The Worst States to Grow Old In
> Pct. of pop. age 65 and up: 12.0% (3rd lowest)
> 65 and over poverty rate: 10.5% (7th highest)
> 65 and over bachelor’s deg. attainment: 25.8% (24th lowest)
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.5 years (19th lowest)
In Texas, just 43.3% of households led by residents 65 and over receive retirement income other than Social Security, the sixth smallest share of any state. While the typical senior-led state household earns about as much as the typical elderly household nationwide, the lack of supplemental income for some seniors in the state may pose significant financial difficulty. Some 10.5% of Texas residents 65 and over live in poverty, the seventh largest share of any state.
Texas also has worse access to health care and worse health outcomes than most of the country. Some 31.1% of state adults do not have a personal doctor, the largest share of any state other than Alaska. Also, an estimated 38.7% of seniors in Texas have a disability, and the life expectancy in the state is 78.5 years — each worse than the corresponding national figures.
> Pct. of pop. age 65 and up: 15.0% (15th lowest)
> 65 and over poverty rate: 7.7% (12th lowest)
> 65 and over bachelor’s deg. attainment: 19.8% (4th lowest)
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.7 years (11th lowest)
Just 19.8% of adults 65 and over in Indiana have a bachelor’s degree, far less than the 26.7% of seniors nationwide and the fourth smallest share of any state. College attainment is heavily correlated with income, particularly later in life, and the typical senior-led state household earns $39,568 a year, less than the $42,113 national figure. While incomes are low, 53.2% of senior households receive some form of retirement income other than Social Security — the 10th largest share of any state — which may help keep some elderly residents out of serious financial hardship. Just 7.7% of seniors in Indiana live in poverty, less than the 9.2% national share and one of the smaller shares nationwide.
38. New Mexico
> Pct. of pop. age 65 and up: 16.4% (14th highest)
> 65 and over poverty rate: 11.5% (3rd highest)
> 65 and over bachelor’s deg. attainment: 30.2% (12th highest)
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.4 years (17th lowest)
New Mexico is one of just four states in which the senior college attainment rate exceeds the college attainment rate of the state’s general population. Some 30.2% of residents 65 and over in New Mexico have a bachelor’s degree, one of the largest shares of any state and more than the 27.2% college attainment rate for all of New Mexico adults. While a college degree can lead to a high-paying job and help secure a high income throughout life, the typical senior-led household in the state earns $39,454 a year, less than the $42,113 median among residents 65 and over nationwide. Just 48.3% of senior households in the state receive retirement income other than Social Security, which may put some elderly residents at risk of serious financial hardship. Some 11.5% of seniors in the state live in poverty, the third largest share of any state.
> Pct. of pop. age 65 and up: 17.0% (8th highest)
> 65 and over poverty rate: 8.9% (20th highest)
> 65 and over bachelor’s deg. attainment: 29.5% (15th highest)
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.2 years (the highest)
A popular destination for retirees, Hawaii has one of the larger elderly populations of any state relative to its size. Some 17.0% of the state population is over the age of 65, the eighth largest share in the country. While Hawaii is one of the wealthier states in the country — the typical senior-led household earns $63,229 a year, the most of any state — it is also the most expensive. Hawaii is located approximately 2,500 miles from the U.S. mainland, which can increase the cost of importing goods to the islands. Goods and services in the state are 19% more expensive than they are on average nationwide, the highest cost of living of any state.
> Pct. of pop. age 65 and up: 15.0% (17th lowest)
> 65 and over poverty rate: 8.7% (23rd highest)
> 65 and over bachelor’s deg. attainment: 25.5% (23rd lowest)
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.1 years (15th lowest)
While Nevada is one of the few states in which educational attainment among seniors exceeds that of the state’s general population, it is still low compared to the rest of the country. Some 25.5% of state residents age 65 and over have a bachelor’s degree, less than the 26.7% of seniors nationwide. While Nevada seniors are less likely to have a college education than the average elderly American, they are more likely to earn higher incomes. The typical state household headed by a resident 65 and over earns $43,947 a year, more than the $42,113 national figure.
Violent crime can have a negative impact on well-being for all residents, regardless of age, and in Nevada crime is high. There were 678 violent crimes per 100,000 state residents in 2016, the third most of any state.