Community

Where is Centre County's most 'livable' community? Here's how they stack up

Larry Garvin rides along College Avenue in State College during the Nittany Stage Race time trial in 2015.  State College received a score of 57 in the AARP's most recent Livability Index, updated Thursday.
Larry Garvin rides along College Avenue in State College during the Nittany Stage Race time trial in 2015. State College received a score of 57 in the AARP's most recent Livability Index, updated Thursday. Centre Daily Times, file

Have you ever wondered how livable your community is?

The AARP Public Policy Institute aims to answer that question with its annual Livability Index.

Now in its third year, the index uses factors such as housing affordability and access, a healthy environment, safe and convenient transportation options and civil and social engagement to score neighborhoods and communities across the United States on a scale of 1 to 100.

According to the newest Livability Index, updated Thursday, San Francisco is the most liveable large community, with a score of 64, while Philadelphia comes in at ninth with 57.

As for Centre County communities, Port Matilda scored the highest with a total index score of 58. The borough scored high marks in all categories, but especially so in civic and social engagement and environment. Aaronsburg received by far the highest score in access to affordable housing with 85. Spring Mills received the highest score for opportunity and inclusion possibilities, while State College received the highest marks in neighborhood and transportation.

More about the methodology used to grade the communities can be found in AARP's full report.

Here's how communities in Centre County stack up, from lowest to highest total index score:

Clarence1.JPG
The post office in Clarence. Centre Daily Times, file

Clarence

Total index score: 49

Housing: 56

Neighborhood: 24

Transportation: 34

Environment: 65

Health: 54

Engagement: 59

Opportunity: 53

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Riders start at the Gillentown trailhead for the Snow Shoe Rails to Trails and Central Mountains ATV Association Inc. winter ride on Saturday, January 3, 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

Snow Shoe

Total index score: 51

Housing: 53

Neighborhood: 36

Transportation: 38

Environment: 60

Health: 54

Engagement: 60

Opportunity: 57

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Jamie Bestwick rides vert at Camp Woodward in Woodward in 2007 Centre Daily Times, file

Woodward

Total index score: 51

Housing: 56

Neighborhood: 25

Transportation: 36

Environment: 68

Health: 62

Engagement: 56

Opportunity: 57

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Heritage Days on Front Street in Philipsburg in 2014. Centre Daily Times, file

Philipsburg

Total index score: 52

Housing: 63

Neighborhood: 42

Transportation: 42

Environment: 68

Health: 46

Engagement: 50

Opportunity: 49

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A view of Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir in 2017 at Bald Eagle State Park. Centre Daily Times, file

Howard

Total index score: 52

Housing: 55

Neighborhood: 45

Transportation: 39

Environment: 69

Health: 40

Engagement: 57

Opportunity: 56

Post1.JPG
The Julian Post Office, in Julian in 2013. Centre Daily Times, file

Julian

Total index score: 52

Housing: 55

Neighborhood: 32

Transportation: 29

Environment: 68

Health: 57

Engagement: 64

Opportunity: 58

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A CATA bus moves through downtown Bellefonte in front of the Centre County Courthouse in 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

Bellefonte

Total index score: 53

Housing: 55

Neighborhood: 47

Transportation: 41

Environment:58

Health: 60

Engagement: 54

Opportunity: 54

PleasantGapParade_4.JPG
Members of the Pleasant Gap Fire Company throw Tootsie Rolls from their fire engine during the company's annual parade through Pleasant Gap in 2016. Centre Daily Times, file

Pleasant Gap

Total index score: 53

Housing: 59

Neighborhood: 47

Transportation: 39

Environment: 57

Health: 62

Engagement: 52

Opportunity: 56

IMG_MemorialDay_08.JPG_3_1_KSDQEG0O_L393469978.JPG
Visitors walk the craft vendors along Main Street during the Memorial Day celebrations in Boalsburg in 2017.

