Population Receiving 2009 Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides cash for basic needs to aged, blind, and disabled people with little or no other income source. The Social Security Administration releases data on how many SSI recipients are in each county and state. This is useful in locating low-income disabled and aged populations. We recently updated our Supplemental Security Income data for 2009.

County/State/Percent of population that received Supplemental Security Income in 2009
County, State Percentage of Population
Owsley, KY 19.61%
Wolfe, KY 17%
Clay, KY 15.87%
Breathitt, KY 14.86%
McDowell, WV 14.28%
Magoffin, KY 13.77%
Wilcox, AL 13.16%
Knox, KY 12.89%
Lee, KY 12.73
Perry, AL 11.9%

As you can see, Appalachia dominates the top 10 list. Kentucky is the number one state in this category. This may be explained by the fact that some states provide varying rates of additional supplementary income to those receiving federal SSI benefits, which may have an effect on the number of people who apply. Income levels also play a major role: Owsley County, Kentucky, which is the number one county in terms of percent of population receiving SSI, ranks in the bottom ten counties in the nation in median income, at $20,530 in 2009. A glance at the counties with the lowest rate of SSI recipients shows some of the wealthier places in the country, like Nantucket, MA; Teton, WY; Eagle, CO; and Pitkin, CO.

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