Special Report

The Best (And Worst) States for Older Americans, Ranked

The retirement-age population in the United States is projected to nearly double between 2018 and 2060. For many Americans entering their golden years, living somewhere that is warm — or perhaps closer to family — is a top priority. While preferences like these are by no means trivial, there are parts of the country where conditions for older Americans are objectively better. 

It is important for Americans of all ages to have financial security and access to health care, but these factors take on increasing importance for older Americans. Other such factors include safe streets, availability of social venues, and reliable public transit. Some parts of the country are more likely to have these advantages than others. 

Using data from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of measures related to income, health, education, environment, and access in order to identify the best and worst states for older Americans. 

One of the most important components in our index is income. Older Americans who are struggling financially may be unable to retire at age 65, even though they may want to. As of 2016, the share of Americans between ages 65 and 74 who were still in the labor force was 26.8% — up from 17.5% two decades earlier. Indeed, retirement is expensive and requires careful planning. Here is a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in every state

Another critical component of our index is health. As Americans age, remaining healthy can become increasingly difficult. States with higher life expectancies at age 65 and those where larger shares of older residents have a personal doctor or health care provider ranked better in this index. Many of these states also tend to have healthier populations in general. Here is a look at the healthiest states in America.

Click here to see how every state ranks for older Americans
Click here to read our methodology