About the Senior Report

Highlights

Find out how state's seniors rank in obesity, physical inactivity, food insecurity and poverty and see the ranks for overall senior health. Use dropdown menus to narrow or expand information.

State Rankings Obesity Physical Inactivity Food Insecurity Poverty

Overall Senior State Rankings

See how states stack up on overall senior health. Click on states or use dropdown menu to get more information on each state.

Obesity

Explore data on one of the greatest health threats in the US, affecting more than 1 in 4 seniors.

USA Obesity - Senior (2013-2014) see more
  • Percentage of adults aged 65 and older estimated to be obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.

Physical Inactivity

As a nation, we need to get up and get moving. Regular exercise is integral to a healthy lifestyle and healthy aging.

USA Physical Inactivity - Senior (2013-2014) see more
  • Percentage of adults aged 65 and older with fair or better health status who report doing no physical activity or exercise (such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening or walking) other than their regular job in the last 30 days.

Food Insecurity

Older adults are at an increased risk of hunger due to lack of income and transportation, functional limitations, or health related issues.

USA Food Insecurity (2013-2014) see more
  • Percentage of adults aged 60 and older who are marginally food insecure.

Poverty

Poverty directly influences the ability to meet basic needs, including access to health care, availability of healthy foods, and choices for physical activity.

USA Poverty - Senior (2013-2014) see more
  • Percentage of adults aged 65 and older who live in households at or below 100 percent of the poverty threshold.

Health Disparities

2014 Senior Health Disparities  

For a population to be healthy, it must minimize health inequities among segments of the population, including differences that occur by gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation.

The statewide measures used in America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report reflect the condition of the “average” older adult and can mask differences within the state. When the measures are examined by race/ethnicity, gender, geographic location, and/or economic status, startling differences can emerge that are important for states to recognize.

The Senior Report does not contain an explicit health disparity measure. Instead, a few individual measures are examined by race/ethnicity, gender, urbanicity, education, and income to illustrate variation within states. Obesity, physical inactivity, and health status were examined in this Edition.

Prevalences were not calculated for all race/ethnicity groups in states with small populations of specific race/ethnicities. Race/ethnicity groups with less than 100 observations were excluded.

For the United States, the prevalences of obesity, physical inactivity, and health status by gender, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, education, and income are shown in Table 1. For obesity and physical inactivity, a lower rate is better. For health status, a higher rate is better. View differences in obesity, physical inactivity, health status, and social support in each state. New data for social support was not available, so the data is the same as in the 2013 Edition.

Table 1. Prevalences of Obesity, Physical Inactivity, and Health Status by Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Urbanicity, Education, and Income Among Adults Aged 65 and Older

 

Obesity (%)

Physical Inactivity (%)

Health Status (%)

Gender

Male

26.2

27.2

39.3

Female

25.5

34.3

40.4

 Race/ethnicity

White

24.9

30.4

43.3

Black

35.5

37.7

26.2

Hispanic

30.2

34.5

23.3

Asian

7.6

19.8

36.0

Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander

20.0

22.7

36.1

American Indian/ Alaskan Native

32.7

40.6

26.6

Urbanicity

Urban residents

24.5

29.4

40.3

Suburban residents

25.6

30.1

41.8

Non-MSA residents (rural)

27.1

35.4

36.5

Education

Less than high school

32.2

45.4

19.7

High school

26.4

36.3

36.2

Some college

25.6

27.4

44.8

College graduate

20.4

16.8

55.9

Income      

Less than $25,000

29.6

41.1

26.4

$25,000 to less than $50,000

26.5

29.4

40.7

$50,000 to less than $75,000

25.4

21.8

50.7

$75,000 or more

21.0

16.5

62.0

Note: All persons of Hispanic ethnicity are included in the Hispanic category regardless of race and are not included as part of individual race categories. See Methodology for a description of how groups were defined and selected.

