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How much difficulty walking

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For sample persons age 55 and older in 1984 and persons age 65 and older in 1986 who, due to a health or physical problem, have difficulty walking or do not walk at all when by herself/himself and not using any special equipment, LAWALKDIFF reports the amount of difficulty she/he faces when walking.

This variable was first introduced in 1984 as part of a series of variables related to the difficulty of doing various activities due to a physical/mental health condition, the use of help from others to carry on such activities, and the number of years this difficulty has persisted. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


Changes in the universe will reduce comparability over time. In 1984, this question was asked of sample persons age 55 and older and in 1986, it was asked of persons age 65 and older. See the Universe tab for more details.

In addition, a change occurred in the wording of the question over the years. In 1984, the question was worded: "By yourself, how much difficulty do you have..." In 1986, the question was modified to: "By yourself and without using special equipment, how much difficulty do you have..."


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+ who have difficulty walking.
  • 1986: Persons age 65+ who have difficulty walking.


  • 1984, 1986