Older South Dakotans are more likely to have disabilities.
Older South Dakotans are more likely to have disabilities.
South Dakota Dashboard chart
Jan 26, 2016

Age, Poverty Correlate to Disability in South Dakota

South Dakotans with disabilities are more likely to be older and in poverty than their counterparts without disabilities, according to federal data

Those over age 65 had a disability rate of 34.5 percent percent in 2014 compared to a rate of 10.3 percent for those ages 18-64. Those over age 85, 62.3 percent reported a disability in 2013, the most current year for which data is available. Children ages 5 to 17 had a disability rate of 4.1 percent in 2014, compared to a rate of 1.2 percent for those age 4 and younger. 

A disability is defined as serious difficulty in these areas of functioning: vision, hearing, ambulation, cognition and ability to care for oneself independently. In some subsets, this data was compiled and averaged for the years 2010-2014. 

21.9 percent of South Dakotans with disabilities lived in poverty in 2014, compared to the state's overall poverty rate of 14.2 percent. South Dakota's overall disability rate in 2014 was 12.1 percent, and its poverty rate for those with no disabilities is 13.1 percent.

Race also correlates to disability, with Native Americans and whites posting the highest disability rates while Asians and Blacks posted the lowest. The disability rates for American Indians, averaged for 2010-2014, was 13.5 percent and for whites, 12.2 percent. For Asians, it was 4.7 percent and for Blacks, 5.6 percent. Hispanics held the middle ground with a rate of 8.1 percent. 

Geographical Comparisons

South Dakota's overall disability rate in 2008 was measurably below the national rate, 10.7 percent vs. 12.1 percent. The state's rate rose steadily in subsequent years and is now nearly the same as the national rate, 12.1 percent vs. 12.6 percent.

At 12.1 percent in 2014, South Dakota ranks 20th among the 50 states for overall disability rate, compared to No. 1 Utah, at 9.6 percent, and No. 50 West Virginia, at 19.9 percent. Regarding the disability rate for those age 65 and older, South Dakota ranks 17th at 34.5 percent, compared to No. 1 Delaware at 30.4 percent and No. 50 Mississippi at 44.5 percent. 

Among South Dakota's 66 counties, Lincoln County posted the lowest disability rate at 6.2 percent for 2010-2014 compared to Fall River County with the highest rate of 21.1 percent. Among the 27 cities with populations of more than 2,500, Tea posted the lowest rate of 2.6 percent for the five-year period compared to Hot Springs with the highest rate of 21.4 percent. 

In general, cities in southeastern corner of South Dakota near Sioux Falls posted the state's lowest disability rates. With a rate of 14.1 percent for 2010-2014, the Black Hills region had a higher disability rate than did the state as a whole, at 12 percent. 

Disabilty rates varied widely among the state's nine Indian reservations, with the Rosebud reservation recording the highest rate of 17.4 percent. Here's a look rates on at all of the reservations:

  • Lower Brule -- 7.1%
  • Cheyenne River -- 11.4%
  • Standing Rock -- 11.6%
  • Pine Ridge -- 11.9%
  • Lake Traverse (Sisseton) -- 12.4%
  • Flandreau -- 12.9%
  • Yankton -- 13.8%
  • Crow Creek -- 17.2%
  • Rosebud -- 17.4%

South Dakotans living in a metropolitan or micropolitan area from 2010-2014 were less likely to have a disability than were those living in non-metropolitan areas. Disability rates were 11 percent for metropolitan areas, 12 percent for micropolitan areas and 14 percent for non-metropolitan areas, although rates among the micropolitan areas varied. Here's a look at the metropolitan and micropolitan areas:  

  • Sioux Falls metro -- 9.5%
  • Vermillion micro -- 9.5%
  • Aberdeen micro -- 9.8%
  • Brookings micro -- 9.9%
  • Pierre micro -- 10.2%
  • Yankton micro -- 13.2%
  • Rapid City metro -- 13.7%
  • Huron micro -- 13.7%
  • Watertown micro -- 13.7%
  • Mitchell micro -- 14.5%
  • Spearfish micro -- 14.8%

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