Obesity among non-Hispanic Asian seniors (7.6 percent) is dramatically lower than non-Hispanic black seniors (35.5 percent), non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native seniors (32.7 percent), Hispanic seniors (30.2 percent), and non-Hispanic white seniors (24.9 percent). If obesity is viewed through an educational attainment lens, fewer older adults with a college degree are obese (20.4 percent) than those with less than a high school degree (32.2 percent). There is also an 8.6 percent difference in obesity rates between seniors in the highest and lowest income groups.

The largest gap in physical inactivity is between older adults with less than a high school degree (45.4 percent inactive) and those with a college degree (16.8 percent inactive). The racial differences in physical inactivity among seniors mirror the racial differences in obesity among seniors.

The outcomes measure, health status, is strongly divided along income lines. Over 60 percent of older adults in the highest income group indicate that their health is very good or excellent. In contrast, slightly more than one-quarter of seniors in the lowest income group report that their health is very good or excellent. A similar gap is visible between seniors in the highest and lowest educational attainment groups.

Tables 2-5 show the 2 subgroups with the largest differences in obesity, physical inactivity, health status, and social support within each state. This illustrates the unique situation each state faces in addressing health, and the need to focus on certain segments of the population in which health inequities are largest. For example, in Alabama the largest disparity in obesity (Table 2) is between non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks. In Colorado, the largest difference in obesity is between college graduates and those without a high school education.

 

Obesity Physical Inactivity Health Status Social Support

Table 2. Groups with Greatest Disparity in Obesity Prevalence in Adults Aged 65 and Older, by State

 

Lowest Prevalence

 

Highest Prevalence

   
 

Group

Rate (%)

Group

Rate (%)

Gap (%)

