New Report Highlights Urgent Need to Support Older Americans Post-Pandemic

May 16, 2023 | 4 min Read
  • According to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings 2023 Senior Report, early death and drug death rates continued to increase.


This year’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report showcases recent shifts in long-term trends and highlights disparities in the health of older Americans. The report found that the early death rate rose in 2021 for the second consecutive year, after a long-term decline. It also reveals that older adults have experienced far higher rates of drug-related deaths, as opioid deaths have surged among the older adult population in recent years. There are bright spots in the report, however, with rates of food insecurity down and access to high-speed internet up for older Americans.

The United Health Foundation’s 11th annual America’s Health Rankings Senior Report highlights trends, successes and challenges in health and well-being across all 50 states. The report is based on an analysis of 52 measures from 22 unique data sources that are used to showcase current and emerging issues affecting seniors. The five healthiest states for older adults are Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota and Vermont. 

The following are notable national findings:



“The 2023 Senior Report highlights an urgent need to support older Americans as we continue to recover from the pandemic. We must help them reconnect with health care, re-engage with their communities and join activities that keep them physically active and emotionally well.”

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


UnitedHealth Group and the United Health Foundation are working to address health disparities and advance health equity, as described in the 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.

Watch the video below to hear why national health leaders use America’s Health Rankings.



America’s Health Rankings 2023 Senior Report

The 11th 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 older Americans, ages 65 and older. The report represents a longstanding commitment of the United Health Foundation to help states and the country identify strengths and quantify challenges to be able to improve public health. The goal of this report is to spark meaningful dialogue and action to improve the health of older adults across the nation and on a state-by-state basis.

Why it matters

Today, adults ages 65 and older make up approximately 16.8% of the United States population, or just over 55.8 million adults, and are estimated to comprise 21% of the population (73.1 million) by 2030. At that point, more than one in five Americans 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 and address the short- and long-term trends affecting the health of this growing population.

UnitedHealth Group and America’s Health Rankings

For nearly 30 years, UnitedHealth Group has used findings from America’s Health Rankings reports, along with additional data and insights from the organization’s 380,000 team members, to improve health and well-being. UnitedHealth Group partners with national and local organizations, government agencies, experts and lawmakers to further improve and better target solutions, and help all people live healthier lives.


Advancing Health Equity

Explore UnitedHealth Group’s annual Sustainability Report to learn more about our efforts to address health disparities and advance health equity.