New Approaches to Spotting Enclaves of the Elderly Who Have Aged in Place

Thomas M. Bryan, Third Wave Research
Peter A. Morrison, RAND

Across the nation, certain neighborhoods are evolving naturally into de facto retirement communities populated by elderly residents who continue to live independently. An increasingly visible manifestation of such aging in place is the "naturally occurring retirement community" (NORC)--existing buildings and neighborhoods not planned or intended for older people, but where older adults have stayed on after younger people left. What defines a NORC is residential persistence and gradual evolution into a senior community. NORCs are naturally suited to the centralized delivery and/or marketing of services to prolong independent living. Our paper will (1) illustrate applications of demographic analysis and Census 2000 data to delineating incipient NORCs and (2) elaborate on their significance as target markets, both for community planners interested in centralizing service delivery to the elderly and for businesses offering types of services that can be bundled most profitably for residential concentrations of elderly.

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Presented in Session 96: Applied Demography with a Neighborhood Perspective