Pittsburgh: A Good Place to Live As You Age

Aug 7, 2012

Pittsburgh has been ranked as the 10th best city for "Successful Aging" for seniors ages 65-79, according to the Milken Institute's analysis of 100 cities in the nation.

This is the first year the California-based non-profit ranked cities on a successful aging index based on 78 factors, but it has been rating cities on "Best Performance" for a decade.

The institute's website describes successful aging as "living in a safe, affordable, engaging and connected community that offers quality health care and an active lifestyle together with ready access to transportation, education, employment and recreation." The rankings will be updated every two years.

City of Pittsburgh spokeswoman Joanna Doven pointed to one contributing factor that led to Pittsburgh's high ranking.

"We have great 'Healthy Active Living Centers,' which are called our senior centers, where we have city seniors that come to these centers everyday and take advantage of programs and services," Doven said.

Doven said the most popular senior center, the South Side Market House, recently completed renovations, and in the future, the 8,000 registered seniors should look for more improvements at the city's 14 centers.

"We're really updating a lot of our facilities [and] recreation centers, putting more health and fitness activities in them, whether it's treadmills, pool tables, racquetball tables," Doven said.

Those amenities are much needed, too. The Milken Institute's report says one of the things Pittsburgh seniors need to work on is health and fitness. The report says "the obesity rate for seniors is among the worst for large metros," and, "despite a high number of fitness centers, most seniors are not physically active."

However, Pittsburgh's low crime rate, affordable living, and transportation system all contributed to it being the country's 10th best city to age successfully.