A livable community provides resources that allow residents to age-in-place, and fosters residents’ engagement in their community’s civic, economic and social life.
The 2014 AARP Livable Communities Survey in St. Louis County, Missouri of Adults Age 45+ was commissioned to help St. Louis County decision makers achieve the goal of livability. More specifically, the survey sought to:
- establish a baseline for St. Louis County in regards to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) eight domains of community life among 45+ adults
- conduct a "Community Needs Gap Analysis" to identify and prioritize areas of focus
- create a survey that can serve as a template for additional WHO communities in Missouri
The findings show that St. Louis County residents age 45+ have deep roots in their community. Seven in ten (70 percent) have lived in their community for more than 20 years. Most do not plan to move, and more than eight in ten (84 percent) say their community is a good place for older people to live.
While St. Louis County residents age 45+ see the beauty and value in their community, there is room for improvement to make it the best livable community possible. Using an operationalization of the World Health Organization’s eight domains of livable community, important community features as well as perceived community needs by St. Louis County adults age 45+ were identified.
Overall, Housing is rated as the most important livable community domain for St. Louis County resident’s age 45+ among all eight domains. These nine items related to maintenance of property, availability and affordability, and access to quality home repair services.
Community and Health Services narrowly outranked Employment for second and third order ranking respectively.
While all eight domain areas were considered at least somewhat important to respondents, factors that can directly affect an individual’s quality of life and experience in his/her community topped the list of importance. (Refer to the Key Findings section of the report for a summary of the most important community features by the WHO eight Domains of Community Life.)
In addition to identifying important community features, community needs were assessed through gap analysis. A "need" can be defined as a gap between what is and what should be. In order to identify the needs of St. Louis County residents age 45+, survey respondents were asked about the importance of a community feature and service, then they were asked if these features and services existed in their community. These questions were then paired together to identify community needs or “gaps.”
The report is based on data from a mail survey of 1,248 residents age 45 years or older living in St. Louis County. Resident addresses were provided by Survey Sampling International’s (SSI) proprietary database.The survey was fielded from March 21 through April 25, 2014. For more information, contact Aisha Bonner at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional reports about a variety of subjects at aarp.org/research.