Alabama

White

25.3

Black

35.0

9.8

Alaska

Female

22.9

Male

30.6

7.7

Arizona

High school graduate

19.9

Less than HS graduate

37.8

17.9

Arkansas

$50,000 to <$75,000 income

15.5

Less than $25,000 income

29.9

14.4

California

Asian

8.2

Black

32.0

23.8

Colorado

College graduate

15.0

Less than HS graduate

30.1

15.1

Connecticut

College graduate

18.7

Less than HS graduate

37.9

19.2

Delaware

White

24.1

Black

39.1

15.0

Florida

White

21.1

Black

32.8

11.8

Georgia

White

23.7

Black

33.2

9.5

Hawaii

Asian

7.8

White

19.7

11.9

Idaho

College graduate

19.6

Less than HS graduate

34.2

14.5

Illinois

More than $75,000 income

25.8

$50,000 to <$75,000 income

34.4

8.5

Indiana

College graduate

25.2

Some college

34.8

9.6

Iowa

College graduate

21.6

High school graduate

32.7

11.1

Kansas

White

25.7

Black

34.7

9.0

Kentucky

White

28.4

Black

43.8

15.4

Louisiana

White

26.4

Black

45.0

18.6

Maine

College graduate

17.1

Less than HS graduate

33.2

16.1

Maryland

College graduate

20.5

Less than HS graduate

33.3

12.8

Massachusetts

White

21.5

Black

44.3

22.8

Michigan

White

28.3

Black

41.1

12.8

Minnesota

College graduate

21.1

Less than HS graduate

32.8

11.7

Mississippi

White

26.2

Black

39.9

13.6

Missouri

More than $75,000 income

17.6

Less than $25,000 income

34.5

16.9

Montana

White

22.0

American Indian / Alaska Native

40.4

18.4

Nebraska

College graduate

22.8

Some college

28.9

6.0

Nevada

College graduate

14.9

Less than HS graduate

39.2

24.3

New Hampshire

College graduate

21.7

Less than HS graduate

33.3

11.6

New Jersey

College graduate

19.4

Less than HS graduate

41.5

22.1

New Mexico

College graduate

15.6

Less than HS graduate

29.0

13.4

New York

College graduate

17.7

Less than HS graduate

46.5

28.8

North Carolina

White

24.0

Black

36.4

12.3

North Dakota

College graduate

17.0

Less than HS graduate

35.6

18.6

Ohio

College graduate

24.3

Some college

31.0

6.6

Oklahoma

White

26.5

American Indian / Alaska Native

34.6

8.1

Oregon

College graduate

18.1

Less than HS graduate

39.1

21.0

Pennsylvania

College graduate

21.2

Less than HS graduate

33.0

11.8

Rhode Island

More than $75,000 income

17.1

$25,000 to <$50,000 income

30.2

13.1

South Carolina

College graduate

18.8

Less than HS graduate

37.4

18.7

South Dakota

$50,000 to <$75,000 income

23.4

More than $75,000 income

38.5

15.1

Tennessee

College graduate

20.2

Less than HS graduate

29.2

9.0

Texas

White

23.8

Hispanic

37.0

13.1

Utah

More than $75,000 income

23.3

$25,000 to <$50,000 income

28.6

5.3

Vermont

College graduate

18.3

Less than HS graduate

31.7

13.4

Virginia

College graduate

18.0

Less than HS graduate

34.9

16.9

Washington

College graduate

20.4

Less than HS graduate

32.6

12.1

West Virginia

College graduate

21.5

Some college

31.9

10.4

Wisconsin

More than $75,000 income

21.8

$50,000 to <$75,000 income

39.7

17.9

Wyoming

$50,000 to <$75,000 income

16.9

Less than $25,000 income

22.3

5.4

United States

Asian

7.6

Black

35.5

27.9

District of Columbia

White

11.5

Black

24.8

13.3

 

Note: All persons of Hispanic ethnicity are included in the Hispanic category regardless of race and are not included as part of individual race categories. See Methodology for a description of how groups were defined and selected. 

Table 3. Groups with Greatest Disparity in Physical Inactivity Prevalence in Adults Aged 65 and Older, by State

 

 

Lowest Prevalence

 

Highest Prevalence

   
 

Group

Rate (%)

Group

Rate (%)

Gap (%)

