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Ranking - St. Louis is among the Most Disability-Friendly Cities in the US

St. Louis Skyline

A new analysis comparing everything from the cost of living to health care and the effectiveness of state Medicaid programs has named St. Louis the 4th best place for people with disabilities to live in the U.S. This is according to a ranking released recently by the personal-finance website WalletHub. Scottsdale, Arizona, ranked first, with Denver, Minneapolis, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, joining St. Louis in the top five.

Cities were assessed for disability friendliness using 33 metrics across three main categories — economy, quality of life, and health care.

The ranking factored in housing affordability, the employment rate for people with disabilities, the cost of in-home care, wheelchair accessibility, and the availability of special educators, home health aides, and doctors, among other considerations.

WalletHub indicated that it collected government data, information from disability nonprofits, and other sources to compile the list, which included the nation’s 150 most populous cities and two of the largest cities in each state.

The high score for St. Louis resulted from a strong ranking (4th overall) in the area of “Quality of Life,” which includes such things as the share of people with disabilities in the city, the graduation rate for students with disabilities, and the number of special education teachers per 1,000 school-aged students with disabilities.

The ranking also looked at the number of wheelchair-accessible restaurants, grocery stores, and art, entertainment, and recreational establishments per capita, wheelchair-accessible trails per capita, and the share of the population with walkable park access.

Meanwhile, St. Louis ranked 43rd in health care for people with disabilities and 72nd in factors related to the economy for people with disabilities.

Kansas City ranked 22nd overall in the study.

The five worst cities for people with disabilities were Anchorage, Alaska, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Jackson, Mississippi, Juneau, Alaska, and Gulfport, Mississippi.