10. NEW HAMPSHIRE | Retired/survivors: 227,700 | Average monthly benefit: $1,339 | (The Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, NH. Photo: AP)
9. MONTANA | Retired/survivors: 184,800 | Average monthly benefit: $1,198
8. RHODE ISLAND | Retired/survivors: 172,400 | Average monthly benefit: $1,294 | (Prospect Terrace Park in Providence, RI)
7. DELAWARE | Retired/survivors: 164,300 | Average monthly benefit: $1,355 | (Old Capitol Building in Dover)
6. SOUTH DAKOTA | Retired/survivors: 145,600 | Average monthly benefit: $1,195

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5. VERMONT | Retired/survivors: 115,200 | Average monthly benefit: $1,271 | (Ski slopes at a Killington, Vermont, resort. Photo: AP)
4. NORTH DAKOTA | Retired/survivors: 109,300 | Average monthly benefit: $1,214
3. WYOMING| Retired/survivors: 88,000 | Average monthly benefit: $1,280
2. ARKANSAS | Retired/survivors: 76,600 | Average monthly benefit: $1,182 | (Photo: AP)
1. WASHINGTON, DC | Retired/survivors: 64,100 | Average monthly benefit: $1,176

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(Related: 10 States With the Most Social Security Recipients)

Social Security is a primary source of income for millions of Americans and a contributor to the national economy, which is why proposals to reduce benefits would harm not only beneficiaries and their families but also the economy, according to Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., the ranking member of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

Democrats on the committee recently released a report:  Social Security: A Promise to American Workers and Families, which highlights the program’s benefits for retired Americans, their survivors and families and for disabled Americans through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.

“Social Security in many ways is one of the foundations of the American middle class,” Heinrich said in a statement. “We must ensure that our seniors are able to retire with dignity and that American families are able to have peace of mind when it comes to retirement.” Without Social Security the poverty rate among American seniors would be four times as high, according to the report.

In the gallery above are the 10 states with the fewest Social Security recipients and their average monthly benefit. With the exception of Arkansas and Washington, D.C., they are among the least populous states in the union and roughly 15% or more of their residents are collecting Social Security retirement benefits.

At one end of that continuum is Arkansas, where only 2.5% of the population is collecting Social Security retirement benefits; at the other end is Vermont, where 18% of residents are on Social Security, according to our calculations based on data from the JEC Democrats report and the Census Bureau.

— Check out 10 States Whose Residents Pay the Most Federal Taxes on ThinkAdvisor.