Alabama

More than $75,000 income

15.6

Less than $25,000 income

38.4

22.8

Alaska

More than $75,000 income

11.2

Less than $25,000 income

40.2

28.9

Arizona

College graduate

18.1

Less than HS graduate

46.1

28.0

Arkansas

College graduate

22.4

Less than HS graduate

51.9

29.5

California

College graduate

13.8

Less than HS graduate

32.2

18.4

Colorado

College graduate

11.7

Less than HS graduate

37.5

25.8

Connecticut

College graduate

16.5

Less than HS graduate

50.1

33.5

Delaware

More than $75,000 income

18.5

Less than $25,000 income

48.7

30.2

Florida

College graduate

15.1

Less than HS graduate

44.7

29.6

Georgia

College graduate

17.5

Less than HS graduate

45.1

27.5

Hawaii

College graduate

16.0

Less than HS graduate

50.2

34.2

Idaho

College graduate

17.1

Less than HS graduate

47.0

29.9

Illinois

More than $75,000 income

21.9

Less than $25,000 income

42.3

20.3

Indiana

College graduate

21.2

Less than HS graduate

48.7

27.6

Iowa

College graduate

18.2

Less than HS graduate

47.7

29.5

Kansas

College graduate

17.6

Less than HS graduate

48.0

30.5

Kentucky

College graduate

23.0

Less than HS graduate

54.2

31.1

Louisiana

More than $75,000 income

18.8

Less than $25,000 income

43.6

24.7

Maine

College graduate

16.2

Less than HS graduate

53.1

36.8

Maryland

College graduate

19.6

Less than HS graduate

49.9

30.2

Massachusetts

College graduate

16.1

Less than HS graduate

41.3

25.1

Michigan

College graduate

15.6

Less than HS graduate

44.7

29.1

Minnesota

College graduate

16.4

Less than HS graduate

41.8

25.4

Mississippi

College graduate

21.6

Less than HS graduate

48.7

27.1

Missouri

College graduate

13.4

Less than HS graduate

42.8

29.4

Montana

College graduate

18.9

Less than HS graduate

48.4

29.5

Nebraska

College graduate

18.6

Less than HS graduate

43.5

24.8

Nevada

College graduate

18.9

Less than HS graduate

54.3

35.3

New Hampshire

College graduate

15.9

Less than HS graduate

51.2

35.3

New Jersey

College graduate

21.2

Less than HS graduate

52.0

30.8

New Mexico

College graduate

16.4

Less than HS graduate

47.0

30.6

New York

College graduate

19.3

Less than HS graduate

50.1

30.8

North Carolina

College graduate

18.0

Less than HS graduate

44.8

26.8

North Dakota

College graduate

23.7

Less than HS graduate

36.7

12.9

Ohio

College graduate

18.5

Less than HS graduate

50.1

31.6

Oklahoma

College graduate

24.5

Less than HS graduate

52.1

27.5

Oregon

College graduate

11.7

Less than HS graduate

48.8

37.1

Pennsylvania

College graduate

17.0

Less than HS graduate

50.7

33.7

Rhode Island

College graduate

15.4

Less than HS graduate

51.5

36.1

South Carolina

College graduate

14.6

Less than HS graduate

45.7

31.1

South Dakota

College graduate

20.8

Less than HS graduate

47.2

26.4

Tennessee

College graduate

20.2

Less than HS graduate

52.6

32.4

Texas

College graduate

13.7

Less than HS graduate

45.3

31.5

Utah

College graduate

17.2

Less than HS graduate

49.9

32.7

Vermont

College graduate

14.2

Less than HS graduate

44.1

29.9

Virginia

College graduate

14.8

Less than HS graduate

44.1

29.3

Washington

College graduate

16.2

Less than HS graduate

44.5

28.4

West Virginia

College graduate

18.3

Less than HS graduate

48.7

30.5

Wisconsin

College graduate

16.3

Less than HS graduate

50.2

33.9

Wyoming

More than $75,000 income

19.2

Less than $25,000 income

42.5

23.3

United States

College graduate

16.8

Less than HS graduate

45.4

28.6

District of Columbia

College graduate

15.8

Less than HS graduate

53.6

37.8

 

 

Note: All persons of Hispanic ethnicity are included in the Hispanic category regardless of race and are not included as part of individual race categories. See Methodology for a description of how groups were defined and selected. 

Table 4. Groups with Greatest Disparity in Excellent or Very Good Health Status Prevalence in Adults Aged 65 and Older, by State

 

Highest Prevalence

 

Lowest Prevalence

   
 

Group

Rate (%)

Group

Rate (%)

Gap (%)

