AARP Releases List of Best & Worst States for Licensed Assisted Living Supply

The number of licensed residential care beds reported by states saw a “dramatic increase” in a three-year time frame, says AARP in a report produced by its Public Policy Institute with support from The SCAN Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund as a followup to its report on long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the U.S. for older adults who can’t live by themselves but don’t need to be in a skilled nursing facility. 

Between 2007 and 2010, the number of licensed assisted living beds rose 17.9% from nearly 1.05 million to more than 1.2 million located in 51,367 licensed residential care settings reported by states. 

“This is a dramatic increase in licensed capacity within the last three years,” AARP notes.


As of July 2010, the following states had the most licensed assisted living bed supply in correlation to their 65+ populations:

  1. Minnesota, with 53,712 beds for about 78 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  2. Oregon, with 33,171 beds for about 62 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  3. Idaho, with 11,701 beds for about 60 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  4. Wisconsin, with 44,537 beds for about 57 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  5. California, with 211,402 beds for about 50 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+

States with the smallest supply of licensed beds per 65+ resident include:

  1. Washington, D.C., with 509 beds for about 7 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  2. Louisiana, with 5,860 beds for about 10 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  3. West Virginia, with 3,565 beds for about 12 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+
  4. Mississippi, with 5,709 beds for about 13 beds per 1,000 aged 65+
  5. Nevada, with 4,408 beds, for about 14 beds per 1,000 people aged 65+

The AARP Insight on the Issue report qualifies that “residential settings” encompass many different terms, including boarding homes, rest homes, adult care homes, domiciliary care homes, personal care homes, community-based residential facilities, assisted living, and adult foster care, all commonly referred to as assisted living. 


Characteristics of Assisted Living Facilities

Only 35% of all licensed facilities fell into the “large” category with 26 or more beds, but accounted for 81% of all the residents. Small and medium-sized facilities, with between 4 and 25 beds, “greatly outnumbered” large facilities but accounted for only 19% of residents. 

The majority of assisted living facilities, at 82%, were privately owned and for profit in 2010, while the remaining 18% were nonprofit or owned by state, city, or local government. Nearly two in five facilities were chain-affiliated. 

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View the report, which includes per-state data broken down into categories of licensed residential beds and how it has changed from 2007 to 2010. 

 Written by Alyssa Gerace  

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