Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

SD's Disability Rate Flips From Below National Rate To Above

SD's Disability Rate Flips From Below National Rate To Above

Disability rates continue to creep up in South Dakota's three metropolitan areas and statewide. South Dakota's disability rate has gone from more than a full percentage point below the national rate in 2008 to a half-percentage point above the national rate in 2013, according to recently updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

From 2012 to 2013 the state's disability rate increased 1.1 percent, and the number of disabled residents went up from 98,196 to 108,122.

South Dakota’s overall disability rate is 13.1 percent, ranking 29th out of the 50 states. The state disability rate is up from 12 percent in 2012 and 10.7 percent in 2008. This compares to the national rate, at 12.6 percent in 2013 and 12.1 percent in 2008.

Fall River County and its principal city, Hot Springs, continue to top the list for the highest percentage of residents with disabilities, according to data combined for the years 2009-2013. Sturgis ranks second-highest among South Dakota cities.

Both Hot Springs and Sturgis are home to Veterans Affairs hospitals, and Hot Springs also is home to the state veteran's home. Those facilities likely influence these figures, as they draw military veterans seeking healthcare and other services. 

Here's how South Dakota cities and counties compare. (Data from 27 of South Dakota's largest municipalities were measured.)

The top and bottom three cities and counties are listed below.

South Dakota Disability Rates (by county)

  • Lincoln County - 6.0%
  • Harding County - 8.7%
  • Brookings County - 9.1%
  • Gregory County - 18.4%
  • Brule County - 19.2%
  • Fall River - 20.7%

South Dakota Disability Rates (by city)

  • Tea- 3.2%
  • Harrisburg - 4.1%
  • Hartford- 6.9%
  • Winner - 17.7%
  • Sturgis - 18.3%
  • Hot Springs - 25.2%

Meanwhile, the Black Hills region's disability rate - 13.7 percent - is ahead of the overall state rate of 11.9 percent.

All metropolitan areas in South Dakota have seen a rise in disability percentages, with Sioux Falls seeing the largest increase from 8.2 percent in 2012 to 11.2 percent in 2013. Rapid City metro area’s rate is 15 percent, making it the highest in the state, followed by Sioux City metro area with a rate of 12.2 percent.

Using models of disability from the Institute of Medicine and the International Classification of Functioning, the American Community Survey identifies disability as serious difficulty in one or more of four basic areas of functioning: vision, hearing, ambulation, and cognition. 

Read more about Health on the South Dakota Dashboard.


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