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SD's Disability Rate Just Below National Rate

Rapid City was the only metropolitan region to see an increase in the disability rate in 2015 while the other metro areas and the state remained steady. South Dakota's disability rate has gone from more than a full percentage point below the national rate in 2008 to just 0.6 percent below the national rate in 2015, according to recently updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

From 2014 to 2015 the state's disability rate decreased by just 0.1 percent, and the number of disabled residents decreased from 101,215 to 100,775.

South Dakota’s overall disability rate is 12.0 percent, ranking 18th out of the 50 states. The state disability rate is the same as it was in 2012, and up from 10.7 percent in 2008. This compares to the national rate, at 12.2 percent in 2012 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 2010-2014. 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.)

South Dakota Disability Rates by County (2011-2015)

Top Three:

 County  Rate
 Harding  8.7%
 Stanley  8.6%
 Lincoln  7.0%

 Bottom Three:

 County  Rate
 Fall River  21.1%
 Jones  19.0%
 Todd  17.9%


South Dakota Disability Rates by City (2011-2015)

Top Three:

 City  Rate
 Hartford  7.5%
 Tea  2.7%
 Harrisburg  2.6%

Bottom Three:

 City  Rate
 Hot Springs  24.0%
 Mobridge  16.3%
 Sturgis   15.9%


Meanwhile, the Black Hills region's average disability rate of 14.6 percent was higher than the overall state rate of 12.2 percent from 2011-2015. 

The metropolitan areas in South Dakota saw disability changed very little from 2014 to 2015, with the exception of Rapid City. The Rapid City metropolitan area’s disability rate increased slightly from 12.8 percent to 13.3percent . The disability rate in Sioux Falls stayed at 10.2 percent in 2015, while Sioux City’s disability rate dropped slightly from 11.9 percent in 2014 to 11.6 percent in 2015.

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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