Careers

Best Cities for Home Health Care Workers

We ranked the best cities for home health care workers according to pay, housing affordability, job opportunity and safety using American Community Survey data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and crime statistics provided by the F.B.I.

An estimated 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, a factor expected to double health care costs by 2020, due to an increased demand for long-term care and support services. Currently, federal and state government-funded Medicaid pays for the bulk of long-term care expenses, accounting for over $100 billion annually. It has been argued that these costs could be reduced by improving the home health care industry. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand from America’s aging population to lead to a 47.3% and 38.6% increase in home health and personal care aides, respectively, from 2016 to 2026. However, these jobs currently have a high turnover rate due to their low wages and demanding workload. Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, we ranked the best and worst major cities for home health care workers as well as where these jobs are needed the most.

Top 10 Cities for Home Health Care Workers

Map of the top 10 cities for home healthcare workers

The map above shows the top 10 cities for home health care workers, according to our ranking system, while the table below lists important features for these cities such as median home health care worker earnings, median annual rent as a percentage of income, and location quotient values.

RankCityMedian Income ($)Median Annual Rent (% Income)Location QuotientCrime Quotient
1Norwich, CT41,74030.12.30.4
2Lewiston, ME31,718261.80.4
3Walla Walla, WA51,15822.41.50.7
4Coeur d'Alene, ID35,97132.41.20.4
5Prescott, AZ40,08428.210.3
6El Centro, CA30,16332.91.30.4
7Rochester, MN32,21433.61.10.4
8Roanoke, VA29,25632.41.40.5
9Great Falls, MT28,69028.81.60.7
10Hartford, CT34,16637.31.10.5

Despite the importance of these professions for the elderly and those with limited ability for self-care, home health care workers generally aren’t well compensated for their services, especially when compared to other health care practitioners. As the New York Times stated in an article published last year, "The jobs are so unappealing that it is hard to keep workers in them. {...} Many prefer the fast-food business." Thus, we assessed over 300 of the largest cities in the U.S. based on median earnings and rental affordability, measured by median annual rent as a percentage of income. We also factored in job popularity and safety using location and crime quotient values, explained below in our methodology section. Note that only full-time, year-round workers were considered in this study when looking at salaries.

Cities with the Most Affordable Rent Prices

The table below shows all cities in our ranked list where median annual rent expenses are 30 percent or below the median income for home health care workers.

RankCityMedian Income ($)Median Annual Rent (% Income)Location Quotient
1Albany, GA41,99519.90.8
2Walla Walla, WA51,15822.41.5
3Hot Springs, AR35,83323.21
4Brunswick, GA44,27923.40.8
5Muncie, IN35,05223.70.8
6Dalton, GA32,12025.90.6
7Lewiston, ME31,718261.8
8Pittsfield, MA36,66126.81
9Casper, WY38,83926.90.7
10Kankakee, IL34,27927.71
11Toledo, OH30,70527.70.5
12Bowling Green, KY32,81127.90.6
13Prescott, AZ40,08428.21
14Staunton, VA35,36128.50.8
15Decatur, IL27,99028.71.4
16Great Falls, MT28,69028.81.6
17Bloomsburg, PA31,02929.10.6
18Appleton, WI31,19929.40.6
19Bay City, MI24,92429.51.5
20Green Bay, WI30,36029.50.8
21Fond du Lac, WI30,82529.60.6
22Grand Island, NE26,09729.60.7
23Jefferson City, MO25,64529.91.4

Only full-time, year-round workers were considered in this study. One common rule of thumb is that your rent expenses should be no more than 25%-30% of your income, something much more critical to consider if you’re a single-income household. Only 23 out of 383 cities in our study were found to pay median salaries, which fulfilled this standard when it comes to personal care occupations.

Top 10 Cities in Need of Home Health Care Workers

Map of top 10 cities in need of home healthcare workers

The map above shows the top 10 cities in need of more home health care workers according to the proportion of residents who are 65 years of age or older and those who have difficulties with independent living. The table below lists important features for these cities such as the proportion of senior citizens, residents with independent living difficulties, and the number of personal care workers per 1,000 residents with limited self-care capabilities.

