top of page

10 States With Oldest Population

Elderly populations are especially vulnerable to climate change. The population of the United States over 65 years old is increasing faster each year, making it one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. The 10 states with the *highest percentage of elderly citizens are California, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Maine, Texas, West Virginia, and Vermont.

(*20% of the population is over the age of 65)

The share of older adults will continue to increase as more members of the large baby boom cohort reach retirement age. By 2040, 30 states are projected to have age profiles similar to those of Florida and Maine today, with at least 30% of their residents age 60 or older. This demographic shift has implications for many federal and state programs that support older adults. As more Americans become eligible for federal entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, spending reductions and tax increases may be inevitable.

Climate change affects the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places that provide us with shelter. Climate change can also impact people’s health and well-being especially among the elderly by altering the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events and spread of certain pests and diseases. Data show the ragweed pollen season is already becoming longer in some U.S. locations. Allergens like ragweed pollen can worsen existing respiratory conditions and contribute to the onset of asthma. Older adults who live in buildings that are older or have poor ventilation may also be more at risk for exposure to indoor air pollutants. These pollutants can include bacteria and mold caused by water damage from extreme weather events, such as floods and storm surges.

There were more than 80 million older adults (60 years or older) in the United States in 2022, making up over one-fifth of the population.

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change because: As people age, our bodies are less able to compensate for the effects of certain environmental hazards, such as air pollution.

Older adults are more likely to have health conditions that make them more sensitive to climate hazards like heat and air pollution, which can worsen their existing illnesses. Many older adults have limited mobility, increasing their risks before, during, and after an extreme weather event. and aging and some medications can change the body’s ability to respond to heat. This puts older adults more at risk for heat illnesses and death as the climate warms.

Many older adults have a compromised immune system, which makes them more prone to severe illness from insect- and water-related diseases that may become more common with climate change and insect species migrations. Older adults may depend on others for medical care and assistance with daily life, increasing their vulnerability to extreme weather events. During the 2022 summer, several cities in Italy reported temperatures 2.5 °C above average. In July, an increase of almost 30 percent in mortality rates was recorded among seniors across Italy. This rise in heat related deaths has occurred all over the globe.

Paramedics summoned to an Arizona retirement community in the summer of 2021 found an 80-year-old woman slumped inside her mobile home, enveloped in the suffocating 99-degree (37 C) heat she suffered for days after her air conditioner broke down. Efforts to revive her failed, and her death was ruled environmental heat exposure aggravated by heart disease and diabetes.

In America’s hottest big metropolitan areas, older people like the Sun Lakes mobile home residents accounted for most of the people who died last summer in broiling heat inside their homes, almost all without air conditioning. Now, the heat dangers long known in greater Phoenix are becoming familiar nationwide as global warming creates new challenges to protect the aged.The U.S. population age 65 and over grew from 2010 to 2020 at fastest rate since 1880 to 1890 and reached 55.8 million, a 38.6% increase in just 10 years. Simultaneously the US had the lowest birth rates during that time which have been steadily declining most visibly among the white population of the US. Births for the United States in 2020 was. 3,605,201, down 4% in one year from 2019.There was a pronounced 2% decline in the number of births in 2020, compared to projections based on past trends, making fewer births than would have been expected that year.

At the biological level, aging results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, a growing risk of disease and ultimately death. These changes are neither linear nor consistent, and they are only loosely associated with a person’s age in years. The diversity seen in older age is not random. Beyond biological changes, aging is often associated with other life transitions such as retirement, relocation to more appropriate housing and the death of friends and partners.A person who fasts once a week and changes their diet to one that is full of fresh foods mild daily activity and avoidance of foods that cause inflammation can expect to add 10 to 20 years to their lifespan.

Common health conditions associated with aging

Common conditions in older age include hearing loss, cataracts and refractive errors, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression and dementia. As people age, they are more likely to experience several conditions at the same time. Older age is also characterized by the emergence of several complex health states commonly called geriatric syndromes. They are often the consequence of multiple underlying factors and include frailty, urinary incontinence, falls, delirium and pressure ulcers.

Younger generations are now better educated and perhaps more aware about the issue of climate change than the older generations. But older people in fact hold diverse experiences and knowledge around how climate can impact their communities, are socially connected and hold moral authority within their communities. Older people and their civil society presence are well placed to mobilize other members of their communities and use their collective political capital to call for political leaders to respond to the climate crisis. Still largely unexplored is the economic power of older people to direct investment and consumption in climate-friendly manners. One way the elderly can help themselves is by divesting savings from companies that cause climate problems and putting their investment income in eco friendly companies like Tesla and Russet Apple Group. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing means different things to different people. As investors look to diversify their portfolios with responsible and sustainable investments, they require more than one-size-fits-all strategies to meet their evolving needs, and shouldn’t be faced with compromised returns.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page