New Report Reveals Older Americans Faced a Decade of Increased Mental Health Challenges and Drug Deaths

May 17, 2022 | 5 min Read

While progress has been made in recent years to improve flu vaccination rates, self-reported health status and oral health for older adults, long-standing challenges and disparities have persisted or worsened during the pandemic.

The United Health Foundation’s 10th annual “America’s Health Rankings Senior Report” highlights improvements, challenges and disparities in health and well-being across all 50 states during the past decade. This year’s report highlights 62 measures from 21 unique data sources used to reveal current and emerging issues affecting older adults. The top-ranked states in this year’s report are Utah, Vermont, Minnesota, Connecticut and Colorado.


America’s Health Rankings 2022 Senior Report

The 10th annual “America’s Health Rankings Senior Report” reviews the past decade of data to provide a comprehensive look at the health and well-being of Americans, ages 65 and older. 

Key Findings & Alarming Disparities

“The 2022 Senior Report shows that the well-being of older adults was declining before the pandemic, which we know exacerbated many of these challenges. We urge people to help the seniors in your lives reconnect with the communities and activities they have enjoyed in the past but may not yet have returned to. We are focused on reducing disparities in the health care system for everyone, including older Americans.”

– Dr. Rhonda Randall, EVP & Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual

Why It Matters

Today, adults ages 65 and older make up approximately 16.9% of the United States population, or just over 55.6 million adults, and are estimated to comprise 21% of the population (73.1 million) by 2030. At that point, more than 1 in 5 people in the U.S. will be of retirement age as the last of the baby boomer generation enters older adulthood – making it essential to our nation’s continued well-being that we understand the short- and long-term trends affecting the health of this growing and vulnerable population.

Additional Key Findings


Advancing Health Equity

UnitedHealth Group and the United Health Foundation are working to address health disparities and advance health equity, as described in our Sustainability Report. But much work remains to achieve more equitable health outcomes. The United Health Foundation encourages the use of America’s Health Rankings reports as a resource for building healthier communities.