The table below shows the top 10 cities in our ranked list with the highest proportion of residents who are 65 or older as well as residents who have difficulties with independent living.

RankCitySenior Population (%)Limited Self-Care Population (%)Caregiver Per 1,000 Limited Self-Care Residents
1Sebring, FL34.77.650
2Punta Gorda, FL39.47.136
3Homosassa Springs, FL36.46.930
4Sebastian, FL31.86.967
5Wheeling, WV20.66.141
6Kingsport, TN21.67.199
7Palm Bay, FL23.26.279
8Florence, AL19.66.456
9Kokomo, IN19.07.161
10Prescott, AZ30.86.194

While home health care workers are certainly needed all across the country, we also took a look at which cities may have a greater need for them due to having more care-dependent residents. Since the profession is projected to boom over the next decade because of the nation’s fast-aging population, there should be higher demand in cities where there are larger numbers of care-dependent Americans and lower numbers of personal caregivers. We considered cities with larger proportions of senior citizens, age 65 years or older, and residents with independent living difficulties, or limited self-care capabilities, when pinpointing where demand for these occupations could increase going into the future.

Top 20 Cities with the Most Personal Care Workers

We also took a look at where these professions are currently the most popular. The table below shows the top 20 cities in our ranked list with the highest proportion of personal care workers out of all full-time, year-round workers.

RankCityPersonal Care Workers (%)Location Quotient
1Atlantic City, NJ5.942.36
2Norwich, CT5.92.34
3Danville, IL5.662.25
4Kahului, HI5.412.15
5Brownsville, TX5.282.1
6Midland, MI5.272.09
7Las Vegas, NV5.232.08
8Albany, OR5.192.06
9Chico, CA5.162.05
10Redding, CA4.951.97
11Grand Forks, ND4.771.89
12Merced, CA4.631.84
13Wichita Falls, TX4.61.83
14Lewiston, ME4.481.78
15New Bern, NC4.451.77
16Lake Havasu City, AZ4.351.73
17Victoria, TX4.321.72
18Bangor, ME4.311.71
19Owensboro, KY4.271.7
20Pine Bluff, AR4.181.66

Atlantic City, New Jersey, currently has the largest proportion of home health care workers out of all the major metropolitan areas in our list. The city of Norwich, Connecticut, which placed as the number one best city for home health care workers, came in second, which may have to do with its higher earning potential for the occupation.

Full List of Best Cities for Home Health Care Workers

Our study on the best cities for home health care workers assigned a ranking based on median earnings, annual rent as a percentage of income and location quotient to each of the 383 U.S. cities we looked at. These factors were selected to represent the priorities that most home health care workers would take into account.

