About

Where You Live Matters

"A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and has supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence; allow residents to age in place; and foster residents’ engagement in the community’s civic, economic, and social life."

— The Policy Book: AARP Public Policies

Quantifying Livability

The AARP Livability Index scores every neighborhood and community in the United States for the services and amenities that affect people’s lives the most. Using more than 50 national sources of data, the AARP Livability Index provides the clearest picture yet of how well a community meets the current and future needs of people of all ages, regardless of income, physical ability, or ethnicity. Featuring 61 indicators, the AARP Livability Index captures how well a community supports its members in seven critical categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity.

Take a deeper dive into the AARP Livability Index Categories

Taking Action

Local residents, community advocates, researchers, and local policymakers all share in ensuring a livable community where residents of all ages are active, engaged and supported. From local homebuyers to housing policy analysts, the AARP Livability Index is designed for users interested in understanding the current situation and taking action to enhance independence, choice, and overall quality of life.

Research-Backed Scores

An Overall Livability Score for a selected neighborhood, city, county, or state ranges from 0 to 100. Each of the seven categories is also scored with a range from 0 to 100. Scores are based on research-backed, credible data, and are computed by comparing communities to one another, so the average community gets a score of 50. Even the best-performing places show room for improvement in at least one category.

Users can adjust the weight of each category to personalize the scores for what matters most to their own livability. Compare locations, personalize scores, and dive into the data.

Meet the Team

As the U.S. population ages, we face a serious challenge: our communities are not prepared for an aging society. In an effort to address this urgent problem, the AARP Public Policy Institute created the AARP Livability Index.

The Public Policy Institute (PPI) informs and stimulates public debate on the issues we face as we age. PPI also had guidance from an interdisciplinary technical advisory committee with expertise in both policy and data analysis across the range of subject areas evaluated by the AARP Livability Index, including public policy, city planning, public health, aging studies, environmental sciences, and econometrics.

Meet the AARP experts behind the AARP Livability Index.

PPI Livability Index Core Team

Rodney Harrell, PhD, Livability Index Enterprise Lead/VP Family, Home & Community

Dr. Rodney Harrell’s research on housing preferences, neighborhood choice, and community livability led to the development of the theoretical framework for the AARP Livability Index. Along with Jana Lynott, he developed the initial concept for the AARP Livability Index. He is the lead on survey and other research related to the AARP Livability Index’s design. Read more

Follow Rodney @DrUrbanPolicy, Facebook.com/DrUrbanPolicy, and on DrUrbanPolicy.com

Shannon Guzman, MA, MCP, Director, Housing and Livable Communities

Shannon Guzman’s planning and communications expertise contributes to all aspects of AARP Livability Index, from survey research to the tool’s design and functionality. She provided data analysis and research that contributed to the selection of AARP Livability Index metrics and policies. Shannon has also coauthored several AARP Livability Index-related research publications. Read more

Follow Shannon @SGuzman6

Jana Lynott, AICP, Project Director/Senior Strategic Policy Advisor

Jana Lynott is a project director of the AARP Livability Index. Along with Dr. Rodney Harrell, she developed the initial concept for the tool. She is a key contributor to all facets of the project, including its concept, design, methodology, content, and outreach. Read more

Follow Jana @JanaLynott

Ari Houser, MA, Quantitative Methods Advisor

Ari Houser contributed his expertise to the scoring methods within the AARP Livability Index. He advised the AARP Livability Index team on technical details, including weighting, scaling, missing data, and metric reliability. Read more

Suleyman Bahceci, PhD, Senior Methods Advisor

Suleyman Bahceci joined the AARP Livability Index team in December 2020 and is responsible for data review, quantitative analytics, data visualization, and overall project management support. Read more

Expert Contributors

AARP would like to thank the following AARP Livability Index contributors:

National Advisory Panel Members

  • Danielle Arigoni, Director, Livable Communities, AARP Government Affairs
  • Abbey Cofsky, Managing Director, City Health Dashboard, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Jason Jordan, Policy Director, American Planning Association
  • Tad McGalliard, Director, Research and Development, International City/County Management Association
  • Jen Molinski, Senior Research Associate, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Research
  • Alexa Rosenberg, Senior Director, Economic Mobility Enterprise Community Partners
  • Jim Sallis, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, University of California, San Diego
  • Caroline Servat, Associate Director, Milken Institute
  • Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Center for Technology Innovation, The Brookings Institution
  • Mike Watson, Director, Livable Communities, AARP Programs

Technical Advisory Committee Members

  • Nisha Botchwey, Associate Professor, City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Richard Duncan, Executive Director, RL Mace Design Institute
  • Peter Haas, Chief Research Scientist, Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Carrie Kissel, Associate Director, National Association of Development Organization
  • Marynia Kolak, Center for Spatial Data Science, Searle Chemistry Lab, University of Chicago
  • Amanda Lehning, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work
  • Margaret Neal, Director Emerita, Institute on Aging, Portland State University
  • Quynh Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health
  • Jeremy Raw, Community Planner, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning
  • Anna Read, Officer, Broadband Research Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Jagruti Rekhi, Social Science Analyst, US Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • Ben Spoer, Director of Data & Analytics, NYU City Health Dashboard
  • Matthew Streeter, American Housing Survey Manager, US Census
See the list of former technical advisors and prior TAC members.