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Best Cities for Successful Aging | Madison, WI
#1
OVERALL RANKING

Madison, WI


SCORE: 100.00

#1
FOR AGES 65-79
SCORE: 100.00
 
#3
FOR AGES 80+
SCORE: 97.44
 
Percent of Population 65+:  11.89%
Population 65+:  73,832
Total Population:  620,740

Indicator Rank Score Average
AvgScore
Percent
+/-
% +/-
General 23 82.37 79.76 3.27 %
Health Care 2 95.14 63.90 48.89 %
Wellness 21 83.50 78.90 5.83 %
Financial 43 86.74 86.07 0.78 %
Living ArrangementsArrange-
ments
70 67.40 71.14 -5.26 %
Employment / Education 9 80.82 67.28 20.12 %
Transportation/
Convenience
Transport-
ation
11 61.38 51.60 18.95 %
Community EngagementEngage-
ment
4 90.39 69.00 31.00 %
(Three-tier color code: 1-25 Green, 26-75 Black, 76+ Red)
Find out about the methodology used for these indicators

Nailed It:


Quality health care

  • Thumbs up to all 11 hospitals from the Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
  • Magnet hospitals and solid staffing pools: physicians, orthopedic surgeons, psychologists, and nurses. Ample continuing-care facilities.
  • In-hospital specialty care, including geriatric, Alzheimer's and rehab facilities.
  • Emergency-room waits: short.

Strong economic, educational environment

  • High employment growth and low poverty rate for older adults.
  • Low crime rate. Comparatively equitable income distribution.
  • Quality education and intellectual engagement at the University of Wisconsin.

Healthy lifestyle choices

  • Low rates of smoking, falls, and diabetes among older people. Byproduct: economic upside for the health-care system.
  • Wide opportunity for physical activity; lots of commuting by foot.

Plentiful choices in culture, recreation

  • Abundance of recreational and fitness facilities and YMCAs.
  • Plenty of libraries, museums, and movie theaters.

Needs Work:


Pricey living, unhealthy habits

  • Expensive living, including cost of inpatient care. Too few dialysis centers and MRI clinics.
  • Too many fast food outlets, too much sugary drink consumption, not enough fruits and vegetables in older people's diets.
  • Not enough grocery stores for convenience of older adults.

Take Away:


Home to the respected University of Wisconsin, Madison is a hub of innovation and intellectual stimulation. Economic growth gets a boost from UW's research needs, and quality health care is a big plus. Cultural amenities attract highbrows and regular folk alike, and Madisonians also enjoy the amenities of Chicago, just 150 miles away. Cost of living, high for the Midwest, remains an issue.

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General Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Cost of Living 70 34.65 41.16
Crime Rate 17 66.02 52.52
% Binge drinkers 86 34.65 31.25
Employment Growth (2007-2012) 16 92.78 89.36
Unemployment Rate 3 89.28 58.66
Income Distribution 17 88.26 84.64
Weather 98 37.99 52.41
Fatal Car Crashes 37 49.05 47.41

Health-Care Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Number of Doctors 3 91.18 53.69
Number of hospital beds 39 38.41 37.00
% of Hospitals with JCAHO Accreditation 1 100.00 80.86
Expenses per Inpatient Day 61 57.44 59.97
Number of Long-Term Hospitals 3 74.41 23.49
Number of Hospitals with Geriatric Services 2 82.17 33.40
Number of Hospitals with Rehabilitation Services 10 61.93 37.47
Number of Hospitals with Alzheimer's units 1 100.00 11.65
Number of Hospitals with Hospice Services 18 56.37 34.27
% of Hospitals with Medical School Affiliation 21 70.91 47.78
% of Magnet Hospitals 5 40.91 12.64
Number of Orthopedic Surgeons 3 96.39 58.98
Number of psychologists 7 68.05 36.80
Number of Dialysis Centers 99 11.46 43.04
Number of MRI 99 18.38 49.35
Number of nurses 7 86.82 62.23
Number of Physical Therapists 3 97.18 62.13
ER Wait Times 1 100.00 50.86
 

Wellness Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Medicare Enrollment 29 94.84 92.17
Obesity Rate 37 70.15 68.86
Obesity rate, population 65+ 41 63.58 62.00
Smoking Rate 66 23.85 30.34
Smoking rate, population 65+ 22 51.80 46.40
Diabetes Rate 9 86.05 68.12
Alzheimer's Cases 43 84.49 84.23
Number of Caregivers 99 46.93 70.99
Life Expectancy at 65 29 89.30 86.93
% of Older Americans with frequent mental distress 41 52.35 50.64
% of Older Americans with no physical activity 21 76.06 67.77
Number of Fitness Centers 3 79.44 49.71
Number of fast food outlets 71 52.79 57.60
Sugary drink consumption 99 40.75 73.64
% of seniors who had fall resulting in injury 10 68.31 53.49
% of seniors regularly consuming fruits and veggies 68 69.18 74.25
Number of Golf courses, skiing, marinas, bowling 7 64.52 35.39

Financial Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Number of banks and financial institutions 26 52.09 46.92
Total bank deposits 27 9.84 9.62
Tax burden 71 59.96 69.43
Dependency Ratio 1 100.00 83.13
Index Growth of Small Businesses (2006-2011) 47 86.29 86.48
% of 65+ population below poverty 2 96.69 63.19
Capital Gains as % of AGI 63 45.17 58.71
Income Growth (2007-2012) 37 88.54 87.50
Amount of Reverse Mortgages 34 14.55 13.59
 

Living Arrangements Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Median House Price 81 30.49 42.03
Median Rental Price 54 70.51 71.36
% of Houses with 65+ Residents 92 44.30 55.31
Number of Nursing Beds 51 45.36 48.14
Cost of Semi-private nursing room 65 60.52 67.29
Number of home health-care service providers 68 6.40 9.62
Continuing Care Facilities 4 53.44 23.96
Cost of assisted living 42 70.74 67.75
Nursing-home rating 49 56.11 58.81
% of seniors living in family households 84 81.28 86.22
Cost of adult day services 47 61.90 61.45

Employment/Education Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Percent of 65+ Employed 15 78.54 68.44
65+ Unemployment Rate 22 41.85 33.33
Employment growth in health,education,leisure and hospitality 48 88.72 88.77
Output of service sector/manufacturing 40 19.73 21.47
College Enrollment 2 87.18 58.74
Number of community colleges 12 36.66 23.95
Number of Universities 78 25.16 38.00
 

Transportation/Convenience Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
Average commute time to work 13 87.85 77.23
Number of Passenger Trips 21 12.68 9.95
Mean fare in public transport, population 65+ 82 9.09 18.50
Investment in Public/Senior Transportation 82 75.84 81.12
Number of Grocery, etc. 92 37.45 48.05
% of Seniors near grocery 33 87.42 84.82
% of commuters who walk to work 4 83.19 37.98
Special needs transportation 25 41.27 31.52

Community Engagement Indicators

Indicator Rank Score Average
Score
% of population 65+ 70 41.30 46.79
Number of arts, entertainment, and recreation facilities 14 39.88 30.50
Senior Volunteer Rates 9 86.57 60.73
Number of Public Libraries 5 84.78 45.48
Number of YMCAs 33 10.84 12.02
Funding for Seniors 45 90.19 91.01