Special Report

States Where Alzheimer's Is Soaring

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34. Nebraska (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 14.3%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.2% (19th highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 15.0% (13th lowest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $23,003 (15th lowest)

The total number of those in Nebraska aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase from 35,000 in 2020 to 40,000 in 2025, an increase of 14.3%. The Alzheimer’s Association’s projections are based on projected population growth of residents who are 65 or older. Just 15% of residents are 65 or older, compared with 15.2% of Americans overall.

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34. Pennsylvania (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 14.3%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.6% (17th highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 17.4% (7th highest)
> Avg. retirement income: $22,799 (10th lowest)

In Pennsylvania, 17.4% of residents are 65 and older, and 7.8% are 75 and older — the seventh and third highest percentages among states, respectively. Yet the Alzheimer’s Association projects just a 14.3% increase in the number of adults 65 and older with the disease from 2020 to 2025, well below the projected national increase of around 22%.

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33. Alabama
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 14.6%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.2% (18th highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 16.1% (20th highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $24,162 (22nd lowest)

The number of Alzheimer’s disease cases within the older population in Alabama is projected to increase by 14.6% from 2020 to 2025, from 96,000 to 110,000. Alabama reported more Alzheimer’s deaths per capita than any other state in 2018, the most recent year for which data was available. The state reported 53.5 Alzheimer’s-related deaths per 100,000 residents, compared with 37.3 deaths per 100,000 Americans.

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32. Kentucky
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 14.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 10.8% (6th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 15.6% (25th lowest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $23,190 (16th lowest)

A relatively low percentage of Kentucky residents ages 65 and older, 10.8%, have Alzheimer’s disease — a lower share than in all but five other states. The total number of Kentuckians 65 and older is projected to grow from 75,000 to 86,000 from 2020 to 2025, a 14.7% increase. For context, the number of older Americans with Alzheimer’s is projected to grow by 22% during that time.

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31. Massachusetts
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 15.4%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.1% (23rd highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 15.8% (23rd highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $29,441 (11th highest)

Massachusetts is projected to have a 15.4% increase in the number of residents 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease from 2020 to 2025, growing from 130,000 people to 150,000. For context, the U.S. overall is projected to have a 22% increase. Massachusetts reported 26.4 Alzheimer’s-related deaths per 100,000 residents, the fifth lowest Alzheimer’s mortality rate among all states. Nationwide, the Alzheimer’s mortality rate was 37.3 per 100,000.

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