 in 1977 (114.5 per 100,000 total U.S. residents) to 411,200 in 2005 (138.7 per 100,000 total U.S. residents). Figure 1 shows this growth between 1977 and 2005 broken down into different sizes of residential settings, including both state and non-state settings among the institutions of 16 or more residents. The years shown in Figure 1 provide as nearly as possible 5-year intervals in residential support development during the past 3 decades. The general patterns during this time period include rapid growth in residents of smaller residential settings of 6 or fewer, and especially settings of 3 or fewer; steady depopulation of institutional settings; and general stability in the past 2 decades in the number of people with ID/DD living places of 7 to 15 residents. Between 1977 and 2005, persons with ID/DD living in settings of 6 or fewer increased 20,400 to 291,100 persons, including estimated growth from 8,700 to 184,000 people living in settings of 3 or fewer. Persons living in state and non-state institutions of 16 or more residents decreased 207,400 to 67,100 (68%) between 1977 and 2005, including a decrease from 154,600 to 40,100 (74%) in the number of people residing in state institutions.

Table 1 shows changes within the individual states between 2000 and 2005, the last 2 years shown in Figure 1. Between 2000 and 2005, the proportion of all residential support recipients who were living in state and non-state institutions decreased from 22.1% to 16.3%, with all but 6 states reporting reductions. The number of institutionalized persons with ID/DD in all states in June 2005 was 19.0% of the number institutionalized in 2000, with 8 states having reductions of more than twice the national average.

Source: Prouty, R., Smith, G. & Lakin, K. (Eds.). (2006). Residential services for persons with developmental disabilities: Status and trends through 2005. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Research & Training Center on Community Living. Available at