Worcester Ranked #62 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, Worcester emerged with an index score of 89.72, placing it at #62 among the 100 large metropolitan areas ranked. Among older seniors (age 80+), the city did better: ranking #53 with a score of 91.50. Among younger seniors (ages 65-79), Worcester dropped to an overall ranking of #77, with a score of 86.75. Metro Worcester has more than 102,000 seniors, comprising 12.77% of the population.
Where Worcester did best
Among the 8 subcategories, Worcester posted its best performance by far in Health Care, ranking #22 overall, with a score of 75.23, eight points about the national average for large metros. The city's Health Care ranking was driven by high scores in number of hospitals with medical school affiliation (#1), percentage of hospitals with Alzheimer's units (#5), numbers of mental health professionals (#10), and physical therapists (#12). In a related subcategory, Worcester also ranked #39 for Wellness indicators, with a score of 81.6 that was just above the national average. Worcester ranked #9 in the Wellness Indicators for numbers of fitness centers.
Worcester did poorest relative to other large metropolitan areas on the Index's Financial indicators, ranking #96 with a score of 68.54, which was nearly 8 points below the national group's average. The city showed poorly on index growth of small businesses from 2004-2009 (#98), tax burden (#90), and number of banks and financial institutions (#88).
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 Worcester in New England after Boston were all Connecticut metro areas: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area ranked #17, Hartford placed #29, and New Haven #56.
For all of Worcester's rankings, go here.
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