Tell your senator to end the gridlock and renew the Older Americans Act now. Learn more

The 8 Domains of Livability

The availability and quality of these community features impact the well-being of older adults

The Good Life

The World Health Organization’s Global Age-Friendly Cities and Communities project has identified eight domains of livability that influence the quality of life of older adults. Herewith, a pictorial tour through the domains.

Robert Deutschman/Getty Images

1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

People need public places to gather — indoors and out. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings (think elevators, stairs with railings, etc.) can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages.

Getty Images

2. Transportation

Driving shouldn't be the only way to get around. Public transit options can be as expansive and as infastructure dependent as a train system or as targeted as a taxi service that provides non-drivers with rides to and from a doctor's office. 

Ulrik Tofte/Getty Images

3. Housing

AARP surveys consistently find that older adults want to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Doing so is possible if a house is designed or modified for aging in place and if a community includes housing options for varying life stages (and varying bank accounts).

Beyond Fotomedia/Alamy

4. Social Participation

Regardless of a person's age, loneliness is often as debilitating a health condition as having a chronic illness or disease. Sadness and isolation can be combatted by the availability of  accessible, affordable and fun social activities.

Getty Images

5. Respect and Social Inclusion

Everyone wants to feel valued. Intergenerational activities are a great way for young and old to learn from one another, honor what each has to offer and, at the same time, feel good about themselves.

Andersen Ross/Getty Images

6. Civic Participation and Employment

Why does work need to be an all or nothing experience? An age-friendly community provides ways older people can (if they choose) continue to work for pay, volunteer their skills and be actively engaged in community life.

Kondolos Ava Katalin/Getty Images

7. Communication and Information

Information today is delivered in ways few could have imagined a decade ago — and many still don't know how to use. Age-friendly communities recognize that not everyone has a smartphone or Internet access and that information needs to be disseminated through a variety of means.

Blend Images/Getty Images

8. Community and Health Services

At some point, every person of every age gets hurt, becomes ill or simply needs some help. While it's important that care be available nearby, it's essential that residents are able to access and afford the services required.

Getty Images

Age-Friendly for All Ages

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is helping towns, cities, counties and states throughout the nation use the eight-domains framework to create and maintain great places for people of all ages.

See more Livable Communities slideshows

Getty Images

  • Pinterest
  • Google+

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait
One in Three Americans is Now 50 or Older


Search Livable Communities

Enter a keyword (topic, name, state, etc.)


AARP Livable Blog

Livability Index Widget

Livability Index

How livable is your community?


Follow Our Team

Contact Us

AARP Livable Communities

Do you have questions or suggestions? We want to hear from you. Email us at

For questions about the AARP Livability Index, please email

Subscribe to free e-newsletter

Follow Our Team

Contact Us

We like hearing from you. Send your feedback or questions to