Mission: To promote the development of sound, creative policies that address Americans' common desire to live in healthy, secure, age-friendly neighborhoods and communities.
Background: A project of the AARP Public Policy Institute, which works to inform and stimulate public debate on the issues Americans face as they age, the Livability Index is the first tool of its kind to measure livability, broadly defined, at the neighborhood level for the entire country. Although the term "livability" means different things to different people, AARP has defined it as embodying values that are part and parcel of a healthy community, including personal independence, security, and choice. Livable communities are those in which residents of all ages are able to thrive and the community itself prospers. More specifically, the Livability Index assesses seven broad categories of community livability: housing (affordability and access), neighborhood (access to life, work, and play), transportation (safe and convenient options), environment (clean air and water), health (prevention, access, and quality), engagement (civic and social involvement), and opportunity (inclusion and possibilities). In each category, the PPI team evaluates community conditions using a diverse set of indicators, with metric values and policy points within each category combined to create a category score. Category scores are then averaged to create a total index score.
Outstanding Web Features: Visitors to the site are prompted to enter their address, city, state, or zip code to obtain their neighborhood or community's livability score, which is based on the average of all seven category scores and calculated on a scale from 0 to 100. The index also allows visitors to compare their community to other locations, track the livability progress of their community over time, dive deeper into the metrics and policies behind each of the seven categories, and customize their community's score by adjusting the importance of each category in the final calculation. In addition, visitors to the site can learn more about the PPI Livability Index team, view a network of age-friendly communities, get answers to their questions about the index via an FAQ, learn more about the key characteristics of livable age-friendly communities, and/or explore the top-scoring communities in the country.