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Best Cities for Successful Aging | Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
#19
OVERALL RANKING
Mayors Pledge

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV


SCORE: 74.37

#15
FOR AGES 65-79
SCORE: 75.08
 
#34
FOR AGES 80+
SCORE: 72.11
 
Percent of Population 65+:  10.67%
Population 65+:  625,265
Total Population:  5,862,594

Indicator Rank Score Average
AvgScore
Percent
+/-
% +/-
General Livability 40 88.75 87.83 1.05 %
Health Care 44 64.23 62.09 3.45 %
Wellness 19 77.32 72.07 7.28 %
Financial Security 91 82.07 88.25 -7.00 %
Education 33 63.68 61.67 3.26 %
Transportation/
Convenience
Transport-
ation
8 60.59 46.42 30.53 %
Employment 1 100.00 63.96 56.35 %
Living ArrangementsArrange-
ments
97 55.64 69.42 -19.85 %
Community EngagementEngage-
ment
48 74.19 73.23 1.31 %
(Three-tier color code: 1-25 Green, 26-75 Black, 76+ Red)
Find out about the methodology used for these indicators

Nailed It


Engaged older population

- High employment among older adults
- Service economy: amenable to older workers
- Tech-savvy: many older people online
- Avid volunteerism in 65-plus population
- Low income inequality for a large metro

Quality health care

- High Medicare enrollment
- Many hospitals associated with medical schools
- Prevention: large cohort of primary-care doctors

Healthy population

- Low rates of clinical depression among Medicare recipients; good longevity
- Many adults age at home
- Walkable communities; many grocers
- Well-used public transportation

Needs Work


Urban pressures

- Long commutes and high transit fares
- Expensive housing and assisted living
- Too much fast food; too few gyms
- Few Alzheimerís and geriatric units

Education and opportunity

- Too few community colleges
- Low employment growth

Takeaway


The nationís capital hosts research institutions and universities as well as government agencies, embassies, and related businesses that keep its economy humming. With an educated, involved population, Washington and its across-the-Potomac neighbors are designed for walkability and public transportation. But commute times and high living costs, even more than political rancor, cause heartburn here.

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General Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Cost of living 88 31.02 46.41
Crime rate 29 61.30 52.77
Internet access 8 95.29 83.51
Employment growth 71 83.93 86.82
Unemployment rate 22 71.27 64.06
Income distribution 6 90.91 86.33
Weather 57 58.84 65.13
Fatal car crashes 9 78.61 51.71

Health-Care Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Medicare enrollment 6 97.68 62.02
Primary-care physicians 7 75.24 57.60
Nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants 43 47.20 45.49
Number of nurses 67 32.87 38.33
Number of hospital beds 74 30.98 37.22
Long-term hospitals 37 24.04 22.49
Hospitals with geriatric services 82 20.17 37.70
Hospitals with rehabilitation services 60 35.82 43.27
Hospitals with Alzheimer's units 53 7.78 11.62
Hospitals with hospice services 50 28.21 31.78
Orthopedic surgeons 21 37.94 31.70
Dialysis centers 27 48.43 40.28
Medical and diagnostic centers 32 56.34 48.95
Physical therapists 25 69.23 56.09
Expenses per inpatient day 46 61.03 62.02
Joint Commission accreditation 39 89.47 83.71
Medical school affiliation 26 62.52 45.76
Magnet hospitals 41 14.74 14.40
ER wait times 54 32.80 40.01
 

Wellness Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Obesity rate 20 78.35 70.79
Smoking rate 14 39.34 30.34
Diabetes rate 16 56.11 48.54
Alzheimer's cases 43 84.21 81.26
Caregivers 36 41.20 39.21
Life expectancy at 65 11 91.66 84.59
Depression 3 57.70 43.31
Physical activity 18 77.16 65.43
Fitness and recreational sports centers 22 54.72 46.08
Fast-food outlets 93 51.84 61.73
Falls with injury 50 36.86 38.43
Binge drinking 53 39.13 40.64
Air quality 55 65.57 67.44

Financial Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Banks and financial institutions 62 45.06 47.44
Total bank deposits 18 8.40 7.24
Tax burden 88 50.31 68.14
Dependency ratio 6 95.67 84.57
Growth of small businesses 23 89.03 86.25
Older adults below poverty line 21 68.61 58.57
Capital gains 72 34.36 49.15
Income growth 54 83.12 84.11
Reverse mortgages 81 3.70 15.80
 

Living Arrangements Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Median house price 91 20.18 44.17
Median rental price 98 41.05 69.47
Households with older adults 85 46.49 55.52
Nursing beds 72 45.64 60.28
Cost of semi-private nursing room 79 56.05 64.62
Home health-care service providers 34 15.14 15.21
Continuing-care facilities 48 19.94 23.14
Cost of assisted living 91 66.26 80.63
Nursing-home rating 20 51.29 36.99
Older adults in family homes 32 86.73 84.60
Cost of adult day services 65 47.03 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 7 74.55 50.90
Commute times 99 55.94 78.27
Commuters who walk to work 21 52.04 38.41
Number of passenger trips 3 43.52 9.79
Public transport fare 83 8.44 16.65
Investment in public/senior transportation 67 64.20 67.65
Grocery stores 14 42.84 33.58
Special needs transportation 47 26.69 29.60

Community Engagement Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of population 65+ 88 37.94 47.47
Arts, entertainment, and recreation facilities 42 31.57 30.60
Senior volunteer rates 21 58.31 53.28
Number of public libraries 72 34.21 44.65
Number of civic and religious organizations 37 70.03 60.15
Funding for older adults 2 92.91 75.84
 

Education Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Educational attainment 27 92.80 38.00
College enrollment 24 64.29 58.16
Number of community colleges 93 7.47 20.92
Number of universities 12 54.12 38.93