The Milken Institute organized this ranking calculator to help determine which metropolitan areas are the best cities for successful aging, and to allow city planners and officials to better understand what their area needs to do in order to improve their current ranking. According to the Milken Institute’s ranking calculator, the best large metropolitan areas for successful aging are Provo-Orem, UT, Madison, WI, Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA, and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA.
Based on a compilation of indicators, including broad categories of general, health care, wellness, financial, employment, living arrangement, transportation and community engagement, each city is given a score for each indicator and an overall ranking. Each broad indicator category is broken down into subcategories (or factors) for efficient ranking and deeper analysis:
- General indicator factors include cost of living, crime rate, neighborhood, employee growth, unemployment rate, income distribution, weather, and fatal car crashes.
- Financial indicator factors include number of banks and financial institutions, total bank deposits, tax burden, dependency ratio, index growth for small businesses, percentage of 65+ below poverty, amount of reverse mortgages, etc.
- Transportation indicator factors include mean commute time to work, number of passenger trips, investment in public/senior transportation, number of grocery stores, etc.
- Community engagement indicator factors includepercentage of population over 65, number of museums, senior volunteer rates, number of public libraries, number of YMCAs, etc.
- Employment/education indicator factors include the number of 65+ employed/unemployed, college enrollment, community colleges, number of universities, output of service/manufacturing, etc.
- Living arrangement indicator factors include median house price, median rental price, percentage of houses with 65+ residents, number of nursing beds, number of people providing home health-care services, etc.
- Health-care indicator factors include number of doctors, availability of hospital beds, expenses per inpatient day, number of long-term hospitals, etc.
- Wellness indicator factors include Medicare enrollment, Medicaid eligible, obesity rate, smoking rate, diabetes rate, Alzheimer’s cases, number of caregivers, life expectancy at 65, number of fitness centers, etc.
How to Use
The calculator is an interesting and valuable tool for local officials and city planners. It not only allows them to see their city’s overall ranking and scores for each indicator, but it also allows them to see a detailed overview of why each indicator is scored the way it is, how improving indicators can improve overall score, and the city’s indicator score based on the average score for all cities. This calculator gives officials and planners an overview of what needs to be improved in their area in order to make their city for successful for aging.