Personal finance

16 million people 65 and older will be in the workforce by 2030. These are the best and worst states for them to work and live

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The number of older workers in the labor force is expected to swell over the next decade. By 2030, there will be 16.1 million workers 65 and older, compared to 10.6 million in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Which states those older workers live and work in could prove impactful relative to household financial wellbeing.

Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Washington state and Vermont are the top five best states for older workers, respectively, according to a new ranking compiled by senior living website Seniorly. (Alaska and Washington tied for third.)

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Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, New Mexico and Arkansas are the bottom five, respectively, according to the ranking.

Seniorly’s analysis “indicates that there are many states that would appear to be friendlier to older workers than others,” according to the report.

The Best & Worst States for Older Workers

Senior living website Seniorly ranked U.S. states from best to worst for older workers. Here are the top 5 and bottom 5 places to live and work. (For more, see the full ranking.)


  1. Wyoming
  2. South Dakota
  3. Alaska
  4. Washington
  5. Vermont


  1. Kentucky
  2. West Virginia
  3. Alabama
  4. New Mexico
  5. Arkansas


The site ranked states according to five categories: labor force participation for older adults, income, taxes, health care and life expectancy. It used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Tax Foundation.

All the best-ranking states (except Vermont) don’t levy a state income tax, for example. A relatively high share of older workers in those states also have Medicare coverage, the public health plan for seniors age 65 and older.

Meanwhile, bottom-ranked Kentucky places last or near-last for life expectancy, income and labor force participation.

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