Boston Ranks High In Retirement Livability Index.

Provincetown shares many of these same characteristics! Just saying.

 

Why You Should Stay in Boston for the Rest of Your Life

Forget retiring to Florida. Boston may be the place to settle down.

According to AARP’s “Livability Index,” Boston is the second most-livable large city in the United States, falling just behind San Francisco.

Though AARP makes it clear that the index can relate to people of all ages, there are specific applications for the elderly:

“Retired residents on fixed incomes need affordable places to live; those who don’t drive need other transportation options; and those with mobility challenges need accessible transportation and housing. No one wants to be forced to leave their community because of changing income or physical agility.”

And, on AARP’s list of the 10 most livable neighborhoods, Boston’s Downtown Crossing made the cut.

AARP elaborated upon Downtown Crossing’s score calling it, “A shopping district in transition to more mixed use with high-rise residences. Adjacent to Boston Common (and all of its recreational amenities), the theater district and the financial district. Stations for three main rail lines are nearby. Some streets are for pedestrians only.”

With AARP’s “livability index” you can type in an address, state, city, or zip code to get a score that is based on an assessment of seven categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity.

Boston received a score of 65 out of 100 for livability, broken down into the seven categories below. Each score is out of 100.

Housing (80): 86.3 percent of the units in Boston are multi-family and there are 681 subsidized housing units per 10,000 people, which is way above the U.S. median of 124. AARP says that they measure units that are multi-family as elders whose spouses have passed away, single-parent families, childless couples, or people who choose to share housing with roommates may prefer this living situation. But Boston’s housing costs, ($1,455 average per month), which includes taxes, rent, mortgage fees, and utilities, falls significantly above the U.S. average ($999 per month).

Neighborhood (76): In this category Boston ranks above the national average in a slew of metrics: access to grocery stores and famers markets, access to parks, access to libraries, access to jobs by transit, access to jobs by auto, diversity of destinations, and activity density. However, the city’s crime rate is slightly higher than the national average.

Transportation (84): In regards to frequency of local transit service, walking trips, household transportation costs, and crash rates, Boston does better than the United States on average. Maybe not so shockingly, Boston does worse than average in terms of traffic congestion.

Environment (65): Boston ranks well in drinking water quality and air quality, boasting only two unhealthy air quality days per year, below the median U.S. average of eight days. But Boston does fall short in near-roadway pollution and local industrial pollution.

Health (65): 99.8 percent of people in Boston have access to exercise opportunities and 21.7 percent of people are obese, which is below the national average. Tobacco use and the availability of health care professionals are both fairly average. But preventable hospitalization rate and patient satisfaction in Boston both were worse than the national averages.

Engagement (61): This category looked at metrics based on civic and social engagement in the community. Boston ranked very high in Internet access and also fell above the national average of the number of cultural, artistic, and entertainment institutions available. Opportunity for civic involvement and the social involvement index were both about average, while voting rates in the Hub are lower than the national average.

Opportunity (25): This was Boston’s worst ranking of the seven, scoring below average in all of the metrics – income inequality, jobs per worker, high school graduation rate and age diversity.