Rapid Aging An Issue? Here Are America’s Worst States for Aging
Genetics, diet, luck, and a number of other factors determine how and at what rate you age. However, the data we gathered above should paint a picture of what you might look like in the coming years depending on air quality, stress, sleep, and humidity. If you want to look like Cindy Crawford at age 60, perhaps relocate to one of America’s best states for aging. Or at the very least, drink lots of water, breathe clean air, get sufficient sleep, and keep your stress levels low. See the full list below or check out The Best States for Youthful Skin.
Worst States to Live in to Look Younger Longer
While Tennessee is home to the country music capital of the world, it’s also the capital for premature aging. In all four categories (air quality, humidity, stress, and sleep), Tennessee ranks in the top 10 worst. At least the Honky Tonks are dimly lit...
Georgia has the second worst air quality in America—probably no thanks to emissions-happy Atlanta. While Georgia may be known for its gorgeous peaches, complexions of the people looking there aren’t so peachy keen.
Utah has been shamed for having the worst air quality in the country—often looking like Hong Kong on winter inversion days. While the nearby mountains, ski resorts, and bevvy of natural surrounding help counteract this health hazard, its extremely low humidity doesn’t. On the upside, Utah is ranked in the top 10 for the least stressed and least sleep deprived people. That counts for something.
You might not be aware, but Delaware has the 11th worst air quality in America. This tiny state pumps a lot of bad stuff into its air—landing it on our list as the fourth worst state for aging in the country. There is one silver lining. Delaware has the 22nd least stressed-out residents in the U.S..
You wouldn’t guess that a slow-paced, Southern state like Alabama would be in a tizzy. Alas, its people are the third most stressed out in the country. Maybe it’s because they live in the ninth worst state for air quality? We’ll stop speculating, but we do know bad air and high stress isn’t great for aging.
People in Kentucky may look relaxed and refined at the horse race track, but the people here are actually some of the most sleep deprived and stressed in America. Take it easy, Kentucky! You southern belles and gentlemen need to take care of yourselves.
If the cesspool that is the Inner Harbor of Baltimore is an indicator, Maryland’s air isn’t so great either. This state has the seventh worst air in the nation—something we know is bad for lungs, skin, and premature signs of aging. However, Maryanders are the 18th most well rested and relaxed in America, so that helps.
We’re sorry to say it, but Indiana isn’t a great place to live if you want to retain your youthful glow. It has the fifth worst air quality in America and the 19th worst levels of stress. Like Rudy, we’d like to see Indiana make a comeback on this one!
Maybe it’s the wind whipping down the plains that ages people in Oklahoma. Or maybe it’s the fact that this state has the third worst air quality, third worst sleep averages, and 16th highest levels of stress? Not something you’d want to write a musical about.
West Virginia may be Wild and Wonderful, but not so much in the aging department. This coal mining state is the third worst for both sleep and air quality. It might take its toll on the people living there, so watch out if you want to look like Jane Fonda at age 79.
Do you live in one of these states? If so, don't panic! Here's what you can do to help yourself.
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How We Ranked Each State
Air quality. The skin is a living, breathing organ—sucking in moisture, vitamins, and toxins in the air. That’s why we weighted air quality highest for our best states to age in ranking (60 percent). States with the worst air quality ranked poorly for helping people look younger longer because it harms the body both inside and out.
Stress. The phrase, “you’re giving me gray hairs” wasn’t invented for nothing. Stress ages you by exhausting the mind and body and opening the door for germs to attack. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the better you’ll look and feel; you won’t have the dark circles, stress breakouts, and frown lines of a chronically stressed out person. We weighted stress levels by 20 percent in this study to account for this major aging contributor.
Sleep. We’ve all heard the term, “beauty sleep.” That’s because cells regenerate while we sleep and help us look and feel better. Sleeping not only helps cognitive function, but the health of your dermis too. We weighted sleep 15 percent in this piece to account for its important in maintaining a youthful appearance.
Humidity. Water has been called “the elixir of life.” Many beauty experts tout the power of staying hydrated. Thus, states with more humidity were ranked higher for their anti-aging powers. This was the least consequential of our ranking data, weighted just five percent.
The Full List
1. North Dakota
9. New Hampshire
12. South Dakota
17. New York
21. Rhode Island
26. New Mexico
33. New Jersey
38. North Carolina
40. South Carolina
41. West Virginia