Viewing information, especially numbers, can be trying. It’s hard to get a good feel for what, exactly, is happening, when you’re looking at a wall of numbers. Displaying that info as maps makes it much easier to digest, and can be a great way to get informed about a specific subject. And what better subject for us, than one that comes close to our hearts: aging in America. It’s common knowledge which states are the “oldest,” but about what counties are the oldest? Well…
Interesting, isn’t it? You have the obvious I-4 Corridor, Naples area, Fort Myers area and West Palm Beach areas there, but what’s going on with that wide band of elderly that roughly parallels Tornado Alley? Or the Port Angeles area of Washington State? And that one bright red county on the Jersey Shore?
If this is what the distribution of elderly looks like, what about elderly in need of care?
Wow. Florida suddenly looks like a spring chicken, while broad swaths of the South, especially Eastern Kentucky, are in intense need of care. We wouldn’t be surprised if this map overlaps with a map of poverty levels. Lack of access to proper care frequently has more to do with income than age.
But what about how things are changing going forward? Are some areas getting older and some younger? Glad you asked. These are changes in median ages from the 2010 Census to 2012 Census estimates, on a county-level.
In short, it’s very interesting to look at maps like these, and get a “big picture” view of aging in America. And, as anyone can see, issues related to aging and lack of care for the disabled elderly will only become more serious as time goes on, with a universally greying population.