RankCityMedian Income ($)Median Annual Rent (% Income)Location QuotientCrime Quotient
1Norwich, CT41,74030.12.30.4
2Lewiston, ME31,718261.80.4
3Walla Walla, WA51,15822.41.50.7
4Coeur d'Alene, ID35,97132.41.20.4
5Prescott, AZ40,08428.210.3
6El Centro, CA30,16332.91.30.4
7Rochester, MN32,21433.61.10.4
8Roanoke, VA29,25632.41.40.5
9Great Falls, MT28,69028.81.60.7
10Hartford, CT34,16637.31.10.5
11Staunton, VA35,36128.50.80.2
12Providence, RI30,89035.60.90
13Jefferson City, MO25,64529.91.40.4
14Albany, OR26,18242.72.10.1
15Cedar Rapids, IA29,02030.110.5
16Bend, OR31,21745.21.50.4
17Brunswick, GA44,27923.40.80.5
18Kankakee, IL34,27927.710.7
19Binghamton, NY26,58933.51.30.5
20Casper, WY38,83926.90.70.3
21St. Cloud, MN26,61134.61.30.6
22Chico, CA28,53442.120.5
23Gainesville, GA30,90434.60.90.3
24Wenatchee, WA25,84739.61.30.3
25Owensboro, KY25,218371.70.4
26Bangor, ME24,73340.61.70.2
27Atlantic City, NJ37,43133.12.42.7
28San Luis Obispo, CA35,44347.51.30.4
29Sebring, FL28,95832.40.80.2
30Worcester, MA31,75836.81.10.7
31Des Moines, IA31,45133.31.21
32Dalton, GA32,12025.90.60.3
33Hot Springs, AR35,83323.211.1
34Pittsburgh, PA26,64535.810.4
35Harrisburg, PA28,25138.910.4
36Bay City, MI24,92429.51.50.7
37Elizabethtown, KY29,22732.40.70.2
38Pittsfield, MA36,66126.811
39Midland, MI22,00339.62.10.2
40Bremerton, WA30,112471.20.3
41Bismarck, ND26,79738.71.30.6
42Appleton, WI31,19929.40.60.3
43Johnstown, PA20,85434.61.60.3
44Las Vegas, NV35,53036.42.12.4
45Blacksburg, VA31,07433.10.70.3
46Decatur, IL27,99028.71.41.4
47Hinesville, GA35,6863211
48Rochester, NY29,65835.210.6
49Ocean City, NJ32,38139.50.80.1
50Lewiston, ID25,71131.20.90.3
51Victoria, TX33,16432.11.77.3
52Lebanon, PA24,61939.81.20.2
53Reading, PA27,36237.91.10.5
54Beaumont, TX30,11131.51.41.5
55Glens Falls, NY28,85234.40.70.1
56Chambersburg, PA30,17534.20.70.3
57Beckley, WV22,32830.21.60.7
58Bowling Green, KY32,81127.90.60.4
59Morgantown, WV30,53330.80.50.2
60Sebastian, FL30,41735.70.70.3
61Columbus, IN24,25643.11.40.2
62Green Bay, WI30,36029.50.80.6
63Allentown, PA26,85044.21.10.2
64Muncie, IN35,05223.70.80.8
65New Haven, CT29,87344.51.30.5
66Kansas City, MO28,90938.80.90.3
67Barnstable Town, MA31,08849.71.10.4
68Grants Pass, OR26,5053910.4
69Michigan City, IN25,59932.61.31
70Lexington, KY30,09532.60.90.8
71Duluth, MN23,40738.61.20.4
72Logan, UT26,544360.80.1
73Hagerstown, MD25,68943.11.40.4
74Longview, WA25,54038.21.10.5
75Crestview, FL26,36747.21.20.3
76Niles, MI29,29830.70.80.6
77Fond du Lac, WI30,82529.60.60.5
78St. Joseph, MO26,57433.11.21.3
79Dover, DE31,06737.80.90.7
80Lawton, OK30,67430.71.12.3
81Kingston, NY25,76150.21.30.2
82Cincinnati, OH26,58035.70.80.5
83Cheyenne, WY35,91931.70.60.7
84Williamsport, PA21,96141.21.30.3
85Gulfport, MS27,24737.31.61.9
86Myrtle Beach, SC27,36140.310.7
87Cumberland, MD25,57931.210.7
88Santa Rosa, CA32,07460.11.20.5
89Minneapolis, MN29,87742.51.10.7
90Yuba City, CA27,45644.51.20.6
91Lancaster, PA28,34141.40.80.3
92Missoula, MT25,87036.31.31.2
93Bloomington, IL23,77039.61.30.6
94Idaho Falls, ID31,52830.30.50.7
95Lynchburg, VA22,32041.81.40.4
