The seniors are all right.
Americans age 55 and older are better off than their younger counterparts, according to a Gallup-Healthways survey of tens of thousands of Americans that was designed to measure well-being. And not only is senior well-being better, but it improves with age along a number of key indicators: Americans progressively enjoy better financial, community and social well-being, the results reveal.
“That holds true across the board when we look at it on a state-by-state level,” says Dan Witters, a research director with Gallup.
Seniors are best off in Hawaii, Montana, South Dakota, Alaska and Iowa. Hawaii’s seniors scored highest on community and physical well-being. Seniors in Nevada led in their sense of purpose, while Florida’s seniors led on social well-being and North Dakota led on financial well-being.
Although six of the 10 states where seniors are best-off are also in the top 10 for Americans of all ages, four states scored high on the senior ranking, but not so high for all ages. Oregon, for instance, ranks eighth for seniors and 27th for all Americans. Iowa, New Hampshire and Connecticut saw smaller gaps. In all instances, though, it’s the strength of senior well-being on the three aforementioned categories — financial, social and community — that helped them stand out.
“What is it about Iowa and New Hampshire and Oregon and Connecticut that gives them a big bump for the 55+ compared to the state population? Generally, you’ll find it for the most part in those three elements where they really get charged for the 55+ compared to everybody else,” Witters says.
The results are based off of nearly 115,000 interviews with seniors conducted from the start of 2014 through the first quarter of this year.