There are a lot of factors that go into how ‘livable’ a neighborhood is. Things like housing affordability and access, neighborhood access to life, work, and play, and the opportunity offered by a given locale are all factors.
But those things can be hard to find information on, compile it into a manageable list, and then compare that information to other places. That’s where AARP’s Livability Index, an index created that measures the quality of living in neighborhoods across multiple dimensions, comes into play.
The Economists’ Outlook blog reports that a livable neighborhood is one that is safe, provides affordable housing and transportation options, has community features, and allows people to age in place. There are seven total categories the index measures: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity.
The index measures on a scale of 0 to 100. For reference, Seattle scored a 63, New York City scored a 62, Chicago scored a 53, and Los Angeles scored a 47. It appears as though the majority of neighborhoods exist between scores of 45 and 60. If one of the seven categories is particularly low for a given neighborhood, it usually makes up for it with a higher score in one of the other categories.
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