Rural Communities Receive Most From Social Security Benefits

It may come as a surprise to some, but a look at recent Social Security Administration (“SSA”) data shows that residents in small towns and rural areas are more dependent on Social Security benefits than residents of small cities and large metropolitan areas.

Facts in support of this conclusion:

  • Whereas only 15.6 percent of urban dwellers receive some type of Social Security, nearly one-fourth of rural residents receive Social Security benefits of some sort
  • In rural countries, Social Security benefits make up 9.3 percent of residents’ local income versus 8.2 percent for small cities (population under 50,000) and 5 percent for large ones
  • The average Social Security per capita payout is higher for rural counties ($2,831) than for large cities ($2,055)
  • Rural residents are more likely than their counterparts to receive either survivorship or disability benefits, whereas the large city residents are mostly recipients of retirement benefits

Social Security benefits play an important role for both rural residents and rural businesses. Several university economists point out that Social Security benefits in rural areas and smaller cities keep a lot of these cities afloat. Beneficiaries in these cities are likely to spend their benefits in their hometowns, thereby keeping businesses in business. Without the Social Security benefits, many small town businesses would not last very long, the economists said.

What was your experience been with these facts? Are you a rural or small town resident who relies on Social Security?

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