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Best Cities for Successful Aging | Madison, WI
#2
OVERALL RANKING

Madison, WI


SCORE: 81.39

#2
FOR AGES 65-79
SCORE: 80.64
 
#2
FOR AGES 80+
SCORE: 80.54
 
Percent of Population 65+:  11.89%
Population 65+:  73,832
Total Population:  620,740

Indicator Rank Score Average
AvgScore
Percent
+/-
% +/-
General Livability 39 88.95 87.83 1.28 %
Health Care 2 91.63 62.09 47.58 %
Wellness 7 82.04 72.07 13.83 %
Financial Security 27 90.98 88.25 3.09 %
Education 12 70.88 61.67 14.93 %
Transportation/
Convenience
Transport-
ation
19 56.48 46.42 21.67 %
Employment 40 64.88 63.96 1.44 %
Living ArrangementsArrange-
ments
71 64.85 69.42 -6.58 %
Community EngagementEngage-
ment
3 95.17 73.23 29.96 %
(Three-tier color code: 1-25 Green, 26-75 Black, 76+ Red)
Find out about the methodology used for these indicators

Nailed It


Diverse array of health services

Ample providers: primary care, physical therapy, orthopedic surgery
Many hospitals with geriatric, Alzheimer's, and rehab units
Short emergency room waits

Healthy environment

- Short commutes; many walk to work
- Many fitness centers and recreation options
- Few injury falls; low crime rate

Intellectual atmosphere

- Educated population; high college enrollment rates
- Many libraries and cultural opportunities
- A giving culture: high rates of philanthropy

Needs Work


Costs and opportunity

- Expensive living: high taxes
- Substantial unemployment among older adults

Health issues and drinking

- Aging in place: too few home health-care providers, few residents aging at home, pricey long-term care
- A limited number of dialysis and diagnostic centers
- Too much college-town binge drinking

Takeaway


The top large metro in the 2014 “Best Cities” index, Madison is home to some of the nation’s leading thinkers, thanks to the University of Wisconsin. Boasting strong medical services and an educated, healthy population, it offers an abundance of recreational activities as well as entertainment and community engagement.

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General Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Cost of living 64 41.42 46.41
Crime rate 15 70.90 52.77
Internet access 32 87.63 83.51
Employment growth 53 85.52 86.82
Unemployment rate 6 93.20 64.06
Income distribution 15 88.89 86.33
Weather 99 48.72 65.13
Fatal car crashes 22 67.60 51.71

Health-Care Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Medicare enrollment 25 92.61 62.02
Primary-care physicians 2 90.48 57.60
Nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants 6 67.71 45.49
Number of nurses 6 52.72 38.33
Number of hospital beds 33 40.52 37.22
Long-term hospitals 3 82.42 22.49
Hospitals with geriatric services 2 93.10 37.70
Hospitals with rehabilitation services 9 74.42 43.27
Hospitals with Alzheimer's units 1 100.00 11.62
Hospitals with hospice services 16 53.73 31.78
Orthopedic surgeons 5 48.77 31.70
Dialysis centers 99 10.84 40.28
Medical and diagnostic centers 100 16.93 48.95
Physical therapists 5 88.61 56.09
Expenses per inpatient day 42 63.10 62.02
Joint Commission accreditation 1 100.00 83.71
Medical school affiliation 31 57.85 45.76
Magnet hospitals 8 32.73 14.40
ER wait times 2 80.74 40.01
 

Wellness Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Obesity rate 32 74.29 70.79
Smoking rate 19 35.36 30.34
Diabetes rate 5 67.08 48.54
Alzheimer's cases 95 62.30 81.26
Caregivers 53 37.01 39.21
Life expectancy at 65 37 85.21 84.59
Depression 58 41.75 43.31
Physical activity 14 83.24 65.43
Fitness and recreational sports centers 3 76.66 46.08
Fast-food outlets 61 57.93 61.73
Falls with injury 1 100.00 38.43
Binge drinking 100 24.95 40.64
Air quality 43 67.81 67.44

Financial Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Banks and financial institutions 25 53.15 47.44
Total bank deposits 34 6.22 7.24
Tax burden 71 57.92 68.14
Dependency ratio 2 98.07 84.57
Growth of small businesses 38 87.36 86.25
Older adults below poverty line 6 81.36 58.57
Capital gains 63 37.00 49.15
Income growth 38 84.57 84.11
Reverse mortgages 14 31.15 15.80
 

Living Arrangements Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Median house price 74 33.74 44.17
Median rental price 52 69.94 69.47
Households with older adults 92 44.52 55.52
Nursing beds 56 55.48 60.28
Cost of semi-private nursing room 75 56.68 64.62
Home health-care service providers 67 10.86 15.21
Continuing-care facilities 3 54.83 23.14
Cost of assisted living 80 72.36 80.63
Nursing-home rating 62 29.06 36.99
Older adults in family homes 81 80.60 84.60
Cost of adult day services 41 53.85 55.79

Employment Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of 65+ employed 72.79
65+ unemployment rate 30.13
Employment growth in health,education,leisure and hospitality 85.90
Output of service sector/manufacturing 22.62
 

Transportation/Convenience Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Walk score 39 54.43 50.90
Commute times 15 88.53 78.27
Commuters who walk to work 2 92.22 38.41
Number of passenger trips 22 12.32 9.79
Public transport fare 74 9.09 16.65
Investment in public/senior transportation 89 52.49 67.65
Grocery stores 50 32.42 33.58
Special needs transportation 20 39.57 29.60

Community Engagement Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of population 65+ 67 42.59 47.47
Arts, entertainment, and recreation facilities 9 41.95 30.60
Senior volunteer rates 8 72.57 53.28
Number of public libraries 5 85.45 44.65
Number of civic and religious organizations 33 71.20 60.15
Funding for older adults 44 75.71 75.84
 

Education Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Educational attainment 2 98.60 38.00
College enrollment 4 81.51 58.16
Number of community colleges 39 21.30 20.92
Number of universities 60 35.37 38.93