Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

November 10, 2011

In Appanoose County, 11 percent of all income comes from Social Security

CENTERVILLE — If Appanoose County residents didn’t receive their monthly payments from the Social Security Administration, 11.0 percent of total personal income in the county would be lost, a total of $40,251,473 in 2009.

Appanoose County is more dependent on Social Security payments than is the rest of the country. Nationally, 5.5 percent of total personal income in 2009 came from Social Security payments. In Iowa, 6.6 percent of all income comes from these payments.

In Appanoose County, 3,390 people receive some form of Social Security payment, either an old age pension, a survivor benefit or a disability check, according to the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Social Security beneficiaries represent 26.7 percent of the total county population.

In rural counties such as Appanoose and counties with smaller cities, Social Security payments constitute a much larger chunk of the local economy than in urban areas. A greater percentage of people in rural America receive these payments than in urban counties, and so rural counties have higher average payments per resident.

“In many rural places, Social Security is a very critical element of the local economic base,” said Peter Nelson, a geographer at Middlebury College in Vermont. “It’s less important to a place like Los Angeles because there is so much additional economic activity going on there.”

Total Social Security payments in Appanoose County amounted to $3,170 per person in 2009. The national average was $2,199 per person, and in Iowa it was $2,522.

Social Security payments in Appanoose County have been changing as a proportion of total income. These payments amounted to 8.0 percent of total income in 1970, 9.3 percent in 1980, 10.8 percent in 1990, 9.9 percent in 2000 and 11.0 percent in 2009.

Social Security payments are particularly important to rural counties and small cities because the money is largely spent in the community. “The seniors who get these payments are primarily going to spend their money locally,” said Mark Partridge, a rural economist at Ohio State University. “And they are a key reason why some communities are still viable.  If this money dried up, there wouldn’t be a lot of these small towns.”

Social Security payments amount to 5 percent of the total income in urban counties. In counties with small cities, these payments amount to 8.2 percent of total income, and in rural counties such as Appanoose County, Social Security totals 9.3 percent of all personal income. More than one out of five Americans living in small cities and rural counties received some kind of Social Security check in 2009.

Judith Stallmann, an economist at the University of Missouri, explained that Social Security payments help generate the sales that keep a rural business afloat.

“We find that Social Security income can be the difference between success and failure for some local businesses,” Stallmann said. “If you took away, say, 10 percent of the demand, would that local business be able to remain open? Often it’s that 10 percent that keeps them going. Social Security is providing that margin.”

Social Security payments go to those over the age of 62 who have filed for benefits, to survivors of insured workers and to those with disabilities. The program is mainly funded by payroll taxes. In Appanoose County, 68.3 percent of recipients were retirees in 2009, 15.0 percent were survivors and 16.7 percent were disabled.

Changes to Social Security are being discussed in Congress, which is looking for ways to balance the larger federal budget. If benefits are cut — or if the eligibility age is increased — rural counties and small cities would be disproportionately affected, according to Peter Nelson.

“Cuts would have a bigger negative impact on rural places, absolutely,” Middlebury’s Professor Nelson said. “They are more dependent on Social Security.”

About the Authors

Bill Bishop is co-editor of The Daily Yonder (www.dailyyonder.com/), an online publication covering rural America, published by the Center for Rural Strategies (www.ruralstrategies.org/). He has owned a weekly newspaper in rural Texas and he has worked for newspapers in Texas and Kentucky. Dr. Roberto Gallardo is a research associate with the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University (http://srdc.msstate.edu/). This study was made possible with a grant from the National Academy of Social Insurance.

 Research Note

Data included in this story comes from the federal Bureau for Economic Analysis and the Social Security Administration. The figures in this story are from 2009, unless otherwise noted. You can see and download charts for publication, a national map and data for every county in your state and the nation from the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University: http://srdc.msstate.edu/socialsecurity/.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 29, 2014

  • Three year old case ends in prison term suspended A 36-year-old Moulton man was sentenced to state prison suspended to probation in the Appanoose County Courthouse July 18.Donnie D. Vanderlinden Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison, all but 30 days suspended, to five years probation to the Eigh

    July 29, 2014

  • Mercy receives Award Mercy Medical Center — Centerville received a 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Terry E. Branstad during a special recognition ceremony held June 20 in Ottumwa.The hospital was honored with a length of service award by the Iowa Senior Health

    July 29, 2014

  • County attorney requests an assistant

    Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost.

    July 28, 2014

  • 072514 CCC Meeting Photo Delay in street paving project Nancy Huisman, with Hall Engineering, Monday delivered to the Centerville City Council an update on the East and West State streets and North 10th Street paving project.Huisman recommended the city delay the project until the spring of 2015.The new t

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 23, 2014

  • Appanoose County Farm Bureau annual meeting President Mark McGill welcomed 85 members and guests to the annual meeting of the Appanoose County Farm Bureau on Tuesday, July 15 at the Faith United Methodist Church, south of Centerville. Guest speaker Walt Hackney, who writes DTN’s “Talkin’ Lives

    July 23, 2014

  • School board reviews legislative priorities The Centerville School Board met for a regular meeting Monday, July 14, welcoming new member Steve Hoch, who replaced Tom Lange after his resignation.High School band director Jim DePrizio approached the board to see if the Band Boosters could receiv

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 23,1920-1926: For some people, the changing role of women in this time, was leading to the breakdown of the family. The "Divorce Rate Is Appalling," said one headline. It was the KKK Southern Iowa America

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills Recently, six EMT’s from Mercy Medical Center advanced their credentials and skill levels to become paramedics.Dan Howington, Brenda Howington, Jeff Devoll, Katy Devoll, Andy Mericle and Jerilyn Inman invested their time over the last 18 months to ob

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved. July 22, 1945: Exline’s L. Jay Johnson, who opened a funeral home on East Maple Street on his return to Centerville from World War 2, survived the U.S. 8th AAF. He won a “Lucky Bastard” award from his fellow airmen on completion of 25 dangerous missi

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 AC Fair Photo1 Antique tractor display The Lapland Plowboys Antique Tractor Club will be displaying a large selection of antique tractors Monday through Friday at the Appanoose County Fair.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fire protection score improves CENTERVILLE – The Centerville Fire Department recently received word that the community’s rating on Insurance Services Office’s Public Protection Classification survey had improved.The survey in question analyzes the fire suppression services in a co

    July 22, 2014

  • Humble Heroes Foundationhelps soldiers' children CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right.Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’t

    July 22, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 20, 1942-5: As the country geared itself into second World War production, vital raw materials were critically short. Collections of metals, rubber, greases, nylons and silks, paper and rags, even milkwee

    July 21, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook