Special Report

States Where Alzheimer's Is Soaring

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10. Utah
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 23.5%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 10.6% (3rd lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 10.5% (the lowest)
> Avg. retirement income: $27,990 (16th highest)

Utah has 34,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Partially because the state’s population of 65 and over is projected to grow by about 30% by 2030 to almost 17.0% of the population, Alzheimer’s cases in Utah are expected to grow by almost a quarter, a rate of increase trailing just nine other states. The total Medicaid payments for Utah residents aged 65 and older living with the condition are expected to grow by 27.0% between 2020 and 2025, the seventh largest increase in the country, according to Alzheimer’s Association data.

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9. Florida
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 24.1%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 14.3% (the highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 19.7% (the highest)
> Avg. retirement income: $28,018 (15th highest)

Florida has the largest share of elderly population of all states — nearly one in every five residents are 65 or older. Almost 9.0% of the population is 75 and older, also the largest share of all states. As the state’s older population continues to age, the risk of Alzheimer’s, which increases with age, will also inevitably increase. The number of people with the disease is projected to increase by almost a quarter between 2020 and 2025 from 580,000 to 720,000.

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8. South Carolina
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 26.3%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.5% (19th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 16.7% (10th highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $24,823 (25th lowest)

South Carolina has the fourth highest Alzheimer’s death rate in the United States, at 51.5 deaths per 100,000 people, or a total of 2,616 deaths in 2018. About 830,000 people in the state are 65 and older, or 16.7% of the state’s population, one of the highest shares. About 11.5% of the older adult population lived with Alzheimer’s in 2020. The Alzheimer’s Association projects the number of 65 and over residents with the disease will increase by more than a quarter by 2025.

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6. Georgia (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 26.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.1% (8th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 13.1% (4th lowest)
> Avg. retirement income: $26,495 (21st highest)

Though the share of Georgia’s population aged 65 and over is relatively low, the proportion of state residents 60 and older is growing faster than any other age group of the population, according to the U.S. Census. By 2030, one in five residents will be 60 or older. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease in Georgia is projected to increase by 26.7%, more than all but six states, from 150,000 in 2020 to 190,000 in 2025. In 2018, the disease was the fifth-leading cause of death among residents of all ages in the state.

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6. Virginia (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 26.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.2% (21st highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 14.6% (8th lowest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $32,409 (3rd highest)

Age increases the risk of developing the condition — the risk doubles every five years after 65. That may partially explain why the incidence of Alzheimer’s in Virginia is expected to increase by 26.7% by 2025, a higher rate than in most states and higher than the national projected increase of 22.0%. The state’s share of residents who are 65 and older is expected to increase to 19% by 2030, according to the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

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