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How cities in the Tampa Bay area scored on AARP's Livability Index

Tampa scores 53 out of 100 on AARP's Livability Index
downtown Tampa Sykes building
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 21:21:39-04

TAMPA, Fla. — AARP recently released its 2022 Livability Index rating, and it scored how livable cities in the Tampa Bay area are.

“Folks in Tampa should breathe a sigh of relief that they are in the top half of communities across the country in our new livability index,” said Rodney Harrell, vice president of family, home and community for AARP.

With the scale up to 100, St. Petersburg scored 57, Sarasota 56, Lakeland 47 and Tampa and Zephyrhills both scored 53. AARP said anything over 50 is good, but that there is still room for improvement.

“That score of 53 means there are still benefits and challenges within the community,” said Harrell.

The index measures various categories such as housing, health and environment. Each category is rated on different metrics. For housing, metrics include the average housing costs and the percentage of housing with zero-step entrances. Health metrics include the percentage of smokers and preventable hospitalization rates.

“Quick look at some of the highlights: the vibrant neighborhoods with access to parks and restaurants and jobs and grocery stores, libraries. Having neighborhoods that you can walk around is something that Tampa does have,” said Harrell.

AARP said the two main areas where Tampa Bay scored low were access to affordable homes and air quality.

“Those are examples of some of the weaker areas that Tampa might want to look at in terms of improving,” Harrell.

Local officials can use the index to help determine what communities need to improve the quality of life for their residents.

“To see what disparities there may be between, say, the east side and west side of town. And so, it’s been really fulfilling to know that information is helping local officials to make good decisions,” said Harrell.

If you would like to know how your community scored on that livability index, visit livabilityindex.aarp.org.