Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Elderly & Disabled

Study: Baby Boomers Living in Cities Are More Socially Active

As Baby Boomers age, cities seems to be better places for them to get the social interaction they seek, according to a new study published in the Journal of Transport Geography.

Using special formulas meant to eliminate the "self-selection bias," researchers from MIT compared the travel habits of Boomers who live in suburban and urban parts of Boston -- controlling for factors like income, bike ownership, health, and employment status. They found, unsurprisingly, the urbanites made more total trips than their suburban counterparts, even though they car commute less.

Every week, the urban boomers made 1.34 more recreational trips, 0.77 more social trips and 4.53 more utilitarian trips than suburban boomers with similar demographic characteristics.

The disparity in social trips, in particular, stuck out to researchers, who said that "baby boomers’ preference for social activities tends to be mismatched to their environment."

"Suburban boomers want more social opportunities than their settings enable," they wrote.

The research also indicates Baby Boomers would generally be more active and get out of the house more if they transferred from a suburban location to an urban one. But the authors note that given Boomers' preference for aging in place, that may be unlikely to take place at a very large scale.

Travel data was obtained through a mail survey to randomly selected addresses. Respondents included 1,422 suburban Boston residents and 745 urbanites in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Car Crashes by City Workers Cost NYC Taxpayers $180M in Payouts Last Year: Report

A record number of victims of crashes involving city employees in city-owned cars filed claims in fiscal year 2023 — and settlements with victims have jumped 23 percent, a new report shows.

April 16, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Driving Inflation

Driving — specifically, the cost of car ownership — is one of the main factors behind inflation, according to the Eno Center for Transportation.

April 16, 2024

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 16, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Bring Another Setback

The Biden administration's new rule requiring states to report their greenhouse gas emissions from transportation was dealt another blow when the Senate voted to repeal it.

April 15, 2024

‘The Bike Is the Cure’: Meet New Congressional Bike Caucus Chair Mike Thompson

Meet the incoming co-chair of the congressional bike caucus — and learn more about how he's getting other legislators riding.

April 15, 2024
See all posts