Percentage of Drivers Age 85 and Older: Connecticut Leads USA

Connecticut has more than double the percentage of licensed drivers age 85 and older than any other state in the nation, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the Land of Steady Habits, 5.1 percent of all drivers – a total of 152,233 people – were age 85 or older, ranking Connecticut at the top of the state-by-state ranking.  The second place state, Maine, had 2.34 percent of its licensed drivers in that demographic.

The Insurance Institutolder driverse for Highway Safety reports that 29 states and the District of Columbia have additional license renewal procedures for older drivers, often age 65 or 70 and older.  In Connecticut, people 65 and older may choose a 2-year or 6-year renewal cycle. A personal appearance at renewal generally is required. Upon a showing of hardship, people 65 and older may renew by mail. There are no additional requirements for older drivers, according to the Insurance Institute.

Bloomberg ranked the U.S. states and the District of Columbia on the percentage of licensed drivers ages 85 and older, using data from the Federal Highway Administration.  (The data was for 2011, the most recent year available.)

The Age 85+ Rankings (percent of licensed drivers)elderly-driver

  1.  Connecticut        5.10%
  2. Maine                   2.34%
  3.  Alabama              2.23%
  4. Vermont              2.22%
  5.  Minnesota          2.11%
  6. New York            2.09%
  7. Nebraska             2.02%
  8.   South Dakota     1.99%
  9.  Florida                  1.98%
  10. Pennsylvania     1.98%

Rhode Island ranked #11, New Jersey was #15, Massachusetts was #17 and New Hampshire was #28 among states in our region.

Although they only account for about 9 percent of the population, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show senior drivers account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities, ABC News reported last year.

The network cited a report by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that found the rate of deaths involving drivers 75 to 84 is about three per million miles driven – on par with teen drivers. Once they pass age 85, vehicular fatality rates jump to nearly four times that of teens.  The Insurance Institute reports that the increased fatal crash risk among older drivers is largely due to their increased susceptibility to injury, particularly chest injuries, and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes.

An Institute study of a Florida vision test requirement for drivers 80 and older found that 80 percent of those eligible to renew their licenses attempted to do so, and 7 percent of them were denied renewal because they failed the vision test. Of those who did not seek renewal, about half said they thought they would fail the vision test.

CT Worst in Nation for Unemployed, Near Bottom in GDP Growth - But Not Miserable

Connecticut is the worst state in the nation for the unemployed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg news.  The state ranked last among the 50 states and District of Columbia on the difficulty of life for the unemployed based on three equally weighted criteria: income replacement, the unemployment pool and income disparity, based on data compiled from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and U.S. Census.

According tbea_logo_460o the business news service, the ten most challenging states for unemployed residents are Connecticut, New Jersey, District of Columbia, California, Maryland, Alaska, New York, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The best states – at the opposite end of the data compilation – are North Dakota, Utah, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia, Montana and Idaho.economic-indicators2

In developing the rankings, Bloomberg used the following:  Average weekly unemployment benefits was the quarterly average from 2Q 2012 to 1Q 2013. Personal Income per capita was calculated by dividing 2013 preliminary total personal income by state data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis by the state population from the Census as of mid-year 2012. Unemployment rates were the July 2012 to June 2013 seasonally adjusted 12-month average figures for the civilian non-institutional population. Household income ratios were from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2011.  The three scores were averaged for the final ranking.

Connecticut also ranked third from the bottom on Gross Domestic Product growth between 2008 and 2012, according to a companion Bloomberg report of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Only Arizona and Nevada had a worse track-record during the period.  Connecticut was one of ten states to experience negative GDP growth during the years of the comparison.  The state’s GDP dropped to 197.2 billion last year, from 202.5 billion in 2008.  The most dramatic increase in GDP was in North Dakota, where GDP grew 35 percent.  Next was Texas, with a 12 percent increase, followed by Oregon, West Virginia, Alaska, Louisiana, Utah, Nebraska, Maryland and Indiana.

There was some good news for the Land of Steady Habits in recent data.  Connecticut ranked #13 among the "least miserable" states in the nation.  Which are the most miserable states?  Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, New Mexico, SoutCT welcomes youh Carolina, Alabama, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky.  All of which seems to indicate that a state can have solid GDP growth and still be relatively miserable - particularly for the unemployed.

Thirteen variables from the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings were isolated to determine each state's Misery Score. Among them:  Air pollution levels refer to micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter. High school graduation rates refer to percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within four years. Poor health days refer to the number of days in which a person could not perform work or household tasks due to poor mental or physical health. Personal income refers to income from all sources and is not inflation adjusted.

The least miserable states were – from the top - Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, South Dakota – and then Connecticut, at lucky #13.