15 American States Where Alzheimer’s Cases Are Soaring

We know the places with the highest rates of brain cancer and the states with the most skin cancer cases. Now we’re looking at another disease. Alzheimer’s disease is already one of the worst afflictions we can imagine, and it’s getting worse. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s in 2018, but that number could swell to 14 million by 2050. Every 65 seconds, a person in the United States develops the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Doctors in these states are diagnosing more Alzheimer’s cases than ever before, and these locations have the largest projected percentage increases through 2025.

If you live in one of these states, it doesn’t mean you’re more like to develop Alzheimer’s. It’s just that doctors there make a larger number of diagnoses than their colleagues in other states. (The state at No. 7 is actually one of the best states for aging people).

15. Colorado

Denver and Lakewood Colorado

Coloradoans’ overall health doesn’t help when it comes to Alzheimer’s. | Sparty1711/iStock/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 29.6%

Population: 5.60 million

Colorado has some of the healthiest retirees in the United States, but that’s only physical health. Alzheimer’s doesn’t discriminate, and the state projects to have nearly 30% more cases by 2025. The numbers of Alzheimer’s cases could increase from 71,000 to 92,000.

Next: A state similar to Colorado in one way.

14. Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Vermont projects to have an additional 4,000 Alzheimer’s cases in 2025. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 30.8%

Population: 623,657

Like Colorado, the state we just visited, Vermont is usually one of the most healthy states in the U.S. Being healthy is always a positive, but Alzheimer’s doesn’t care about physical health. The state will likely add a substantial number of Alzheimer’s cases by 2025, going from 13,000 to 17,000 by then.

Next: Look at the rate of increase, not the number.

13. Idaho

Meridian, Idaho

Idaho makes the list based on its rate. | Village at Meridian/Wikimedia Commons

Projected increase 2018-2025: 32%

Population: 1.71 million

Idaho is one of the states with highest leukemia rates in the U.S., and the same goes for Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, the state projects to go from 25,000 diagnosed cases to 33,000 for a 32% increase. Based only on the number of cases, Idaho is near the bottom of the list. In terms of rate of increase, however, it’s one of the worst in the U.S.

Next: A double whammy in our next state.

11. New Hampshire (TIE)

Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire

New Hampshire projects to have one of the largest increases. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 33.3%

Population: 1.34 million

It’s a double whammy for retirement-age people in New Hampshire. Not only is it one of the states where the rate of Alzheimer’s cases is rapidly increasing, but it’s also one of the worst states to live in if you’re over 65. The overall cost of living, as well as the cost of senior health care, are out of control.

Next: A new reason to loathe this state.

11. Florida (TIE)

St. Augustine, Florida, USA Skyline

Florida figures to add substantially to its number of Alzheimer’s patients. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 33.3%

Population: 20.9 million

Florida is the most hated state in America for a number of light-hearted and serious reasons. The rate and number of Alzheimer’s cases is a serious reason. It is No. 2 for the number of cases, and it’s also one of the places where the diagnosis rate is increasing the fastest. The Sunshine State projects to add 33.3% more cases by 2025, going from 540,000 to 720,000.

Next: A state projected to see a big jump in Alzheimer’s cases.

10. Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson and the rest of Wyoming will have 34% more cases by 2025. | Town of Jackson via Facebook

Projected increase 2018-2025: 34%

Population: 579,315

Based only on the number of Alzheimer’s cases (projected to reach 13,000 in 2025), Wyoming is near the bottom of the barrel. Which makes sense, since it’s the least populous state in the U.S. However, the state will see 34% more cases by the middle 2020s.

Next: Adding to this state’s list of faults.

9. South Carolina

South Carolina march

The increasing Alzheimer’s rate is one of the negatives in South Carolina. | Erik Perel/AFP/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 34.8%

Population: 5.02 million

South Carolina is one of the worst places to live if you’re looking for a job (especially for millennials), and it’s also among the states where people have the highest risk of a stroke. Add the increasing rate of Alzheimer’s cases to South Carolina’s list of faults. The number of cases could increase by nearly 35% to 120,000 total by 2025.

Next: This upcoming state is similar to a place we already discussed.

