NC’s Population Is Getting Older. How Does It Become More Accessible for Elderly People?

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By Michael McElroy

May 27, 2022

A new survey from the state wants tips for making towns, cities, and rural areas “great places for people of all ages.”

Are you 45 or older and have ideas about how to build a community better tailored to your changing needs? North Carolina wants to hear from you.

In a new effort to help policy makers “identify priorities for making our neighborhoods, towns, cities, and rural areas great places for people of all ages,” state officials are conducting a survey for North Carolinians called “Age My Way.”

The survey takes about 20 minutes. 

The questionnaire is anonymous but covers a lot of ground, including how important it is to you that you stay in your current home and community for as long as possible, whether a sense of independence is important to you in your home, what kind of things you’d be looking for if you were to move, whether you feel your current community is safe and/or affordable, and even the state of the sidewalks and bike paths in your neighborhood.  

The state and the NC chapter of the AARP created the survey, part of a national effort to “assess gaps and needs in services” in liveable community development. The survey is part of the state’s “Hometown Strong” initiative, which helps link state agencies with leaders in rural communities.

“Our population is aging,” Hometown Strong says on the survey’s website. “Approximately 1.7 million North Carolinians are age 65 or older and that number is growing.”

By 2030, Hometown Strong says, “North Carolina will be comprised more of older adults than children.”

That, they say, is a problem given current accessibility for older North Carolinians. 

“The nature of urban and rural development, daily living, work, leisure and retirement are expected to change in order to keep up,” with the aging population, Hometown Strong says. 


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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