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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Iowa ranked as fourth best state for aging

Oct 11, 2017

(The Gazette) Iowa has been named the fourth best state for aging, according to an evaluation of all 50 states done by U.S. News & World Report.

The list comes as a part of U.S. News’ expanding government rankings portfolio, which includes the Best States platform that features “analysis, data and charts on trends, developments and news throughout the states,” according to a news release.

Iowa was preceded in the list by Hawaii, Maine and Colorado, which took the top spot for its high quality nursing homes and healthy senior citizen population, according to the release.

“As life spans lengthen and the baby boomer generation enters their golden years, communities are figuring out how to address the emergence of a larger elderly population,” said Tim Smart, executive editor at U.S. News in the release.

States were evaluated across 12 metrics including life expectancy, quality of Medicare programs, population health and nursing home quality according to data from sources such as the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to data collected by Deidre McPhillips, data editor at U.S. News, Iowa performed well in several areas and has one of the healthiest senior citizen populations and one of the lowest unemployment rates for individuals 65 years and older.

Erin Kurth, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Aging, said the ranking is not a surprise.

“Iowa is a state that values its aging population and recognizes the tremendous economic, political and social contributions older adults provide,” she said in an email. “As a result, many Iowa communities are taking innovative approaches to become more age-friendly for older adults and their loved ones, and Iowa is quickly becoming one of the nation’s premier retirement destinations. I would expect Iowa to crack the top three within the next five years.”

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