96Utica, NY21,70639.41.50.6
97Grand Forks, ND21,95039.81.90.6
98Valdosta, GA29,98730.90.50.5
99Salem, OR25,74245.11.20.5
100Erie, PA21,83539.51.30.5
101McAllen, TX20,24741.21.40.3
102State College, PA27,12040.70.70.1
103Iowa City, IA28,83439.20.80.4
104Jacksonville, NC30,67541.31.63.8
105New Bern, NC21,60144.61.80.4
106Mobile, AL26,86036.21.21.6
107Charlotte, NC27,63142.40.80.3
108Akron, OH25,94137.50.90.6
109Gettysburg, PA25,38940.50.80.1
110Madison, WI30,78239.30.60.5
111Fort Wayne, IN25,78234.30.90.9
112Asheville, NC25,83441.40.90.4
113Albany, NY26,98143.11.10.8
114Boulder, CO31,10157.20.90.3
115Albany, GA41,99519.90.82.2
116Winchester, VA22,20151.51.40.2
117Sumter, SC25,35736.41.11
118Tulsa, OK30,05532.90.91.7
119Richmond, VA27,32646.510.6
120Sierra Vista, AZ21,42945.21.40.3
121Syracuse, NY25,11339.210.6
122Lake Havasu City, AZ25,65436.61.73.5
123Merced, CA25,02048.11.80.7
124Cape Girardeau, MO22,43540.11.50.9
125Billings, MT26,5413811.1
126Wilmington, NC26,50741.21.11
127Boston, MA31,629530.90.4
128Fresno, CA26,48243.31.61.2
129Grand Island, NE26,09729.60.70.8
130Sacramento, CA26,52856.41.40.6
131Florence, AL27,12230.20.50.6
132Washington, DC30,77863.51.10.5
133St. George, UT28,43341.50.60.4
134Palm Bay, FL33,56136.20.71
135Kahului, HI35,04048.72.14.4
136Pensacola, FL27,28642.90.60.3
137Lake Charles, LA25,34438.41.21.2
138Las Cruces, NM19,72043.61.60.4
139Bridgeport, CT34,03450.710.8
140Vineland, NJ30,8304111.3
141Topeka, KS26,59234.40.91.1
142Kennewick, WA25,1874510.4
143Columbus, OH28,33538.80.80.8
144Grand Junction, CO30,059370.70.8
145Lakeland, FL22,58549.81.20.3
146Sheboygan, WI23,880360.80.4
147Charlottesville, VA31,02144.10.60.4
148Spokane, WA25,48540.11.11
149Flint, MI24,67635.51.21.4
150Hammond, LA23,85440.31.10.8
151Greensboro, NC25,16637.711
152Springfield, MO25,44834.51.11.8
153Huntington, WV19,55341.910.1
154Mount Vernon, WA29,01545.90.70.3
155Mankato, MN22,302461.20.4
156Clarksville, TN26,50541.11.11.2
157Danville, IL22,26236.12.22.4
158Waterloo, IA24,81735.61.11.3
159Napa, CA36,95857.710.8
160Salisbury, MD24,740460.90.3
161Rockford, IL25,25136.81.32.7
162Peoria, IL22,33939.11.10.9
163Kingsport, TN21,73534.710.7
164Augusta, GA27,81335.10.81.2
165York, PA26,06543.90.80.4
166Tampa, FL28,24345.50.90.6
167Honolulu, HI32,57463.110.7
168Santa Cruz, CA30,79965.51.41
169Medford, OR24,02447.91.40.7
170Weirton, WV21,99036.60.70.3
171Eugene, OR22,39650.51.60.6
172Davenport, IA25,67034.70.91.1
173Scranton, PA29,15731.40.71.3
174Daphne, AL29,69137.613.4
175Kalamazoo, MI25,35936.40.91.1
176Montgomery, AL26,22938.711.2
177Louisville/Jefferson County, KY23,84241.20.90.6
178Miami, FL26,29560.11.10.5
179Ogden, UT26,13142.80.50.3
180Redding, CA25,71945.921.5
181Decatur, AL22,03032.60.60.4
182Portland, ME25,70746.20.70.2
183Altoona, PA23,12035.70.60.5
184La Crosse, WI21,90943.910.4
185San Diego, CA26,11373.41.20.6
186Rome, GA21,35142.21.40.8
187Fort Collins, CO28,13052.60.80.4
188Vallejo, CA29,85062.31.51.3
189Buffalo, NY25,83935.90.81.2
190Toledo, OH30,70527.70.52.1
191Portland, OR27,32454.410.7
