|Map shows the percentage of the population in each county that receives Social Security Disability Insurance payments; |
click on the image to enlarge it; click on the story to view an interactive version with data for each county.
Rural residents who lose benefits are more economically vulnerable than their urban counterparts overall, Greiman and Ipsen write. Not only are rural residents 5 percentage points more likely to be disabled than urban residents, but they tend to develop disabilities at a younger age. On top of that, "access to economic opportunity is not equally distributed across the U.S. Our research group’s work shows that rural Americans with disabilities are still trying to recover from the recession," they write. "Overall, fewer rural people with disabilities have jobs now than did in 2008 – this at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate is at historic lows. The drop in employment is particularly pronounced across a few geographic areas, including the Mid-Atlantic, Southern, Mountain and Pacific regions."