"America is aging rapidly. But are our cities designed to support well-being throughout our longer lives? With the vast majority of Americans living in urban settings, it’s crucial — for older Americans, for our nation’s public health, and for the economics of healthcare — that our cities be designed with an aging population in mind."
The data on aging tells a dramatic story: over the last century, we have added 30 years to our life expectancy. In 2000, people aged 65 years or older comprised 12.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By 2030, that number is expected to rise to 19 percent of the population. By then, there will be an estimated 72.1 million older persons, more than twice the number in 2000. At the same time, more than 80 percent of Americans lived in cities in 2010, according to Reuters, making up an urban population that is growing in both numbers and years.
The latest AARP Livability Index, released earlier this year, identifies America’s 10 most livable large cities. Just two of America’s 10 largest cities make the list: New York City at number five, and Philadelphia at #6. The Milken Institute report similarly reveals that of America’s largest metropolitan areas included in the “Best Cities for Successful Aging,” only Boston makes the list, ranked at number four.