Disability 65+

SD's Disability 65+ Rate Just Below National Rate

Disability rates for individuals over the age of 65 increased across South Dakota from 2015-2016, according to U.S. Census Data. From 2015 to 2016, the state's disability rate for those older than 65 increased by 1.1% while the number of disabled residents increased from 41,697 to 44,048.

At a rate of 33.7%, South Dakota’s disability rate for residents over 65 is slightly less than the national rate of 35.2%, ranking the state 17th in the nation. New Hampshire had the lowest rate disability for persons aged 65 and up, 31.0%, while West Virginia had the highest, at 42.9%.

Fall River County, and its principal city Hot Springs, had the highest 65+ disability rates in all South Dakota with disability rates of 49.5% and 55.5% respectively. Sturgis also has a high 65+ disability rate of 40.9%. Both Hot Springs and Sturgis are home to Veterans Affairs hospitals, and Hot Springs also is home to the South Dakota State Veterans Home. These facilities serve many military veterans, especially disabled veterans, which drives up disability rates in their respective communities.

The Sioux Falls metro area experienced an increase in its disability rate for individuals over 65, rising from 30.4% to 31.4%. In the Rapid City metro area, the 65+ disability rate declined from 32.4% to 31.6%. The 65+ disability rate in the Sioux City metro area also declined from 34.8% to 34.0%. 

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.

Here's how South Dakota cities and counties compared from 2011-2015, the most recent period for which data is available. (Data from 27 of South Dakota's largest municipalities were measured.)

South Dakota Disability 65+ Rates (2011-2015)
    Cities Counties
 Top Three  Bottom Three  Top Three  Bottom Three
  Hartfod 29.9   Hot Springs 55.5   Lincoln  28.4   Todd 68.1 
  Milbank 24.7   Mitchell 46.1   Lake  28.1   Oglala Lakota 49.5
  Canton 23.9   Spearfish 45.1   Stanley  19.8   Haakon 49.5 


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