AARP AARP States Minnesota

Survey Results Will Help MN Become a Better Place to Grow up and Grow Old

Minneapolis lifestyle scenic with biker on Lake Calhoun.

A survey fielded earlier this year by AARP Minnesota intended to help create a Minnesota that is a better place to grow up and grow old shows that Minnesotans view their state as a good place to age, but that gaps exist in key areas.

The results will help inform the work of the Governor’s Council on an Age-Friendly Minnesota which was created by an Executive Order signed by Governor Tim Walz in December of 2019. That council has been working on a plan to seek enrollment in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities and on recommendations focused on making the state a better place to live and grow old for people of all ages. By committing to becoming more Age-Friendly, Minnesota is working to solve the challenges facing our state and helping to create a state and communities where older adults can thrive. Fortunately, the things that support older residents also help children and grandchildren – things such as a variety of transportation options; safe, affordable places to live; a community commitment to health and wellness; and opportunities to stay engaged and productive.

More than 2,200 Minnesota residents aged 45+ completed this survey, including 60 in both Hmong and Somali. Residents from 29 counties across the state participated, with the majority from Hennepin County (26%).

Several questions were asked of participants relating to the community they live in and whether or not the community supports older adults. About 36% of respondents rated their community as "very good" and 30% as "good" when asked to rate their current community as a place for people to live as they age. When asked this same question about the state of as a whole, 37% of respondents rated Minnesota as "very good" and 30% as "good."

As residents of Minnesota get older, some people find that they need to or want to move out of their home. Respondents reported that wanting a home that will help them live independently as they age (46%), the cost of maintaining their current residence (27%), and wanting a smaller size home (25%) were all major factors when making a decision on whether or not to stay in their current residence. When thinking about living in Minnesota as residents get older, some of the most factors to that were extremely important to respondents were access to services including health care (31%) and proximity to family (28%). Some of the other important items included lower cost of living including taxes (22%) and weather/climate (10%).

A majority of respondents believed that their community and state was a good place to age but the survey revealed also gaps or areas for improvement for communities in Minnesota. Respondents rated the following areas as "poor" on a scale from "poor" to "excellent": in home repair services for low-income residents (44%), separate pathways for bicycles and pedestrians (24%), health care professionals that speak different languages (30%), transportation to and from volunteer activities (33%), and clearly displayed printed community information with large lettering (25%).

Minnesota's Age-Friendly Survey asked questions relating to housing, transportation, parks and public areas, health care services, education, employment, connection to others, social events, and volunteering.

What’s next for Age-Friendly Minnesota? Official enrollment in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities and legislative action to elevate aging as a priority across state government. With 2020 marking the first time that adults over the age of 65 outnumber Minnesota’s school age children, the time is now to take action.

Minnesota Survey Results (English)
Minnesota Survey Results (Somali)
Minnesota Survey Results (Hmong)
Minnesota Survey Results (Spanish)

Contact AARP Minnesota
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.