Two California Communities Rank in Top Ten for Livability

The City of Berkeley scored very high on the Livability Index due to its parks, transportation, and access to education. Photo Credit: Introvert/Wikimedia Commons

Suzanne Potter
California News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Two California communities scored very high on the new 2018 AARP Livability Index.

San Francisco lost points for high housing costs, but still scored number one in the nation as a “livable” large city, for its cultural events, walkable neighborhoods, and transportation that is accessible for all. And Berkeley is ranked number 10 in the country among medium-sized cities, for many of the same reasons.

Nancy McPherson, state director of AARP California, says anyone can search the livability map by ZIP Code to see how their neighborhood stacks up.

“It allows people to look at 60 indicators across seven categories of livability – and they are housing, neighborhoods, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity,” says McPherson.

AARP introduced the Livability Index in 2015 to help cities pinpoint the things they could be doing better to improve quality of life for their residents, and support older adults as they age. You can use the web-based interactive tool at ‘’

McPherson also praises city leaders in West Sacramento who used the index as a baseline, then took action.

“So just this May, the city launched an on-demand ride service at a very low fare, where people can take rides all across the city of West Sacramento to get to the grocery store or medical appointments, or wherever they need to go,” says McPherson. “And they’re doing it in partnership with a local ride-sourcing company. ”

She says residents also can use the index ratings to advocate with local leaders, business and nonprofit groups for improvements in clean air and water, and access to libraries, shopping, parks, medical care, jobs, education and transportation.