192Manchester, NH30,06645.20.90.8
193Sherman, TX22,58746.21.20.7
194Jackson, MI22,27839.41.11
195Cleveland, OH25,85836.60.91.2
196Durham, NC30,21639.60.81.3
197Little Rock, AR25,17438.71.12
198Wichita Falls, TX21,48742.41.81.1
199Oklahoma City, OK25,59939.91.11.4
200Stockton, CA30,49845.21.12.4
201Watertown, NY22,335541.40.6
202Salinas, CA27,61763.71.20.9
203Burlington, NC25,71035.40.70.9
204Seattle, WA35,17749.20.80.8
205Pine Bluff, AR21,69837.61.72.9
206Bakersfield, CA24,54346.41.10.8
207Yakima, WA21,62342.81.20.7
208San Francisco, CA34,98463.61.11.2
209Omaha, NE25,85341.40.91.1
210Fargo, ND24,71838.50.80.7
211Brownsville, TX17,64747.42.10.6
212Cleveland, TN26,36533.10.71.2
213Oxnard, CA27,415761.10.7
214Olympia, WA28,68550.30.70.4
215Riverside, CA24,12163.11.20.6
216Tucson, AZ25,77041.31.11.6
217Joplin, MO19,91143.11.20.7
218Jackson, TN23,32542.91.61.8
219Wausau, WI21,03939.10.80.3
220Panama City, FL23,09450.71.10.5
221Jacksonville, FL28,758430.91.4
222St. Louis, MO25,75340.40.80.8
223Lafayette, IN22,963410.90.7
224Bloomsburg, PA31,02929.10.68.7
225Johnson City, TN18,8194210.5
226Charleston, WV20,456391.41.3
227Boise City, ID22,05450.110.3
228North Port, FL26,020540.80.3
229Santa Maria, CA24,62877.31.60.8
230Huntsville, AL25,83336.40.81.5
231Reno, NV25,74345.41.21.4
232Sioux City, IA22,600390.90.8
233Oshkosh, WI22,49239.40.60.4
234New York, NY26,79361.81.21
235Anchorage, AK28,82652.81.33.2
236Corvallis, OR23,77053.10.90.3
237Sioux Falls, SD22,41141.91.21.3
238Farmington, NM22,16942.310.9
239Philadelphia, PA26,98648.111
240Visalia, CA22,41348.810.6
241Amarillo, TX24,12341.11.12
242Salt Lake City, UT26,48548.40.80.6
243Lafayette, LA21,33541.70.90.5
244San Jose, CA31,29484.90.90.9
245Atlanta, GA24,331550.90.4
246Elmira, NY22,16444.40.80.4
247Milwaukee, WI25,78040.412.3
248Knoxville, TN22,34743.10.90.7
249Memphis, TN25,9424113.3
250Dallas, TX27,22947.80.90.9
251The Villages, FL25,3633815.8
252Eau Claire, WI21,381430.80.3
253Wichita, KS24,87338.112.4
254Phoenix, AZ26,58249.311.1
255Battle Creek, MI20,92939.81.31.7
256Bellingham, WA26,68048.50.40.4
257Columbia, MO23,94743.511.1
258Los Angeles, CA25,63269.11.31.1
259Dayton, OH23,99538.20.50.7
260Grand Rapids, MI24,45242.70.70.6
261Janesville, WI22,97141.80.80.7
262Chicago, IL27,10547.70.91.2
263Carson City, NV27,95044.1113.4
264Birmingham, AL24,653410.60.6
265Colorado Springs, CO30,78344.70.71.2
266Youngstown, OH21,63436.30.91.4
267Detroit, MI25,95641.50.81.4
268Provo, UT22,17254.60.80.1
269Louisville, KY25,3634312.4
270Midland, TX24,44653.81.10.9
271Pocatello, ID21,08138.60.80.9
272Springfield, IL25,92737.20.72.4
273Wheeling, WV21,76833.80.30.7
274Savannah, GA27,31445.30.81.1
275Modesto, CA25,31453.91.21.4
276Hickory, NC23,58334.40.82
277Baltimore, MD30,20549.30.81.5
278Albuquerque, NM23,95343.11.12.6
279Texarkana, TX22,234360.40.8
280Hilton Head Island, SC19,11967.510.2
281Flagstaff, AZ25,45357.30.90.7
282Charleston, SC22,36259.110.7
283Morristown, TN25,09832.10.76.2
284Raleigh, NC25,60350.30.70.5
285Evansville, IN21,675410.80.9
286Denver, CO27,84058.30.81
287Goldsboro, NC19,80944.81.21.2
