Aging Summit

Statistics provided by the Ohio Department of Aging in their 2023-2026 State Plan on Aging report describe as part of the statewide needs assessment and why the numbers matter a review of Ohio’s current aging landscape and the variance in life expectancy.  This graph shows a statewide comparison as well as a sample of one Ohio county, Franklin.  There is a gap of more than 29 years in life expectancy at birth in Ohio depending on the zip code where a person lives, ranging from a low of 60 years in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus in Franklin County to a high of 89.2 years in the city of Stow located in northeast Ohio in Summit County.  A further breakdown in Franklin County shows a 21.9-year life expectancy gap between Franklinton with a low of 60 years and Grandview Heights with a life expectancy of 81.9 years.  These two cities in Franklin County are just 4 miles apart from each other.  These gaps in life expectancy are driven, in part, by differences in community conditions, such as access to education, income, and other resources.  Ohio ranks No. 6 in the United States for its older adult population. And, by 2034, the number of individuals over the age of 65 will grow 28 times larger than any other population in Ohio. This dramatic change touches every aspect of our society, from who’s served through government policy and affordable health care to housing and economy. Yet, some older communities still lack the basic needs to survive.

In Ohio, there is a 29-year life expectancy gap depending on the ZIP code in which a person lives. The average resident in Franklinton, an area of downtown Columbus, has a life expectancy 22 years less than those living just four miles away in a local suburb. As the older population increases, so too does the need to turn societal obstacles into opportunities for an “age-positive” future for all Ohioans.

Addressing adversity in 2024 with social, physical and economic circumstances in our older communities can build foundation for disparities and inequities to be eliminated by 2034. In response to the impending aging population growth, The Ohio State University College of Medicine Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology convened the 2023 Aging Summit to lay the groundwork for what’s possible to meet the needs of our aging society.

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