A Look At Life Expectancy in Virginia

Dec 3, 2018

Men outnumber women in Virginia until they reach their mid-30's. After that, women outnumber men until very late in life.

Women in Virginia are more than twice as likely to reach the age of 85 than men. That’s according to Kathryn Crespin at the University of Virginia, who says women are twice as likely to face disability in old age and three times as likely to face Alzheimer’s.

“Because females are more likely than males to face dementia and/or disability in old age and to face these challenges alone without the benefit of informal care provided by a spouse, they are also more likely to have to pay for long-term professional care at the end of life.”

But men are catching up, closing the gender gap at the end of life.

“We will see that males will be confronted with many of the same physical, social and financial challenges that have at least in recent history have had a discorporate impact on women in their old age.”

And that could end up creating more pressure on government services, which ends up being the funding source for many people who have burned through their savings and need financial help to afford long-term care services.

Credit University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.