Utah ranks high in number of happy, healthy senior citizens

Jun 23, 2023, 12:00 PM

You might think it's Florida or Arizona, but a new study ranks Utah as the top state for happy, hea...

FILE: Nancy Athay is a study in intensity as she plays the cello at BYU's New Horizons Orchestra (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

(Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — You might think it’s Florida or Arizona, but a new study ranks Utah as the top state for happy, healthy senior citizens. 

And, Utah Department of Health and Human Services Program Manager Nichole Shepard told KSL@Night that the ranking has a lot to do with the benefits available in Utah for seniors. 


This is the place

The new information comes from United Health Foundation’s 2023 Senior Report, which measures the overall health of seniors. 

Shepard says health is impacted by factors in the areas where we live, where we work, and play. 

“And Utah has a lot to offer by way of scenery and space,” says Shepard. “And you know, the landscape that we have from our arches to our lakes, it keeps us all active for a long time in comparison to more of our metropolitan states…”

Utah benefits

Like most states, Utah has pockets of people who aren’t getting access to the services and resources that are available to them Shepard said. But the number is smaller than other states. 

“…Utah has a very strong social and economic community. And by that, I mean, we have a low risk for social isolation, because really, people in Utah tend to have strong social support systems, and they really just know their neighbors.”

The report also found that Utah’s food insecurity among seniors has dropped in the last few years from 10.7% to 7.4% while some states saw that figure increase. 

Combatting social isolation

Additionally, the report showed high-speed internet access was 1.2 times higher in Utah than in the state with the lowest access.

“This increase in high-speed internet access ensures that as we age, we still have connections to our family and our friends. While it doesn’t replace the face-to-face contact, it still allows access to virtual appointments and conversations with your loved ones,” said Sheperd. 

Furthermore, Utah has the lowest risk of social isolation in the country.

To find out more about the services and programs for seniors go to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Related reading: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Snelgrove Ice Cream with its iconic sign at 2100 South 1300 East in Sugar House....


Snelgrove Ice Cream, an iconic Salt Lake City brand, is making its comeback

Snelgrove Ice Cream is coming back. This ice cream shop was founded on 1929 by Charles Rich Snelgrove in Salt Lake City. Now, founder's granddaughter is opening back a store in St. George.

10 hours ago

Quagga mussels...

Don Brinkerhoff

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention

Before you launch your boat in Utah this summer, a new law requires you to take an online training course about the prevention of quagga mussels.

10 hours ago

New fire restrictions are now in effect in southwest Utah and northwest Arizona as "rapidly increas...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah, Arizona enact new restrictions amid ‘rapidly increasing fire danger’

New fire restrictions are now in effect in Utah and Arizona as "rapidly increasing fire danger" builds at the start of summer.

12 hours ago

police look for hit-and-run driver, image of the car, a newer model Ford Explorer SUV , shown...

Heather Peterson

SLCPD asks for help finding hit-and-run driver

Salt Lake City Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver involved in an accident last week that left a woman severely injured.

12 hours ago

'Thelma' is based on a true story where a grandma was scammed....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Thelma’ is amazing and amusing

In this KSL Movie Show review, we talk about 'Thelma,' the amazing and amusing movie based on a true story about a grandmother being scammed.

13 hours ago

A car is filled at a gas pump in Sandy on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Utah gas prices are currently be...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Utah gas prices below national average in time for summer season

Utah gas prices are below the national average price for gas and the prices are expected to stay that way over the summer.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah ranks high in number of happy, healthy senior citizens