Alabama

College graduate

49.6

Less than HS graduate

17.3

32.4

Alaska

More than $75,000 Income

58.5

Less than $25,000 Income

31.0

27.5

Arizona

More than $75,000 Income

67.4

Less than $25,000 Income

33.4

34.0

Arkansas

College graduate

45.7

Less than HS graduate

13.7

32.0

California

More than $75,000 Income

66.9

Less than $25,000 Income

27.7

39.2

Colorado

College graduate

60.8

Less than HS graduate

22.9

37.9

Connecticut

College graduate

62.3

Less than HS graduate

14.5

47.8

Delaware

College graduate

55.4

Less than HS graduate

16.2

39.2

Florida

College graduate

60.1

Less than HS graduate

14.5

45.6

Georgia

More than $75,000 Income

56.7

Less than $25,000 Income

22.5

34.2

Hawaii

College graduate

52.0

Less than HS graduate

23.9

28.1

Idaho

College graduate

56.9

Less than HS graduate

13.2

43.8

Illinois

More than $75,000 Income

64.0

Less than $25,000 Income

25.2

38.7

Indiana

More than $75,000 Income

62.7

Less than $25,000 Income

25.5

37.2

Iowa

College graduate

53.6

Less than HS graduate

23.4

30.1

Kansas

College graduate

57.3

Less than HS graduate

20.9

36.4

Kentucky

More than $75,000 Income

51.2

Less than $25,000 Income

19.3

31.9

Louisiana

College graduate

48.3

Less than HS graduate

16.2

32.0

Maine

College graduate

64.2

Less than HS graduate

25.5

38.7

Maryland

College graduate

56.2

Less than HS graduate

18.2

38.0

Massachusetts

College graduate

60.9

Less than HS graduate

25.1

35.8

Michigan

More than $75,000 Income

62.7

Less than $25,000 Income

31.6

31.2

Minnesota

College graduate

59.2

Less than HS graduate

25.2

34.0

Mississippi

$50,000 to $75,000 Income

48.5

Less than $25,000 Income

20.8

27.7

Missouri

More than $75,000 Income

55.9

Less than $25,000 Income

26.0

29.8

Montana

College graduate

63.2

Less than HS graduate

22.4

40.8

Nebraska

College graduate

57.7

Less than HS graduate

23.9

33.8

Nevada

More than $75,000 Income

63.6

Less than $25,000 Income

31.8

31.7

New Hampshire

College graduate

63.1

Less than HS graduate

22.7

40.4

New Jersey

More than $75,000 Income

56.4

Less than $25,000 Income

25.3

31.1

New Mexico

College graduate

57.2

Less than HS graduate

11.3

45.9

New York

College graduate

53.7

Less than HS graduate

18.2

35.5

North Carolina

College graduate

58.4

Less than HS graduate

15.4

43.0

North Dakota

College graduate

56.4

Less than HS graduate

20.3

36.1

Ohio

More than $75,000 Income

61.7

Less than $25,000 Income

25.7

35.9

Oklahoma

More than $75,000 Income

57.7

Less than $25,000 Income

23.8

33.9

Oregon

College graduate

59.1

Less than HS graduate

28.7

30.4

Pennsylvania

More than $75,000 Income

66.5

Less than $25,000 Income

26.8

39.7

Rhode Island

College graduate

61.8

Less than HS graduate

28.9

32.8

South Carolina

More than $75,000 Income

62.5

Less than $25,000 Income

20.9

41.5

South Dakota

More than $75,000 Income

64.4

Less than $25,000 Income

23.6

40.8

Tennessee

More than $75,000 Income

60.7

Less than $25,000 Income

20.5

40.3

Texas

More than $75,000 Income

59.1

Less than $25,000 Income

23.4

35.7

Utah

College graduate

52.6

Less than HS graduate

26.6

26.0

Vermont

College graduate

65.1

Less than HS graduate

31.7

33.5

Virginia

More than $75,000 Income

60.3

Less than $25,000 Income

31.2

29.1

Washington

College graduate

58.8

Less than HS graduate

20.7

38.1

West Virginia

More than $75,000 Income

64.5

Less than $25,000 Income

21.0

43.5

Wisconsin

More than $75,000 Income

72.1

Less than $25,000 Income

30.9

41.2

Wyoming

College graduate

58.5

Less than HS graduate

21.9

36.6

United States

College graduate

55.9

Less than HS graduate

19.7

36.2

District of Columbia

College graduate

60.3

Less than HS graduate

20.2

40.1

 

Note: All persons of Hispanic ethnicity are included in the Hispanic category regardless of race and are not included as part of individual race categories. See Methodology for a description of how groups were defined and selected. 

Table 5. Groups with Greatest Disparity in Social Support Percentage in Adults Aged 65 and older, by State

 

Highest Social Support

Lowest Social Support

 

