About one in ten working age Americans has a disability, but their odds of employment vary sharply depending on where they live, according to new Census data.

Overall, nearly 35 percent of people with disabilities had jobs in 2009 compared to about 72 percent of those in the rest of the population. Employment among both groups dropped that year as compared to 2008 due to the recession.

North Dakota had the highest rate of employment among Americans with disabilities at 56 percent, with Wyoming coming in a close second. Meanwhile, individuals living in the nation’s capital fared significantly worse, with the District of Columbia coming in dead last among the states at 26.8 percent in the Census’ American Community Survey for 2009, which was released this week.

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Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia also had similarly low employment ratios.

All in all, 19.5 million Americans ages 16 to 64 had a disability in 2009, not significantly different from the year before. West Virginia had the highest proportion of residents with disabilities, while Hawaii had the lowest.

About 3 million people are polled annually by the Census Bureau for the American Community Survey. Data collected on those with disabilities does not include people who are in the military or individuals living in nursing homes or prisons.

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