Boalsburg

Total index score: 53

Housing: 51

Neighborhood: 51

Transportation: 47

Environment: 69

Health: 62

Engagement: 47

Opportunity: 46

IMG_PGM_2_2_1_9HDV6OPV_L398664616.JPG
Anchor&Arrow, Matt and Jenn Dashem, perform at the Pine Grove Mills Farmers market at Saint Paul's Lutheran Church on Thursday, June 14, 2018. Centre Daily Times, file

Pine Grove Mills

Total index score: 53

Housing: 43

Neighborhood: 38

Transportation: 46

Environment: 66

Health: 61

Engagement: 58

Opportunity: 56

IMG_LemontConcert1.JPG_5_1_MGDS17LD_L395246713.JPG
August Room entertains the crowd for the Friday evenings on the Lemont Village Green concert series in 2013. Centre Daily Times, file

Lemont

Total index score: 53

Housing: 50

Neighborhood: 50

Transportation: 45

Environment: 63

Health: 62

Engagement: 46

Opportunity: 55

IMG_GrangeParade_4.JPG_3_1_86DUC8Q0_L398589290.JPG
Fairgoers look for something to eat after the parade at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair in 2017. Centre Daily Times, file

Centre Hall

Total index score: 54

Housing: 53

Neighborhood: 42

Transportation: 39

Environment: 67

Health: 62

Engagement: 60

Opportunity: 54

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A cow grazes Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Valley Wide Farm in Spring Mills. Phoebe Sheehan Centre Daily Times, file

Spring Mills

Total index score: 54

Housing: 53

Neighborhood: 31

Transportation: 34

Environment: 68

Health: 62

Engagement: 64

Opportunity: 64

MilesburgHoliday2.JPG
Dressed as Santa, Michael McCartney chats with Madison Stamm, 3, Mandi Stamm and Blake Stamm, 1, outside of the MIlesburg post office during the Milesburg "Home Town" Christmas in 2013. Centre Daily Times, file

Milesburg

Total index score: 55

Housing: 54

Neighborhood: 47

Transportation: 47

Environment: 69

Health: 54

Engagement: 55

Opportunity: 61

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Deb Simpson of State College arrives for lunch across from the Millheim Fire Company during the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's annual Bike Fresh Bike Local-Centre County on Sunday in Millheim. Centre Daily Times, file

Millheim

Total index score: 55

Housing: 55

Neighborhood: 43

Transportation: 39

Environment: 69

Health: 62

Engagement: 58

Opportunity: 57

IMG_IMG_7734_2_1_O69H965A_L262035126.JPG
Alexis Stauffer, 3, rides Chessie, a pony, for the first time at the Dutch Fall Festival in Aaronsburg on Saturday. Centre Daily Times, file

Aaronsburg

Total index score: 55

Housing: 85

Neighborhood: 41

Transportation: 54

Environment: 50

Health: 36

Engagement: 54

Opportunity: 62

IMG_old_main.JPG_3_1_76DGNQFI_L381628042.JPG
The Penn State University Old Main building May 9, 2006.

University Park

Total index score: 55

Housing: 53

Neighborhood: 55

Transportation: 52

Environment: 65

Health: 62

Engagement: 53

Opportunity: 45

IMG_IMG_SummerBest1.JPG__3_1_TMDNP6G0_L390206241.JPG
Visitors walk through the street sales on Allen Street during the Summer's Best Music Fest on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

State College

Total index score: 57

Housing: 57

Neighborhood: 58

Transportation: 61

Environment: 67

Health: 62

Engagement: 52

Opportunity: 40

PMfishing02.JPG
Hunter Dumondhatton, 12, fishes during the 30th annual Port Matilda Children's Fishing Derby on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Centre Daily Times, file

Port Matilda

Total index score: 58

Housing: 61

Neighborhood: 46

Transportation: 44

Environment: 69

Health: 57

Engagement: 74

Opportunity: 56

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