8. Montana

Street in Butte, Montana

Montana’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis increase is going to be one of the highest by 2025. | Janie Osborne/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 35%

Population: 1.05 million

Just like Wyoming, its neighbor to the south and a state we visited just a minute ago, Montana’s number of Alzheimer’s cases don’t project too high. The 27,000 cases the state could have by 2025 are less than similarly-sized New Hampshire. However, Montana’s 35% increase is one of the highest in the U.S.

Next: Pluses and minuses.

7. Utah

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Utah is still a great place for older people to live. | kojihirano/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 35.5%

Population: 3.10 million

On the plus side, Utah has a high quality of life for seniors, which makes it one of the best states for aging. However, the state has a couple of minuses. It’s one of the few that takes a piece of your Social Security check, and it also projects to have Alzheimer’s cases increase by more than 35% between 2018 and 2025.

Next: Bad and then worse.

5. Georgia (TIE)

Atlanta, Georgia, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

Georgia’s healthcare system might not be ready for all the new Alzheimer’s cases. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 35.7%

Population: 10.4 million

Georgia’s projected 35.7% increase in Alzheimer’s cases (from 140,000 to 190,000) between 2018 and 2025 is bad, but it gets worse. The state is also among the worst places to live if you want decent health care, particularly if you want easy access to doctors and hospitals.

Next: This state mirrors Georgia in every way but one.

5. Virginia (TIE)

Natural Bridge Virginia

Despite an increase in Alzheimer’s diagnoses, Virginia is a great state for retirees. | Wikimedia Commons/Stephen Kellam

Projected increase 2018-2025: 35.7%

Population: 8.47 million

Like Georgia, the state we just visited, Virginia’s rate of new Alzheimer’s cases projects to increase 35.7%. Also like Georgia, the number of cases could rise to 190,000 by 2025. However, Virginia is different in one major way. The low crime rate and moderate climate make it one of the best states for retirees, a claim Georgia can’t make.

Next: Let’s head out west.

4. New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico’s Alzheimer’s Rates are projected to increase in a big way. | Qingwa/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 35.9%

Population: 2.08 million

There’s lots of bad news for older people in New Mexico. First, with Alzheimer’s cases projected to increase by nearly 36% between 2018 and 2025, it’s one of the states with the largest jumps. Not only that, but its high crime rates, dangerous cities, and poor healthcare make it one of the worst states to retire in.

Next: Our next state could add nearly 20,000 new cases.

3. Nevada

Luxor Hotel and Casino

Nevada could add nearly 20,000 Alzheimer’s cases by 2025. | irisphoto2/iStock/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 42.2%

Population: 2.99 million

We’re making a big jump in the projected rate of cases in Nevada, where the projected increase is nearly 6.5% higher than in our last state, New Mexico. The Silver State could add nearly 20,000 new Alzheimer’s cases between 2018 and 2025, jumping from 45,000 to 64,000 during that time.

Next: A silver lining in our next state.

2. Arizona

Arizona-Biltmore

The Phoenix area has great retirement health care to help the Alzheimer’s patients. | David McNew/Getty Images

Projected increase 2018-2025: 42.9%

Population: 7.01 million

If we were looking at the number of projected Alzheimer’s cases, then Arizona’s 200,000 by 2025 would be much farther down the list. Based on the percentage increase, however, The Grand Canyon State is No. 2 with a nearly 43% jump. There is a silver lining, though. Phoenix suburbs Tempe and Scottsdale, are two retirement hotspots with great health care, so Alzheimer’s patients have a chance to receive good care from good doctors.

Next: The state with the largest increase in Alzheimer’s cases, and it’s not even close.

1. Alaska

Alaska, the state with the highest rate increase of Alzheimer's cases

Mountain landscape in Juneau, Alaska. | chaolik/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Projected increase 2018-2025: 46.7%

Population: 739,795

Here we are, the state with the largest projected increase in Alzheimer’s cases. Based on figures from the Alzheimer’s Association, Alaska will add 3,500 new cases between 2018 and 2025, going from 7,500 to 11,000 for an increase of nearly 47%, which is by far the largest in the U.S.

All projected increase figures courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Facts and Figures report. Population figures are 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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