SD's Disability Rate Just Below National Rate
South Dakota's disability rate has remained slightly below the national rate since 2013, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2017, the disability rate in South Dakota was 11.6% or 1.1% less than the national disability rate of 12.7%.
From 2016 to 2017, the Rushmore State's disability rate decreased slightly from 12.2% to 11.6%, ranking 15th lowest in the nation. The total number of disabled residents in South Dakota decreased from 102,319 to 101,568.
Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, and Rapid City were the only metro areas to experience a decline in disability rates from 2016 to 2017. Other metro areas saw marginal increases in the proportion of the population living with disabilities.
Fall River County and its principal city, Hot Springs, had the highest percentage of residents with disabilities at 21.5% and 25.6%, respectively. Sturgis ranked sixth-highest among South Dakota cities with a disability rate of 17.0%.
Both Hot Springs and Sturgis are home to Veterans Affairs hospitals. The South Dakota State Veterans Home is located in Hot Springs as well. These facilities attract many military veterans seeking healthcare and other services, which increases the number of disabled persons in the region relative to the rest of the state. As a result the Black Hills region's average disability rate of 15.9% (Pennington, Lawrence, Custer, Fall River, and Meade Counties) was higher than the overall state rate of 11.6% in 2017.
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.