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Best Cities for Successful Aging | Ames, IA
#6
OVERALL RANKING

Ames, IA


SCORE: 90.93

#6
FOR AGES 65-79
SCORE: 93.01
 
#3
FOR AGES 80+
SCORE: 93.47
 
Percent of Population 65+:  10.32%
Population 65+:  9,460
Total Population:  91,630

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent
+/-
General 5 88.89 75.28 18.08 %
Health Care 75 47.72 42.45 12.41 %
Wellness 45 86.39 81.88 5.51 %
Financial 37 83.28 77.72 7.15 %
Living ArrangementsArrange-
ments
111 71.93 69.85 2.98 %
Employment / Education 29 75.28 59.20 27.16 %
Transportation/
Convenience
Transport-
ation
2 89.76 64.90 38.31 %
Community EngagementEngage-
ment
24 69.39 54.20 28.03 %
(Three-tier color code: 1-25 Green, 26-75 Black, 76+ Red)
Find out about the methodology used for these indicators

Nailed It:


Strong economy and learning environment

  • One of the lowest overall unemployment rates, with little poverty among adults 65+.
  • Highest college enrollment among small cities.
  • Above small metro median in income growth.

Transportation options

  • No. 1 spot: highest annual ridership on public transportation.
  • Short commute times. Many people walk to work.

Safe neighborhoods

  • Gold star for road safety: fewest fatal car crashes per capita.
  • Evening strolls: relatively low crime rates.

Needs Work:


Insufficient health-care services for an aging population

  • Few top-rated nursing homes. Lack of Magnet-accredited hospitals.
  • Short supply of home health providers and specialty care hospitals to meet older patients' needs.

Take Away:


Hosting the Big 12 campus of Iowa State University, Ames residents enjoy a strong town-gown connection. Learning opportunities, low unemployment, and an expanding economy characterize this Hawkeye state metro. But growing demand requires more specialty health care.

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General Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Cost of Living 111 54.22 52.43
Crime Rate 40 62.40 47.77
Employment Growth (2007-2012) 44 83.81 80.02
Unemployment Rate 6 75.05 41.03
Income Distribution 157 84.08 85.72
Weather 189 41.41 49.12
Fatal Car Crashes 1 100.00 11.85

Health-Care Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Number of Doctors 102 14.29 15.54
Number of hospital beds 107 33.35 34.20
% of Hospitals with JCAHO Accreditation 213 50.00 79.23
Expenses per Inpatient Day 13 82.78 60.11
Number of Long-Term Hospitals 252 .00 9.41
Number of Hospitals with Geriatric Services 55 43.29 25.35
% of Hospitals with Rehabilitation Services 15 71.10 36.38
Number of Hospitals with Alzheimer's units 252 .00 5.73
Number of Hospitals with Hospice Services 14 47.15 15.76
% of Hospitals with Medical School Affiliation 252 .00 26.90
% of Magnet Hospitals 252 .00 6.41
Number of Orthopedic Surgeons 103 12.91 13.47
Number of psychologists 125 18.84 21.04
Number of nurses 110 23.83 24.33
Number of Physical Therapists 42 48.89 35.67
ER Wait Times 14 50.00 27.98
 

Wellness Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Medicare Enrollment 7 97.92 90.82
Obesity rate, population 65+ 40 57.21 50.43
Diabetes Rate 8 67.07 46.23
Alzheimer's Cases 212 73.97 81.94
Number of Caregivers 219 59.85 71.15
Life Expectancy at 65 27 87.30 81.36
Number of Fitness Centers 69 48.07 40.35
Number of fast food outlets 178 57.86 64.16
Sugary drink consumption 178 67.38 74.11
Number of Golf courses, skiing, marinas, bowling 66 28.07 22.34

Financial Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Number of banks and financial institutions 161 51.69 55.90
Total bank deposits 34 1.69 1.72
Tax burden 137 71.73 72.59
Dependency Ratio 2 98.16 63.45
Index Growth of Small Businesses (2006-2011) 38 74.10 71.00
% of 65+ population below poverty 10 65.03 37.11
Capital Gains as % of AGI 162 33.29 43.03
Income Growth (2007-2012) 20 67.84 62.83
Amount of Reverse Mortgages 203 8.02 20.25
 

Living Arrangements Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Median House Price 173 40.70 47.00
Median Rental Price 109 72.84 69.66
% of Houses with 65+ Residents 248 31.47 49.14
Number of Nursing Beds 146 22.97 26.73
Cost of Semi-private nursing room 40 89.24 70.35
Number of home health-care service providers 249 1.06 9.48
Continuing Care Facilities 40 25.39 15.92
Cost of assisted living 31 81.29 70.12
Nursing-home rating 217 10.26 34.13
% of seniors living in family households 57 88.70 84.74
Cost of adult day services 32 75.00 61.47

Employment/Education Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of 65+ Employed 217 44.19 57.95
65+ Unemployment Rate 136 7.34 12.33
Employment growth in health,education,leisure and hospitality 76 71.75 69.72
Output of service sector/manufacturing 139 5.34 9.69
College Enrollment 1 100.00 29.22
 

Transportation/Convenience Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Average commute time to work 14 87.79 71.39
Number of Passenger Trips 1 100.00 11.53
Investment in Public/Senior Transportation 129 63.04 64.25
% of commuters who walk to work 8 43.74 17.90
Number of Grocery, etc. 248 33.44 55.19
% of Seniors near grocery 41 92.05 84.52

Community Engagement Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
% of population 65+ 234 28.63 39.94
Number of arts, entertainment, and recreation facilities 59 20.79 18.61
Senior Volunteer Rates 16 89.28 63.01
Number of Public Libraries 6 64.63 25.07
Number of YMCAs 49 17.96 12.40
Funding for Seniors 17 25.91 25.37