Worcester Ranked Among Worst Cities in U.S. for People with Disabilities

Worcester Ranked Among Worst Cities in U.S. for People with Disabilities

WORCESTER – In a report released on Wednesday, October 9, Worcester ranks near the bottom of the most populated cities in America that keep the physical and economic challenges of people with disabilities at the forefront of their decision making. 

The report — 2019’s Best & Worst Cities for People with Disabilities — ranks Worcester #169 out of the 180 cities studied by the data experts at WalletHub.

WalletHub’s data ranges in the report include physicians per capita to rate of workers with disabilities to public park accessibility. 

The data sets also included wheelchair-accessible facilities per capita and the quality of  the city’s public hospital system.

SEE THE LIST BELOW: The 10 Best & Worst Cities for People with Disabilities


Among New England cities, Worcester ranked better then New Haven, Bridgeport and Providence [which finished at #182], but behind cities like Boston, Portland, Lewiston, Nashua, Manchester and South Burlington — all of which finished in the top 100 [South Burlington was ranked the #1 city in America for people with disabilities.]

In WalletHub’s three major ranking dimensions — economy, quality of life, and healthcare — Worcester ranked #164, #119, and #111, respectively.  

According to Dr. Patrick Shannon, an associate professor in the Social Work Dept. at the University of New Hampshire, the top five indicators for evaluating the best cities for people with disabilities are: 

  1. Availability of accessible public transportation.
  2. Affordable and accessible housing.
  3. Accessible public spaces.
  4. School system that is fully accessible to meet the needs of all learners.
  5. Availability of job training and supports.

“People who experience disabilities face many financial challenges that directly and indirectly relate to their disability including limitations related to their disability, discrimination in the job market and workplace, income and asset limit eligibility standards for government assistance, and pre-employment education and training preparation,” Dr. Shannon told WalletHub. 


Best Cities for People with Disabilities   Worst Cities for People with Disabilities
1 South Burlington, VT   173 Juneau, AK
2 Scottsdale, AZ   174 Birmingham, AL
3 St. Louis, MO   175 Norfolk, VA
4 Minneapolis, MN   176 Mobile, AL
5 San Francisco, CA   177 Huntsville, AL
6 Overland Park, KS   178 Gulfport, MS
7 Denver, CO   179 New Haven, CT
8 Grand Rapids, MI   180 Winston-Salem, NC
9 St. Paul, MN   181 Bridgeport, CT
10 Columbia, MD   182 Providence, RI

To see how Worcester compares to other cities across the country, please scroll the map below:


Source: WalletHub
Lead photo credit:  Pensiero on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Follow us on The016.com, the social network for Worcester and you!

Recent Headlines

Today’s Weather in Worcester – Friday, January 24

Partly sunny skies are expected for Friday Afternoon with high temperatures near 45 Degrees. Friday Night will be cloudy with areas of fog. In addition, there is the possibility for some localized areas of freezing drizzle over the higher terrain of the Worcester...

Facebook Comments


  • Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Over the past two years, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Previous to that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He is the owner of Sargent Media, LLC and can be contacted at [email protected] or 774-232-1223.