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Livability: How does your state, city or town rank?

AARP looks at 8 indexes to see how the area meets the needs of the community of all ages.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — How livable is your neighborhood, the town you live in, or the biggest city that is closest to your home? You can actually check by plugging in your zip code into the AARP website and looking at the livability index score.

There are eight indexes to look at for livability:

Outdoor spaces, transportation, civic participation and employment, communication and information, respect and inclusion, social participation, health services, and housing.

“If you're aging this is applicable to you. So, is your home age-friendly, is your neighborhood walkable, do you feel safe, do you have job opportunities for those who may want a part-time job after retiring from a full-time job? All of those amenities are important and really configured to a lifelong home and a lifelong community,” said Mark Hensley, AARP NC Triad Region.   

A livable community is just as important for parents who have kids who walk to school as it is for a person over the age of 65. According to the AARP, by 2034 the number of adults older than 65 will be greater than the number of children under 18.

“Livability ratings go from a score of 1 to 100 and 100 is perfect. Most areas are coming to that 50 to 60 mark.
Let’s talk about Guilford County. They are just about to join the network. The county has set aside some funding for a part-time coordinator for Age-Friendly Guilford. This is bringing together all the municipalities as well as the county,” said Hensley.

Right now, Guilford County has a 52 rating. The lowest score comes in health care.


In early May, Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order making NC an age-friendly state. North Carolina becomes the 10th age-friendly state, joining AARP to make the state more livable for all ages.

“With the Governor's proclamation, it's charging all state departments to look with a lens of how people age, like transportation. Is NC DOT looking at how cars, bikes, and pedestrians can share the road safely? Are crosswalks being calibrated so that a person who is older can make it across the street? Are the curb cutouts in place for that person with a walker wheelchair or that 25-year-old mom with a jogging stroller,” said Hensley.

The proclamation gives directives for state agencies such as:

Developing a blueprint to ensure support and services are there for the aging population.

The Department of Commerce to get more aging adults into the workforce.
The Department of Natural Resources to improve access to outdoor spaces.

Similar changes at DOT and information technology.


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