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Methodology


 

Employment / Education Indicators

Weights*
Indicator
Methodology
Year
100 large
252 small
Percent of 65+ employed
Divided by corresponding U.S. value
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Census Bureau, Moody's Analytics, Milken Institute
2012 0.217 0.284
65+ unemployment rate
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Census Bureau, Moody's Analytics, Milken Institute
2012 0.193 0.194
Employment growth (health, education, leisure, and hospitality)
Indexed growth, 2007-2012, divided by corresponding U.S. value
NAICS codes: 61, 62, 71
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody's Analytics
2007; 2012 0.091 0.168
Output of service sector / manufacturing
Divided by corresponding U.S. value
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Moody's Analytics
2012 0.124 0.135
College enrollment
Per capita
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Census Bureau
2012 0.176 0.219
Number of community colleges**
Per 100,000 population
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Census Bureau, city websites
2012 0.140 -
Number of universities**
Per 100,000 population
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Census Bureau
2011 0.058 -
* Figures may not add up to 1 due to rounding.
** Used only for large metros.
*** New variable.

A growing number of older adults are forgoing traditional retirement and embarking on second, or encore, careers. In fact, about 6 percent to 9.5 percent of 44- to 70-year-olds have already started second careers, and many more are interested in starting an encore career. For many, there are substantial rewards in working or continuing education throughout the later years, including financial benefits, staying engaged in the community, and fulfilling long-held passions.

The 2014 "Best Cities for Successful Aging" index maintains the same indicators as the 2012 index, with an improved methodology in two main areas. The percentages of both 65-and-older employment and unemployment statistics have been updated. In 2012 there were no data available for these indicators at the metro level, and the indicators were created using state-level employment estimates (for adults 65 and older) combined with shift shares of metro-level data for overall employment and unemployment. Using the latest data available, we now have access to these indicators at the metro level through the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). ACS employment data differ from those in the Bureau of Labor Statistics because the questionnaires and collection methods differ between the surveys used, so caution should be exercised when making comparisons between the rankings for 65-and-older employment and unemployment of this index and those in the 2012 index.

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