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Livable Community

Dave Lauridsen

San Francisco landed in our top 10 list of best livable places in all five of our large city categories, including best neighborhood.




En español | To compile AARP’s new lists of the most livable places in the U.S., it wasn’t only our research that counted — it was also your opinions. The top-10 lists that follow are based on the AARP Livability Index, a new online tool designed to help communities better serve the nation’s aging population.

To create the index, the AARP Public Policy Institute surveyed 4,500 Americans 50 and older to determine the aspects of community most important to them. We then developed seven categories around those results — housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity — taking into account 60 different factors to rate communities in those categories.

The Bulletin crunched the numbers some more to find which cities and neighborhoods come out on top. We weren’t looking for the trendy or glitzy. We wanted the most livable. You might be in for some surprises.


Most Livable Neighborhoods

What does it take to be a top-10 neighborhood? Proximity to jobs helps — as does plenty of housing, especially apartments and condos.

Easiest Cities to Get Around

A variety of transit options is essential to earn a spot in our Livability Index’s transportation category

Most Livable Cities

Livable cities are made, not born. In a variety of ways, these 30 places are showing how localities can serve people of all ages

Great Jobs in College Towns

Post-retirement job opportunities abound near academia

Best Cities for Staying Healthy

Cities where residents engage in healthy lifestyles and where doctors and hospitals are plentiful do the best in this category

Best Cities for Making Friends

Residents look out for family and neighbors, join civic groups, vote in high numbers and have easy access to the digital world


Your Membership


The Livability Index

Livable Community

How Does Your Hometown Rate?

If you’re like most of us, you probably want to stay in the community where you live now. The AARP Livability Index identifies how well your community is doing. Go to to find out.