Group

Rate

Group

Rate

Alabama

College graduate

91.0%

Less than HS graduate

63.4%

Alaska

Female

87.3%

Male

71.0%

Arizona

College graduate

87.7%

Less than HS graduate

52.6%

Arkansas

White

83.7%

Black

58.6%

California

White

84.1%

Asian

51.6%

Colorado

College graduate

87.7%

Less than HS graduate

61.5%

Connecticut

College graduate

87.9%

Less than HS graduate

50.6%

Delaware

More than $75,000 income

95.3%

Less than $25,000 income

76.5%

Florida

College graduate

85.6%

Less than HS graduate

58.6%

Georgia

College graduate

91.3%

Less than HS graduate

66.2%

Hawaii

College graduate

79.5%

Less than HS graduate

49.9%

Idaho

College graduate

92.1%

Less than HS graduate

70.5%

Illinois

College graduate

86.5%

Less than HS graduate

57.4%

Indiana

College graduate

88.3%

Less than HS graduate

64.2%

Iowa

College graduate

90.5%

Less than HS graduate

67.1%

Kansas

College graduate

90.2%

Less than HS graduate

69.9%

Kentucky

College graduate

89.9%

Less than HS graduate

66.3%

Louisiana

$50,000 to $75,000 income

89.7%

Less than $25,000 income

69.8%

Maine

College graduate

91.9%

Less than HS graduate

62.0%

Maryland

More than $75,000 income

89.7%

Less than $25,000 income

66.1%

Massachusetts

More than $75,000 income

92.3%

Less than $25,000 income

65.2%

Michigan

College graduate

85.4%

Less than HS graduate

62.9%

Minnesota

College graduate

92.0%

Less than HS graduate

69.0%

Mississippi

More than $75,000 income

96.3%

Less than $25,000 income

69.1%

Missouri

College graduate

90.6%

Less than HS graduate

66.2%

Montana

White

80.3%

American Indian / Alaska Native

57.3%

Nebraska

College graduate

87.6%

Less than HS graduate

59.3%

Nevada

Some college

83.8%

Less than HS graduate

56.7%

New Hampshire

College graduate

85.6%

Less than HS graduate

57.2%

New Jersey

College graduate

85.9%

Less than HS graduate

68.0%

New Mexico

College graduate

88.6%

Less than HS graduate

63.8%

New York

College graduate

83.1%

Less than HS graduate

55.0%

North Carolina

More than $75,000 income

95.4%

Less than $25,000 income

72.8%

North Dakota

College graduate

91.0%

Less than HS graduate

59.7%

Ohio

College graduate

85.5%

Less than HS graduate

58.2%

Oklahoma

White

83.2%

Black

63.5%

Oregon

College graduate

91.6%

Less than HS graduate

71.8%

Pennsylvania

College graduate

87.0%

Less than HS graduate

65.3%

Rhode Island

College graduate

84.5%

Less than HS graduate

57.6%

South Carolina

College graduate

87.3%

Less than HS graduate

52.0%

South Dakota

White

81.8%

American Indian / Alaska Native

58.7%

Tennessee

College graduate

91.1%

Less than HS graduate

73.4%

Texas

College graduate

87.7%

Less than HS graduate

57.4%

Utah

College graduate

89.7%

Less than HS graduate

62.0%

Vermont

College graduate

89.3%

Less than HS graduate

64.3%

Virginia

College graduate

90.7%

Less than HS graduate

63.2%

Washington

College graduate

89.4%

Less than HS graduate

68.9%

West Virginia

Some college

89.2%

Less than HS graduate

76.7%

Wisconsin

College graduate

91.4%

Less than HS graduate

53.3%

Wyoming

College graduate

89.9%

Less than HS graduate

60.5%

United States

White

82.5%

Asian

55.3%

District of Columbia

More than $75,000 income

89.5%

Less than $25,000 income

54.5%

Note:  See Methodology for a description of how groups are defined and selected.  All persons of Hispanic ethnicity are included in the Hispanics category regardless of race and are not included as part of individual race categories.

Downloads

Click on each listing to download a viewable and printable file of the report or presentation.

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Senior Report downloads

Senior Report, Americas Health Rankings, 2013
America's Health Rankings, 2013 Senior Report released May 2013

2014 Commentary- Greenlee
Measuring Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation: The Role of the Health Care Community. Kathy Greenlee, Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration for Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services

AHR Senior Report 2014
The Full 2014 Americas Health Rankings Senior report

AHR 2014 Senior Report EnEspanol
Spanish language version of the 2014 Americas Health Rankings report.