Central Valley metros might not be best choice for frittering away the golden years
March 15, 2017
• Report ranks both largest and smallest Valley metros near the bottom in U.S.
• “Older adults increasingly are seeking lifelong engagement and purpose”
With nearly 90 percent of older adults in the U.S. wanting to age in their homes and communities, the Milken Institute of Los Angeles is trying to evaluate what it calls the best cities for successful aging.
It’s not intended to identify the locales to which older adults should retire but just to highlight the nation's most livable metropolitan areas — those that enable an optimal quality of life for their aging citizens.
"Cities are on the front lines of the largest demographic shift in history," says Paul Irving, chairman of the Center for the Future of Aging, part of the Milken Institute. "Lifespans are extending into eight, nine, and ten decades, and older adults increasingly are seeking lifelong engagement and purpose. They expect their cities and communities to support their changing needs."
In sifting the data, the Milken research finds the Valley’s metro areas near the bottom of its lists.
Here is where Central Valley’s four largest metros ended up on the list by overall rank out of 100:
• Fresno, 90
• Sacramento, 82
• Bakersfield, 98
• Stockton, 97
Here is where Central Valley’s small metros ended up on the list by overall rank out of 281:
• Chico, 264
• Hanford-Corcoran, 131
• Madera, 256
• Merced, 230
• Modesto, 266
• Visalia-Porterville, 260
• Yuba City, 248
To evaluate the metropolitan areas that foster the best overall quality of life for older adults, the Milken Institute utilized public data -- 83 indicators across nine categories. These categories included general livability, health care, wellness, financial security, living arrangements, employment, education, transportation and convenience, and community engagement.
Provo-Orem, Utah, is at the top of the list among major metros. It is there on the strength of the services and support systems that “make it an ideal home for older adults amid a youthful, family-oriented population,” the report says.
Iowa City, Iowa, tops the small metros list. Milken praises it for its “literary leadership, fostered by the University of Iowa and its pioneering Writers’ Workshop.”