Some States Age Better Than Others, Care Needs Trend Accordingly

With older Americans requiring care later in life, a new study shows that where they live could say a lot about how much care they will require—and over what time period. 

Some states perform better than others when it comes to the life expectancy of the 65-plus population, says the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in its new report

The average number of “healthy” years after 65 varies widely across states with some seeing an average of roughly 10 years, and others more than 17 years. 


The defining factors vary, but CDC says some influencers include healthy living environments and behaviors, proper clinical preventative treatments and access to health care services. 

Across states, estimated healthy life expectancy was lowest in the south, with a low of 10.1 years for males and 11.4 years for females in Mississippi versus a high of 15 years and 17.3 years in Hawaii for males and females, respectively. Healthy life expectancy was higher for females versus males in all states. 

Discrepancies among sexes and race were also outlined by the study findings. By race, the CDC estimates show a shorter healthy life expectance after age 65 for blacks than whites, except in Nevada and New Mexico. 


The findings are among the first to collect data on the state level, the CDC writes in its report of the research. The data can be used to predict future care needs of the population. 

“HLE estimates for countries have been used for predicting future health service needs, evaluating health programs, and identifying trends and inequalities, but to date, few studies have reported HLE at the state level for the United States,” the report states. “…These results can be used as a baseline for states to monitor changes in the HLE of persons aged 65 years as they age and identify health disparities among subpopulations.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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