Fort Bend county is one of the poorest counties in the country, according to a new study.
A study by a nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities found the county ranks 13th among U.S. counties in per capita spending on medical care for people living with disabilities.
The study, conducted by the University of Texas-Dallas, analyzed spending data from 2012 through 2018 and found the spending for people ages 18-64 grew by just 1 percent annually.
It found the average spending for a family of four in the county was $1,846 per year, which is slightly below the national average of $2,724 per year.
That means the county spends less on medical coverage for people who are disabled, according a news release from the nonprofit.
The report comes after Fort Bend officials in 2018 approved a $3.5 billion plan to build a new nursing home in a development at Fort Bend Memorial Hospital in Plano.
The facility is expected to open later this year.
The nursing home, a proposed $2.8 billion project, is one example of the county’s growing need for more social services, according the news release.
The county’s social service spending has grown significantly in the past decade.
According to the county, social service expenses in Fort Bend are expected to increase by 2 percent annually from 2021 to 2026.
The state has been working to build more social service providers in the state.
That includes expanding the number of people who qualify for Medicaid, expanding Medicaid eligibility for people age 65 and older and increasing funding for services like substance abuse treatment.