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The Livability Index: Great Neighborhoods for All Ages

The new AARP 2018 Livability Index is here! The Public Policy Institute has updated this important resource that helps communities assess how well they're meeting the needs of people as they age.

US map with images of people in the background

The Livability Index is a signature initiative of the Public Policy Institute to measure the quality of life in American communities across multiple dimensions: housingtransportation, neighborhood characteristics, environment, health, opportunity, and civic and social engagement.

An interactive, easily navigated website, the Livability Index allows users to compare communities, adjust scores based on personal preferences and learn how to take action to make their own communities move livable.

Learn more about the top scoring communities in the United States and use the tool by visiting www.aarp.org/livabilityindex

New Features in Livability Index 2018

  • Updated Data—Visitors will see the latest indicator data for each category.
  • Results Page Tutorial—Visitors will be guided through key features of the results page.
  • Track Progress—Visitors can compare their indicator performance for the current and previous two years for any location.
  • Compare Map Layers—Visitors can compare two map layers side-by-side for any location.
  • Share Your Score—Visitors can share a community’s livability and category scores via Facebook and Twitter.
  • Send Feedback—Visitors can share their comments, ideas and even their own data with the project team via the new Contact Us page.
  • Resources—Visitors will find more information about the Index categories to better understand each livability topic on the redesigned page.

What Does the Livability Index Do?

The Livability Index helps users better understand their communities and make decisions about future needs. The index can be used in several ways.

Here are just a few examples:

Livable Communities

Housing

A county executive wants to know how to meet the housing needs of older adults. She can see how her community performs for each of the housing metrics relative to the national average and learn about policy and programmatic interventions that could address areas of concern.

Livable Communities

Transportation

The director of a nonprofit organization wants to show the need for transportation services in the community. He can view data on transit service available to various neighborhoods in the community and connect to resources explaining how transit is typically funded.

Livable Communities

Health

A health official is interested in exploring how the built environment may influence health. She can see the relative rates of obesity and smoking on a map and then check whether each neighborhood in a county has access to grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

Livability Index Publications and Videos

The Livability Index 2018: Transforming Communities for All Ages

Many US cities are becoming more livable as the Midwest embraces complete streets policies and the South passes no smoking ordinances. Yet, paradoxically, sprawl continues. Those are just a few of the compelling trends highlighted in analysis of data from the Public Policy Institute’s 2018 Livability Index. 

Watch a video of the Livability Index 2018 launch event

PPI unveils the 2018 Livability Index, provides an overview and demo of the changes made to the website, and summarize key findings and insights from Livability Index data. Local leaders share how their communities are taking steps build resilience, address inequality, and become more livable.

Is This a Good Place to Live? Measuring Community Quality of Life for All Ages

This report explores the meaning of livability, examines previous efforts to evaluate the livability of communities and describes lessons learned by PPI as part of its work to measure community livability.

What is Livable? Community Preferences of Older Adults

This report highlights findings from an AARP PPI survey of more than 4,500 adults age 50 and older to understand general preferences for community livability and how those preferences differ within the diverse population of older adults, including age, income, physical ability, driver status, race and ethnicity, and other factors. Rodney Harrell, Ph.D., director of the AARP Public Policy Institute's livability initiative, discusses the "What is Livable?" survey results.

FEATURED VIDEO