Senior Health Report 2019

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2017 there were nearly 51 million adults aged 65 years and older living in the U.S., a 45 percent increase from 35 million in 2000. It is important to monitor the health trends in this growing population to help identify priorities and take action to improve the health and well-being of seniors, who accounted for an estimated 15.6 percent of the U.S. population in 2017.

The 2019 America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report provides a comprehensive look at the health of seniors across the nation and on a state-by-state basis. Thirty-four core measures of health are used to create the senior health state rankings. Supplemental measures, such as risk of social isolation, are also available on the website to highlight current and emerging
issues affecting seniors. This year, a new supplemental measure, called “avoided care due to cost”, was added to address affordability of health care services and unmet medical needs due to cost.

The 2018 senior report focused on disparities in health behaviors and outcomes across rural, suburban and urban areas. The 2019 report brings special attention to disparities by gender across measures of mental health and unhealthy behaviors. In addition, this year’s report and website allow users to examine national and state differences in many measures by race/ethnicity, urbanicity, education and income. Data at this level often reveal differences between groups that national or state aggregate data mask.