The Morning Brew: Oklahoma a terrible place to grow old, website says
Oklahoma not a great place to grow old, website says
Rankings are everywhere on the internet, from show ponies to potatoes, virtually everything gets ranked in some way these days. And so are things like quality of life. Best place to live. Worst place to live. The website 24/7 Wall St. released its rankings of "Worst States to Grow Old" this week. In what probably shouldn't be a major shock, Oklahoma did not fare well.
The United States was home to 46 million senior citizens as of 2016 — about 15% of the total population. By 2060, the number of Americans 65 and older is projected to more than double to nearly 100 million and comprise roughly 24% of the total population. As the country ages and the number of retirement-age citizens hits all-time highs, the health and well-being of American seniors is more important than ever.
Here is their methodology:
To determine the best and worst states in which to grow old, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed several statewide as well as elderly population-specific data. The data includes income, health, education, and environment and access. We created an index of the various measures for each of these four broad categories. The geometric mean of the four index values was used to rank states.
To construct the indices we used the min-max normalization method. For reference, a similar methodology was used in constructing HelpAge International’s Global AgeWatch Index and the United Nation’s Human Development Index.
24/7 Wall St ranked Oklahoma No. 42:
> Pct. of pop. age 65 and up: 15.0% (16th lowest)
> 65 and over poverty rate: 8.6% (25th highest)
> 65 and over bachelor’s deg. attainment: 22.5% (12th lowest)
> Life expectancy at birth: 76.1 years (5th lowest)
By a number of measures related to income, education, and health, Oklahoma ranks as one of the worst states to grow old in. A college degree can help seniors retain cognitive ability in old age. In Oklahoma, however, just 22.5% of residents age 65 and over have a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 26.7% of seniors who do nationwide. College attainment is also highly correlated to income, and the typical senior-led state household earns just $37,596 a year — the eighth least of any state.
Income and educational attainment are both major factors in health and longevity. Some 42.1% of Oklahoma seniors have a disability, the third largest share in the country. The life expectancy in the state is just 76.1 years, the fifth shortest of any state.