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Livable New York Resource Manual: Sustainable Communities for all Ages – Demographics and Social Changes


The number of older adults in New York is projected to increase by nearly 25 percent between 2000 and 2020. New York’s population is also expected to become increasingly more diverse. The New York State Office for the Aging produced this resource manual to provide statistical information on the trends impacting the livability of New York communities and to act as a guide for all planners, community leaders, and local officials in their efforts to make communities more livable for all residents regardless of income level, age, or ability. The resource manual first addresses the demographic and social changes New York is experiencing.

Key Points

This section of the manual provides statistical data regarding the demographic changes of New York’s population and the impact the upcoming age shift will have on New York communities and neighborhoods. Planners, policymakers, community leaders, and citizens have become increasingly interested in the elements and features that make a livable community. Creating livable communities provides an opportunity to enhance community engagement and involvement among residents of all ages.

Demographic and social trends discussed in this section include:

  1. The increasing diversity of New York’s population, according to the manual, indicates that New York’s non-white population is nearly half of the state’s total population.
  2. Household relationships in New York communities in 2007 showed that over 60 percent of older New Yorkers age 65+ lived in households with family members, emphasizing the need for universal design concepts in homes and communities.
  3. Strategies to strengthen the sense of community among all residents, especially older adults, through volunteer opportunities and civic engagement. For example, Experience Corps is a program that trains older New Yorkers to work in school systems with underserved children.
  4. The re-emergence of value in “place making”, illustrated by a trend toward eating locally, valuing local services, and feeling connected to one’s community. “New urbanism” is a planning approach that incorporates walkability, accessibility, and mixed-use development in community planning designs to enhance community livability.

How to Use

This section of the manual is a useful resource for planners, local officials, policymakers, and community leaders in any area looking for information regarding the demographic and social trends impacting the livability of communities across the country. By understanding social, cultural and demographic changes that will occur with the upcoming age shift, planners and local officials can establish comprehensive plans to meet the needs of community residents and create livable communities for all.

View full report: Livable New York Resource Manual: Sustainable Communities for all Ages – Demographics and Social Changes (PDF – 313 KB)

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