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Best Cities for Successful Aging | Lawrence, KS
#8
OVERALL RANKING

Lawrence, KS


SCORE: 74.64

#8
FOR AGES 65-79
SCORE: 75.48
 
#16
FOR AGES 80+
SCORE: 73.04
 
Percent of Population 65+:  9.65%
Population 65+:  10,914
Total Population:  113,043

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent
+/-
General Livability 183 79.95 81.58 -2.00 %
Health Care 58 57.82 50.15 15.29 %
Wellness 46 73.64 68.45 7.58 %
Financial 21 89.39 81.09 10.24 %
EducationEducation 5 86.20 71.18 45.51 %
Living ArrangementsArrange-
ments
109 74.14 71.18 4.16 %
Employment 8 85.56 51.56 65.94 %
Transportation/
Convenience
Transport-
ation
42 68.52 57.14 19.92 %
Community EngagementEngage-
ment
43 57.95 51.89 11.68 %
(Three-tier color code: 1-25 Green, 26-75 Black, 76+ Red)
Find out about the methodology used for these indicators

Nailed It


Educated and employed population

- Tied for lowest unemployment among older adults
- Few older residents in poverty; few reverse mortgages
- Highly educated populace
- Enthusiasm for volunteerism among older adults
- High growth in health and leisure employment

Health care and chronic disease

- Joint Commission-accredited and med school-affiliated hospital
- Front lines: many primary-care clinicians; efficient emergency rooms
- Low rates of diabetes
- Many fitness centers relative to population

Caregiving

- Numerous caregivers and home health providers
- Highly rated nursing homes

Needs Work


Independent living and old-age support

- Expensive homeownership and rents
- High tax burden
- No Alzheimer’s units, geriatric facilities, or hospices
- Few older adults living at home

Takeaway


Improvements in health and wellness have boosted Lawrence into the “Best Cities” top 10. Pluses: ample primary care, short emergency room waits, and affordable hospitals. Needed: more aging-specific health services. The University of Kansas and a growing tech presence buttress a slowly improving economy, but living costs and crime rates are high.

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General Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Cost of Living 207 39.97 49.09
Crime Rate 238 29.67 42.85
Employment Growth (2007-2012) 170 79.49 80.67
Unemployment Rate 29 64.92 46.80
Income Distribution 110 84.44 84.25
Weather 170 56.13 62.27
Fatal Car Crashes 37 43.41 29.38

Health-Care Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Number of Doctors 16 54.22 33.5
Number of hospital beds 231 15.77 29.37
% of Hospitals with JCAHO Accreditation 1 100.00 79.11
Number of Long-Term Hospitals 57 0.00 6.57
Number of Hospitals with Geriatric Services 203 0.00 21.44
% of Hospitals with Rehabilitation Services 114 25.74 25.8
Number of Hospitals with Alzheimer's units 36 0.00 4.68
Number of Hospitals with Hospice Services 140 0.00 15.09
% of Hospitals with Medical School Affiliation 1 100.00 26.60
% of Magnet Hospitals 64 0.00 6.27
Number of Orthopedic Surgeons 126 11.89 13.35
Number of nurses 188 19.55 24.78
Number of Physical Therapists 38 2.96 2.35
ER Wait Times 26 39.77 24.64
 

Wellness Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Obesity rate 27 55.07 46.33
Smoking rate 62 15.99 13.69
Diabetes rate 9 62.84 41.83
Binge drinking 270 10.08 20.32
Alzheimer's cases 258 55.37 74.78
Caregivers 24 57.87 39.11
Life expectancy at 65 67 79.93 76.89
Depression 139 48.21 49.3
Physical activity 34 49.15 39.05
Fitness and recreational sports centers 26 61.44 42.27
Fast-food outlets 256 27.86 35.09
Golf courses, ski resorts 144 14.33 17.69
Air quality 171 56.12 61.2

Financial Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Banks and financial institutions 72 63.01 53.83
Total bank deposits 91 1.02 1.37
Tax burden 176 66.38 70.55
Dependency ratio 6 89.05 61.29
Small business growth 100 82.17 81.17
Older adults below poverty line 27 39.37 29.07
Capital gains 113 28.97 31.31
Income growth 115 60.41 60.52
Reverse mortgages 36 45.54 27.26
 

Living Arrangements Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Median house price 194 39.07 46.02
Median rental price 195 65.52 70.18
Households with older adults 274 25.61 39.04
Nursing beds 156 45.08 49.76
Cost of semiprivate nursing room 39 84.85 70.35
Home health-care service providers 12 37.84 14.31
Continuing-care facilities 81 17.41 14.8
Cost of assisted living 254 60.29 71.61
Nursing-home rating 16 50.00 22.29
Older adults in family homes 236 78.71 82.84
Cost of adult day services 207 43.75 55.7

Employment/Education Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of 65+ employed 16 77.85 56.23
65+ unemployment Rate 1 100.00 31.34
Employment growth 15 51.16 44.29
Output of service sector/manufacturing 89 8.74 9.94
 

Transportation/Convenience Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Average commute time to work 94 74.63 71.39
Number of Passenger Trips 10 21.69 11.53
Investment in Public/Senior Transportation 205 31.99 64.25
% of commuters who walk to work 25 35.73 17.90
Number of Grocery, etc. 80 50.86 55.19
% of Seniors near grocery 84.52
Walk score 82 49.38 xx.52

Community Engagement Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of population 65+ 267 19.45 39.94
Number of arts, entertainment, and recreation facilities 81 20.38 18.61
Senior volunteer rates 10 79.92 63.01
Number of public libraries 214 14.55 25.07
Number of civic and religious organizations 72 72.76 12.40
Funding for older adults 51 31.26 25.37
 

Education Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Educational attainment 5 98.13 85.93
College enrollment 9 71.40 26.46