SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Google Trends data for the Missouri 2022 Midterm Elections revealed the most searched topic across the state, and in our corner, is social security.

And that may not surprise you considering within the southwest Missouri region, the population of residents 65+ is higher than other regions (below). In 2013, the elderly population of Missouri was estimated at 907,777, with 380,719 of them living in rural and possibly underserved areas.

Soaring inflation rates have also forced Americans to look at what they spend their wages on, which was a close second in the topics area residents searched the most. The Social Security Administration took notice and they’re combatting those rates with a cost of living adjustment (COLA).

The COLA increase, expected to be at least 8 percent, “would be the largest in four decades“. A drastic change from the SSA marked by a slowly dwindling 8.5 percent inflation rate since September. Not since 1981 has a COLA been so high with 11.2 percent under former President Jimmy Carter.

With 65 million Americans qualifying for Social Security, it’s no wonder why so many are searching for how much they’ll get next year from the program.

Nevertheless, seniors will not be the only ones that benefit from the change. Those with qualifying disabilities and even millions of children will benefit as well.