2015 State Well-Being Rankings for Older Americans
Gallup Healthways December 6, 2016
This report, part of Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series, examines the well-being of Americans ages 55 and older. Nationally, older Americans have significantly higher well-being as compared to their younger counterparts – with older Americans achieving a Well-Being Index score of 63.6 in 2015, 3 points higher than those under 55.
There’s plenty of good news for older Americans, as they thrive at significantly higher rates across all five elements of well-being as compared to those under 55 (see table below). Older Americans do particularly well in financial well-being where they thrive at a rate of 53%, compared to 33% for those who are younger. Older Americans express satisfaction with their standard of living, worry less about money, and say they have enough money to do what they want to do – all at higher rates than those younger than 55.
Older Americans also report higher rates of having health insurance and a personal doctor than younger people, and they eat more fresh produce, smoke less, and have less worry and stress than their younger counterparts. While incidence of obesity and depression spike from age 55 to 64, those age 65 and over report a decreasing incidence of both conditions. Additionally, purpose and social well-being are particularly strong across all aspects for older Americans, accelerating at age 60 and 65, respectively.
In terms of state rankings, Hawaii retained its leadership position in 2015 as the number one well-being state for older Americans, while West Virginia ranks last for the second consecutive year. Hawaii achieves a 67.0 Well-Being Index score for its older population and is 1.8 points higher than Arizona, New Hampshire and North Dakota who rank second, third and fourth, respectively. Hawaii leads the nation in purpose, community and physical well-being; while Arizona leads for social well-being, and North Dakota leads in financial. Newcomers to the highest 10 states for well-being in older Americans are Arizona, North Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin; while North Dakota recorded the largest positive movement in ranking since 2014, moving from the 31st position to fourth.
At the other end of our rankings list, there was much consistency, with West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio and Indiana remaining the lowest five well-being states for older Americans in 2015. New Mexico and Vermont had the largest year-over-year decline in well-being for older Americans, moving down 19 and 17 places, respectively….
read … 2015 State Well-Being Rankings for Older Americans