288Austin, TX26,18256.10.80.7
289Naples, FL22,23969.10.80
290San Angelo, TX23,83141.40.81.2
291Ocala, FL20,27350.70.90.5
292Orlando, FL21,48264.310.5
293Cape Coral, FL22,89058.50.90.6
294South Bend, IN24,18238.20.71.4
295Killeen, TX21,79549.71.11
296Lansing, MI23,551430.81.1
297Hanford, CA18,25557.61.40.8
298Houma, LA19,01549.80.90.5
299New Orleans, LA23,33349.611.3
300College Station, TX21,71749.711
301Trenton, NJ30,28450.40.61.1
302Springfield, MA24,886440.70.9
303Gainesville, FL20,62054.81.41.1
304Muskegon, MI18,592450.90.6
305Alexandria, LA19,34948.31.62.2
306Greenville, SC21,729440.80.8
307Bloomington, IN21,793460.90.8
308Corpus Christi, TX21,966521.31.9
309Baton Rouge, LA20,28252.91.11
310Abilene, TX18,10653.21.41.2
311Lincoln, NE23,27241.80.71.1
312Burlington, VT27,64152.60.93.4
313Harrisonburg, VA21,36148.60.60.3
314Dubuque, IA21,20043.40.80.8
315Ames, IA20,88550.80.80.4
316Virginia Beach, VA23,99056.20.91
317Fairbanks, AK27,33753.10.30.8
318Fayetteville, NC21,82047.811.5
319Port St. Lucie, FL21,97663.20.60.2
320Tallahassee, FL26,24544.70.61.6
321Chattanooga, TN23,38240.80.61.2
322Columbia, SC17,00662.910.5
323Yuma, AZ21,55148.11.23.5
324San Antonio, TX23,484490.91.7
325Nashville, TN25,04249.40.91.6
326Fort Smith, AR16,78844.80.90.9
327Kokomo, IN22,44336.80.52
328Winston, NC21,14941.40.71.1
329Springfield, OH21,25738.10.51.1
330Lubbock, TX21,9294813.2
331Greeley, CO22,18154.30.60.6
332Spartanburg, SC20,30346.61.12.2
333Racine, WI20,72747.80.70.7
334Ann Arbor, MI20,36662.60.60.2
335Jonesboro, AR21,82540.30.31.1
336Anniston, AL16,69845.41.23
337El Paso, TX20,38748.60.91.2
338Terre Haute, IN21,55039.90.84.4
339California, MD25,77457.10.96.5
340Tuscaloosa, AL20,24948.90.80.7
341Monroe, MI21,35843.90.94.9
342Deltona, FL21,25559.10.70.6
343Houston, TX23,40253.40.81.3
344Dothan, AL16,69351.11.35
345Canton, OH21,42740.50.61.8
346Fayetteville, AR21,89444.20.71.4
347Greenville, NC21,86143.20.84.1
348Mansfield, OH15,16347.20.60.7
349Punta Gorda, FL7,081161.30.40
350Hattiesburg, MS17,28855.10.40.4
351Tyler, TX18,37357.71.23.2
352Parkersburg, WV19,68143.60.40.9
353Manhattan, KS19,86353.81.17.5
354Gadsden, AL16,65044.50.91.7
355Santa Fe, NM20,563570.80.8
356Pueblo, CO19,79347.40.92.4
357Florence, SC18,05947.20.50.7
358Indianapolis, IN22,620470.62.3
359Rapid City, SD19,34751.40.91.4
360Saginaw, MI17,37851.10.91.4
361Lawrence, KS21,96648.30.86.1
362Enid, OK7,182139.511.3
363Shreveport, LA16,96455.812.1
364Waco, TX18,25053.70.71
365Columbus, GA21,43845.20.61.5
366Longview, TX20,10048.90.93.4
367Elkhart, IN21,494440.63.6
368Monroe, LA19,69245.40.83.1
369Champaign, IL15,77561.80.91.2
370Jackson, MS18,38255.90.81.3
371Rocky Mount, NC21,188420.55
372Lima, OH17,44643.70.21.3
373Macon, GA16,15057.813.2
374Laredo, TX14,58865.90.91.3
375Warner Robins, GA18,894550.61
376Madera, CA14,65981.40.81.2
377Homosassa Springs, FL20,93244.70.45
378Auburn, AL14,67365.80.61
379Athens, GA15,64464.70.51
380East Stroudsburg, PA21,57060.60.64.4
381Ithaca, NY20,97964.10.77
382Carbondale, IL16,28950.80.65.8
383Odessa, TX18,09162.60.62.4

