Special Report

States Where Alzheimer's Is Soaring

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30. Arkansas
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 15.5%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.9% (24th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 16.3% (16th highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $20,903 (3rd lowest)

The number of Arkansas residents ages 65 and older with Alzheimer’s is projected to increase from approximately 58,000 in 2020 to 67,000 in 2025, a 15.5% increase. This is well below the projected 22% increase nationwide. Older Arkansas residents with Alzheimer’s may struggle to afford care as the state’s average retirement income of $20,903 is the third lowest among all states.

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29. Michigan
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 15.8%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.7% (22nd lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 16.3% (16th highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $23,305 (17th lowest)

The number of Alzheimer’s cases in older Michigan residents is projected to increase by 15.8% in the next five years, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. This is well below the projected 22% increase nationwide. In Michigan, 16.3% of residents are in the main risk group for developing Alzheimer’s disease — those aged 65 and older. Comparatively, 15.2% of Americans are at least 65 years old.

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26. Washington (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 16.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.2% (9th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 14.7% (11th lowest)
> Avg. retirement income: $27,338 (18th highest)

Washington is one of three states, along with North Carolina and Washington, in which the total number of residents ages 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase by 16.7%. Though this ranks toward the middle of all states, it is well below the projected nationwide increase of 22%.

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26. North Carolina (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 16.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.5% (18th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 15.5% (22nd lowest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $23,813 (20th lowest)

The number of older North Carolina residents with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase from 180,000 in 2020 to 210,000 in 2025 — a 16.7% increase. Of all North Carolinians age 65 and older, 11.5% have Alzheimer’s disease. Though this is a lower percentage than in the majority of states, Alzheimer’s deaths are still more common than in most states. North Carolina reported 43.3 Alzheimer’s-related deaths per 100,000 residents, compared with 37.3 deaths per 100,000 people across the U.S. overall.

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26. Tennessee (tied)
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 16.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.5% (20th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 15.7% (25th highest)
> Avg. retirement income: $22,921 (11th lowest)

The total number of Alzheimer’s disease cases among Tennessee residents 65 and older is projected to increase from 120,000 to 140,000 by 2025 — a 16.7% increase. Despite the fact that a relatively low share of older Tennessee residents have Alzheimer’s, at 11.5%, the state is tied for the fourth highest Alzheimer’s mortality rate among all states. There were 51.5 deaths related to the disease for every 100,000 Tennessee residents in 2018, well above the nationwide mortality rate of 37.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

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