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High Health Status - Ages 65+
High Health Status - Ages 65+ in West Virginia
West Virginia

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West Virginia Value:


Percentage of adults ages 65 and older who reported their health was very good or excellent

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Percentage of adults ages 65 and older who reported their health was very good or excellent

High Health Status - Ages 65+ Trends

Percentage of adults ages 65 and older who reported their health was very good or excellent

Trend: High Health Status - Ages 65+ in West Virginia, United States, 2023 Senior Report

Percentage of adults ages 65 and older who reported their health was very good or excellent

West Virginia
United States

 CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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About High Health Status - Ages 65+

US Value: 42.2%

Top State(s): Vermont: 53.0%

Bottom State(s): Mississippi: 26.5%

Definition: Percentage of adults ages 65 and older who reported their health was very good or excellent

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Self-reported health status is a measure of how individuals perceive their health. It is a subjective measure of health-related quality of life and is not limited to specific health conditions or outcomes. Instead, it is informed by life experiences, the health of others in one’s life, support from family and friends and other factors affecting well-being. Health status is used to track the health of a population over time and is an independent predictor of mortality, which makes this measure a good predictor of future mortality rates and future use of health care. Among adults ages 65 and older, self-reported health status is a good predictor of both short- and long-term mortality.

The prevalence of adults ages 65 and older reporting very good or excellent health is higher among:

  • Older white adults compared with Hispanic, Black and American Indian/Alaska Native older adults.
  • Older adults with a college degree compared with those with less than a high school education; the prevalence increases with each increase in education level.
  • Older adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more compared with those with an income of less than $25,000; the prevalence increases with each increase in income level.
  • Older adults living in metropolitan areas compared with those in non-metropolitan areas.

People with higher levels of education are more likely to be healthier. While older adults cannot change whether or not they received a high school education during young adulthood, education remains one of the most important drivers of health. Health literacy skills, for example, are key predictors of an individual's well-being. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has multiple plans to help individuals or organizations improve health literacy. Having supportive relationships is another strong predictor of an individual's health. Social and emotional support has been shown to increase mentally healthy days for older individuals.

High self-reported health status is one of the overall measures Healthy People 2030 uses to monitor the health and well-being of the population on a comprehensive level.

Benyamini, Yael. 2011. “Why Does Self-Rated Health Predict Mortality? An Update on Current Knowledge and a Research Agenda for Psychologists.” Psychology & Health 26 (11): 1407–13.

Brown, Derek S., William W. Thompson, Matthew M. Zack, Sarah E. Arnold, and John P. Barile. 2015. “Associations Between Health-Related Quality of Life and Mortality in Older Adults.” Prevention Science 16 (1): 21–30.

Clouston, Sean A. P., Marcus Richards, Dorina Cadar, and Scott M. Hofer. 2015. “Educational Inequalities in Health Behaviors at Midlife: Is There a Role for Early-Life Cognition?” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 56 (3): 323–40.

Keyes, C. L., B. Michalec, R. Kobau, H. Zahran, M. M. Zack, and E. J. Simoes. 2005. “Social Support and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older Adults --- Missouri, 2000.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 54 (17): 433–37.

Lorem, Geir, Sarah Cook, David A. Leon, Nina Emaus, and Henrik Schirmer. 2020. “Self-Reported Health as a Predictor of Mortality: A Cohort Study of Its Relation to Other Health Measurements and Observation Time.” Scientific Reports 10 (December): 4886.

Myers, David G. 2003. “Close Relationships and Quality of Life.” In Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology, edited by Daniel Kahneman, Ed Diener, and Norbert Schwarz, 374–91. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Publications.

Perrin, Nancy A., Matt Stiefel, David M. Mosen, Alan Bauck, Elizabeth Shuster, and Erin M. Dirks. 2011. “Self-Reported Health and Functional Status Information Improves Prediction of Inpatient Admissions and Costs.” The American Journal of Managed Care 17 (12): e472-478.

Wolf, Michael S., Julie A. Gazmararian, and David W. Baker. 2005. “Health Literacy and Functional Health Status Among Older Adults.” Archives of Internal Medicine 165 (17): 1946.

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