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October 11, 2017

The best (and worst) states for aging, according to US News

Daily Briefing

    Colorado is the "best state for aging," according to a U.S. News & World Report ranking released Wednesday.

    How US News ranked states

    For the ranking, U.S. News used data from several sources—such as CDC and the Kaiser Family Foundation—to evaluate how all 50 states address and prioritize the needs of older individuals across 12 metrics. Those metrics included:

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    • Life expectancy;
    • The cost of care; and
    • The quality of Medicare programs;
    • The quality of nursing homes, and
    • Population health. 

    U.S. News Executive Editor Tim Smart said, "As lifespans lengthen and the baby-boomer generation enters their golden years, communities are figuring out how to address the emergence of a larger elderly population." He added, "In keeping with our mission of providing transparency for the benefit of state leaders, business, and citizens, U.S. News has determined how well states are serving this growing population."

    The highest- and lowest-ranked states

    Based on the criteria, U.S. News determined that the 10 best states for aging are:

    1. Colorado;
    2. Maine;
    3. Hawaii;
    4. Iowa;
    5. South Dakota;
    6. Wisconsin;
    7. Minnesota;
    8. Vermont;
    9. New Hampshire; and
    10. Florida.

    According to U.S. News, Colorado topped the list because the state has a healthy senior population and high-quality nursing homes. Maine and Hawaii came in second and third place, respectively, because both states have strong Medicare programs and high life expectancies for state residents.

    On the other end of the spectrum, U.S. News determined that the 10 worst states for aging are:

    41. Alabama;
    42. Texas;
    43. Tennessee;
    44. Arkansas;
    45. Kentucky;
    46. West Virginia;
    47. Oklahoma;
    48. Mississippi;
    49. Louisiana; and
    50. Alaska (U.S. News & World Report list, accessed 10/11; Leins/Galvin, U.S. News & World Report, 10/11; The Gazette, 10/11).

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