Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 375–383 | Cite as

The Age Composition of U.S. Neighborhoods

  • Sara M. MoormanEmail author
  • Jeffrey E. Stokes
  • Sean C. Robbins


An explicit goal of age-friendly community initiatives is that neighborhoods should include residents of all ages. This quality has been little assessed, either in naturally-occurring communities or in communities engaged in age-friendly interventions. We addressed the research questions: How commonly does the age distribution of a neighborhood reflect the age distribution of the U.S. as a whole? What types of representative and non-representative neighborhoods exist, and what are their sociodemographic characteristics? We conducted a descriptive analysis of data from the 2010 Census on the age distribution of the 71,864 populated census tracts that comprise the lower 48 United States. We found that approximately two-thirds of neighborhoods had age distributions that differed from the age composition of the U.S. Neighborhoods that overrepresented older adults aged 60 and older were almost one-quarter of all neighborhoods. Age representative and age non-representative neighborhoods differed in their racial/ethnic and socioeconomic composition as well. We conclude that most individuals lack neighborhood exposure to an age representative cross-section of the U.S. population. We discuss the implications of this finding for policymaking in age-friendly community initiatives.


Age-friendly communities Age segregation, aging in place Census data 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara M. Moorman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey E. Stokes
    • 1
  • Sean C. Robbins
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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