This article examines the sociodemographic factors associated not only with the length but also the quality of life. Although much research has examined dependency or the reliance on other individuals or institutions, this analysis instead focuses on difficulty in performing activities of daily living. The authors employ logit analysis and the Longitudinal Study of Aging data set to examine the sociodemographic factors-age, sex, race, education, poverty status, and marital status-that affect the prevalence of disability and the transitions that arise between the able and disabled states. Findings show that age is linked with disability: Older respondents are more likely to be or to become disabled and less likely to recover from their disabilities. Education is also strongly linked with disability: More highly educated elderly consistently enjoy less disability; if disabled, they generally have greater chances to regain their abilities. Race and sex are key variables: Disability varies by race and sex groups; further, within race/sex subpopulations, disability is differentially affected by other covariates, especially marital status and poverty. Therefore, it is crucial to examine disability not only for the total elderly population but to appreciate different disability characteristics among race- and sex-specific subpopulations. These social, demographic, and economic factors identify characteristics that place the elderly at risk of disability, and they also identify those characteristics that enhance an individual's chances of successful aging.