Two people participate in a discussion with older members at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast Tuesday.

A recent study found Maine to be the second best state in America for older people, based in large part on what the report considered quality nursing homes and health care options here.

But although the analysis found Maine retirees to be among the happiest in the country, it also found that they’re not living as long as in most other places.

U.S. News & World Report issued its latest study on the best places in the country for aging, analyzing data on medicine costs, health care, life expectancy and a number of other criteria.

As Business Insider explained, the report scored each state from 1 to 100 in each of 12 metrics, with 100 being the highest score possible.

Maine received scores of 85.35 under the Quality of Health category and 82.76 under Positive Mental Health. Under the Life Expectancy category, however, the state scored 39.47, placing it among the bottom half of all states.

What factors were used in determining each score were not publicized, but U.S. News & World Report did track a range of statistics that could affect life expectancies in Maine in the future, such as adult obesity rates and numbers of people who are uninsured.

Strictly looking at actual life expectancy figures, however, Maine places 23rd nationwide with an average life expectancy of 79.2 years old.

Maine consistently ranks among the oldest states in the nation, with the U.S. Census Bureau listing the median age at nearly 44 years old.

The U.S. News & World Report study named Colorado the best overall state for aging, while Hawaii and Iowa came in third and fourth, respectively. The bottom three states on the list were Mississippi, Louisiana and Alaska.

U.S. News & World Report said in developing its report it used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Genworth Cost of Care Survey, Kaiser Family Foundation, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and United Health Foundation.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.