The on-line rural news magazine Daily Yonder has been exploring the heavy dependency of small towns on the Social Security income.
In rural communities, the Federal program accounts for more than 9% of all income — that’s nearly twice as high as city people, where populations tend to be far younger.
The contrast is sharply visible here in the North Country, where in Hamilton County roughly 1500 people draw Social Security checks every month.
That’s nearly one out of every three people in the community.
In the borough of Queens, by comparison, only about 12% of residents draw Social Security — more like one person out of eight.
The numbers reflect the North Country’s aging population. And it also illustrates how vulnerable this region could be to major changes to the program.
It’s not just Hamilton, though Hamilton is an extreme case. In Clinton and St. Lawrence Counties, one in five people draw Social Security checks. In Essex County, nearly one in four.
It won’t just be individual families that experience change, if entitlements are curtailed: whole communities could see their economies impacted.
Check out the Daily Yonder’s article and chime in. Should Social Security be trimmed? If so, what would that do to North Country towns where those checks provide a lot of the total cash economy?