Methodology: How We Chose the Best Cities

Our analysis of the best cities for home health care workers was based on four categories: earning potential, housing affordability, job opportunity and safety. The study covered 383 major metropolitan areas, labeled by populous cities, in the United States. To understand how we arrived at our conclusions, read an explanation of each category and its related factors below.

Earnings

We used median earnings for full-time personal care and service workers as our first factor when ranking the best cities for home health care workers. Income is very important in this profession, especially since average salaries are not very high nationwide. However, a higher income in a more expensive city may be less favorable when compared to lower earnings in a more affordable area. Our next metric took into account housing affordability, using rent as a percentage of income as a proxy for cost of living. Cities with higher median incomes received higher rankings.

Housing

We calculated median annual rent prices as a percentage of median earnings for home health care workers in each major city. The federal guidelines for affordable housing state that, "Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care." Since most city residents are renters, rather than homeowners, we only considered rent prices in this case. Cities with higher median annual rents as a percentage of home health care income received lower rankings.

Location

A city with a high earning potential and low cost of living is ideal, but only if there’s a good amount of work opportunity in the area. Our third factor accounted for job security by ranking cities with larger location quotients higher than those with smaller ones. This location quotient is a measure of the proportion of home health care workers in a given area compared to the total proportion of home health care workers across all major metropolitan areas. In other words, this location quotient tells us how a city’s percentage of home health care workers compares to the average percentage. Cities with higher location quotients received higher rankings.

Crime

An affordable city with plenty of job opportunities isn't so great if you're constantly looking over your shoulder. For our last variable, we factored in the relative safety of each city/metropolitan area by determining which cities had larger numbers of violent crimes per resident. To do so, we calculated a crime quotient which measured violent crimes per resident for each given city, divided the cumulative number of violent crimes per all metropolitan residents in the dataset. In other words, this crime quotient tells us how a city's crime rate compares to the average metropolitan area. Cities with higher crime quotients received lower rankings.

American Community Survey Data

  • Median Earnings: Table S2412
  • Employment: Table S2402
  • Median Rent: Table B25064
  • Independent Living Difficulty Population: Table B18107
  • Senior Population: Table S0101

Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Crime: 2016 Crime in the United States
David Ascienzo

David Ascienzo, Ph.D., is a Data Scientist at ValuePenguin. He previously was a Doctoral Researcher in Physics at the City University of New York (CUNY). He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the CUNY Graduate Center.