The United States is aging quickly and dramatically. By 2035, older adults will account for 20 percent of the US population, and for the first time in our nation’s history, people ages 65 and older will outnumber children under age 18. AARP surveys consistently show that older adults overwhelmingly desire to age in their homes and communities. Moreover, our nation is becoming increasingly diverse racially and ethnically. Beyond demographic change, as the economy continues to rebound from the Great Recession and many regional housing markets heat up, many families face cost-of-living challenges. Furthermore, sprawl and its associated environmental and social effects, global warming, and an increase in the severity of natural disasters each demand new ways of approaching community planning and citizen engagement.
Many of the characteristics that make a community “livable” are benefits across all ages: safety and security, affordable and appropriate housing and transportation, and the ability to live near family and friends with whom to share life’s joys and who can be called on in times of need.
Newly updated and enhanced, the AARP Livability Index 2018: Great Neighborhoods for All Ages considers all such characteristics in communities across the country. It scores every neighborhood and community in the United States for the services and amenities that most affect people’s lives. The Livability Index’s scoring methodology draws attention to the need for every neighborhood to be livable so that residents of all ages, abilities, races, ethnicities, and incomes are able to enjoy the advantages of a livable community, regardless of their ZIP code.
This report provides a look at the Livability Index, an interactive online tool, and shares some of its findings.