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News Brief

Nov. 30, 2023 |  By: Deborah Van Fleet - Public News Service

Lincoln, other NE communities rate high for 'livability'


By Deborah Van Fleet - Public News Service

The city of Lincoln scores high for "livability," both in Nebraska and the nation as a whole.

In the new AARP Livability Index, Lincoln ranks number one for the state, and number 11 among large communities nationwide. Rankings were based on 61 indicators in seven categories, such as housing, transportation, health status and community engagement. Among Nebraska's top 10 "livable" communities, Holdrege is in second place, and third and fourth are Blair and Seward, respectively.

Todd Stubbendieck, state director of AARP Nebraska, said the ranking speaks well of the state.

"What I think it shows is that cities of any size within our state can be working on these issues and finding ways to become more livable," Stubbendieck contended. "And this is not just livable for people over 50."

In the trademarked AARP Livability Index, users can search by address, city, state or ZIP code to find a score for each of the seven categories, and information about the indicators used to arrive at the score. Demographic and climate information are also included. And for each community, there's an interactive map allowing users to view data even at the neighborhood level.

Stubbendieck pointed out the rankings are based on factors everyone in a community can benefit from.

"People want to be able to age in place, and in order to do that, they need access to affordable housing, health care, good transportation options," Stubbendieck outlined. "I think what we know is that by making our communities more age-friendly, we actually make them better for people of all ages."

Stubbendieck added the Livability Index includes information for people with a variety of backgrounds and interests.

"It's a data-driven look at every community and every neighborhood," Stubbendieck noted. "I think from a perspective of either community leaders or stakeholders or citizens, not only can you see what you're doing well, but you can see those areas in which you might potentially improve, or make improvements."