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AARP published an index that measures how “livable” communities nationwide are, and ranks the top ones that meet residents' needs as they grow older.
AARP this week published its Livability Index that the nonprofit organization said scores every community in all 50 states and the Washington, D.C. for the services and amenities that impact people as they age. AARP said it designed the scoring criteria not only to show what places provide a high quality of life for a diverse older population but also for people of all ages.
“The majority of older adults want to stay in their current homes and communities as they age, which requires walkable neighborhoods, public transportation options, opportunities to engage in community activities, and affordable and adaptable housing,” said Rodney Harrell, AARP vice president of family, home and community, in a statement. “The AARP Livability Index provides the clearest picture yet of how well a community meets needs across one’s lifespan, regardless of income, physical ability or ethnicity.”
The top 10 large livable cities (population 500,000 or more) are:
|9||San Jose, California|
The top 10 mid-sized cities (population 100,000-499,999) are:
|4||Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|7||Elizabeth, New Jersey|
|9||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
The top 10 small cities (population 25,000-99,999) are:
|1||St. Louis Park, Minnesota|
|6||Bergenfield, New Jersey|
|9||North Bethesda, Maryland|
|10||Silver Spring, Maryland|
The top 10 small towns (population 5,000 to 24,999) are:
|2||Los Alamos, New Mexico|
|3||Great Neck Plaza, New York|
|4||Orange City, Iowa|
|5||Falls Church, Virginia|
|6||La Crescent, Minnesota|
|7||St. Anthony, Minnesota|
|8||White Rock, New Mexico|
|10||Manorhaven, New York|
The index measured 61 community characteristics across seven categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity. Users can search the index by address, ZIP code or community to find overall or category scores, identify challenges in their community and compare their neighborhood to others.
Andre Claudio is an assistant editor at Route Fifty.