Providence Ranked #66 Best City in US for Seniors
Thursday, August 02, 2012
"There have been aging rankings before, often based on opinion and speculation, or focused on a limited aspect of aging," according to the Institute's introduction to its rankings. "But the Milken Institute's data-driven approach represents a deeper level of analysis."
What makes a city good for seniors?
The Best Cities for Successful Aging methodology derived from the following outcomes for senior citizens:
- We want to live in places that are safe, affordable, and comfortable.
- We want to be healthy and happy.
- We want to be financially secure and part of an economy that enables opportunity and entrepreneurship.
- We want living arrangements that suit our needs.
- We want mobility and access to convenient transportation systems that get us where we want and need to go.
- We want to be respected for our wisdom and experience; to be physically, intellectually, and culturally enriched; and to be connected to our families, friends, and communities.
After all the number crunching, Providence emerged with an index score of 89.52, placing it at #66 among the 100 large metropolitan areas ranked. Among older seniors (age 80+), the city did even more poorly: ranking #77 with a score of 89.91. Among younger seniors (ages 65-79), Providence dropped to an overall ranking of #78, with a score of 86.73. The greater Providence metropolitan area has 229,760 seniors, comprising 14.35% of the population.
Where Providence did best
Among the 8 subcategories, Providence posted its best performance by far in Community Engagement, ranking #8 overall, with a score of 91.91, 21 points above the national average for large metros. The city's Community Engagement ranking was driven by high scores in funding for seniors and number of YMCAs (both #1 in the national group), number of public libraries (#17) and number of museums and cultural sites (#18).
Providence also ranked relatively well on Transportation issues for seniors (#16), with its best performance in this subcategory on investment in public/senior transportation (#5). The capital city ranked #20 for Wellness indicators, ranking #4 for numbers of golf courses, marinas and bowling sites, number of fitness centers, and percentage of older Americans with no physical activity.
Providence did poorest relative to other large metropolitan areas on the Index's Financial indicators, ranking #95 with a score of 68.59, which was more than 10 points below the group's average. The city showed poorly on index growth of small businesses from 2004-2009 (#89), tax burden (#88), and number of banks and financial institutions (#82).
The best large metro in the country was Provo-Orem, UT, followed by Madison, WI (#2), Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE/-IA (#3), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (#4), and New York metro area at #5. Outpacing Providence in New England were the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area (ranked #17), Hartford at #29, New Haven at #56, and Worcester, MA at #62.
For all of Providence's rankings, go here.
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