Floridian Exceptionalism

Elderly Floridians use much more medical care and have much lower mortality rates than do their peers in other regions of the country. After demographic and other variables are controlled for, the differential between Florida and the rest of the United States is 25 percent for utilization and 10 percent for mortality among whites ages 65-84. This paper summarizes the facts about Floridian exceptionalism and reviews various possible explanations: physician inducement of utilization, differences in preferences, selective migration into and out of the state, climate, and social interactions, among others. Readers are invited to suggest their own explanations and their policy recommendations, if any.