The past 2 decades have brought notable transformation in residential services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities This transformation has been characterized by steady decreases in the number of people living in state-operated and non-state residential institutions (i.e., places with 16 or more residents) with simultaneous, but more rapid increases in the number of people living in typical “community housing.” Figure 1 shows the number of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in state institutions, non-state institutions, large group homes (7 to 15 residents), community housing (defined here as places housing no more than 6 people) in 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2001. The actual numerical estimates depicted in Figure 1 are reported in Table 1. In each of the data categories, the statistics reported for each year are based on reports from at least 49 states, with estimations for any missing data. As shown, between June 1982 and June 2001, the number of state institution residents decreased by 63%; the number of non-state (private and non-state government) institution residents decreased by 46% (a combined decrease of 57%). During the same period, the number of persons living in housing with 6 or fewer residents increased by 672% from 33,188 to an estimated 256,216 residents. As shown, there was a rapid increase in persons living in large group homes between 1982 and 1987 (from 30,515 to 51,637), but there has been little change since. Also notable is the 59% overall increase in the total number of residential service recipients, which reflects the 25.4% increase in the national population, but even more so the 27.8% increase in relative access to residential services—from 106.3 service recipients per 100,000 total United States residents in 1982 to 136.1 in 2001.
Table 2 presents for June 30, 2001, each state's current total and distribution of residents across residential categories reported above with the addition of nursing facilities. The statistics on nursing facility residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities were obtained from the Minimum Data Set of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Centers maintain an individual record on each resident of all nursing facilities. As shown in Table 2 about 60% of all persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the various residential settings lived in community housing, with another 13% in large group homes in the community. On the other hand, counting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in state, non-state, and nursing institutions, more than a quarter (27%) of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential settings in 2001 were institutionalized. These individuals included more than one half of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential settings in 2 states and more than one third in 17 states.
Source: Residential Services for Persons With Developmental Disabilities: Status and Trends Through 2001. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, RTC on Community Living/ICI; www.rtc.umn.edu/risp01/index.html.