Pat yourself on the back, Colorado! It turns out that our cities are some of the best when it comes to livable places for people with disabilities.
According to a new study from WalletHub, Colorado cities rank highly as good places for people with disabilities to live. Denver landed at No. 3 in the list of 150 most-populated cities, with Aurora coming in at No. 5!
WalletHub analysts used 28 metrics across three key dimensions to measure each city for disability friendliness: economy (cost of living and median earnings for people with disabilities), quality of life (available services, programs, and overall accessibility), and health care (insurance premium costs and number of doctors/specialists per capita).
One in five Americans lives with a disability, the report states, and health insurance is expensive for people without disabilities, let alone those who have them. It can obviously be very difficult for a person with a disability to overcome both the physical limitations and resulting financial limitations on their own, which is why cities with more disability-friendly amenities become more attractive than others, for an overall increased quality of life.
At the beginning of 2015, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of $1,165,” the report says, citing information from the Social Security Administration (SSA). “That is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2014 poverty level ($11,670 annually).”
Only Overland Park, KS (No. 1), and Grand Rapids, MI (No. 2), beat out Denver for best livability. Salt Lake City, UT, ended up sandwiched between Denver and Aurora, at No. 4.
Rounding out the top 10 were St. Louis, MO (No. 6); Chicago, IL (No. 7); Chandler, AZ (No. 8); Amarillo, TX (No. 9); and Kansas City, MO (No. 10).
Colorado Springs came in at No. 21. Last on the list was San Bernardino, CA, at No. 150. To read the full report, view all the methodology, and see where other cities rank, click here.
What do you think? What are Denver and Aurora doing right for people with disabilities? In what ways can they improve? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!