10 Best Cities for Aging

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

Contrary to commercialized images of the senior living ideal, elders don’t need sunny skies and palm trees to age well.

What they do need, according to the “Best Cities for Successful Aging” report by the Milken Institute, is actually a far more complex set of circumstances.

“We define that [successful aging] as living in a safe, affordable, engaging and connected community,” says Milken COO Paul Irving, in a video describing the study. The report delves into the true necessities of aging adults. “It’s not about the cities with the most sunny days, or the greatest number of golf courses,” he says.

Most studies that focus on uncovering the ‘top cities to grow old in’ draw their conclusions from surveys of elderly residents.

The Milken study took a different approach, using the knowledge of a panel of elder care experts to develop a list of dozens different metrics of “successful aging.” Researchers then evaluated and ranked over 350 cities nationwide on factors such as: average cost of living, number of doctors and hospital beds, rates of Alzheimer’s, obesity and mental illness, number of grocery stores, and opportunities for employment and volunteerism.

The cities were categorized into two groups (large and small) based on the size of their population.

Next: The Top Five Large Cities for Aging

Read More:
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Best Cities for Seniors: Not Where You Think originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

Surprisingly senior-friendly cities

What was the number one city for seniors aged 65 and older?

You probably didn’t guess it—Provo, Utah.

When compared to other cities with larger popluations, the Provo-Orem metropolitan area ranked first in overall wellness and third in both financial feasibility and employment and education opportunities. These scores place Provo first for people in the 65-79 year-old age group and solid seventh on the list for those aged 80 and over. (Scores were weighted differently for each age group to reflect the increased health needs of people older than 80.)

The top five large cities for aging, according to the report:

1. Provo, Utah
2. Madison, Wisconsin
3. Omaha, Nebraska
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. New York, New York

See a full list of top large cities:
The Nation’s Most Senior-Friendly Cities (Large)

Next: The Top Five Small Cities for Aging

Read More:
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The Nation’s Most Senior-Friendly Cities (Large)
The Nation’s Most Senior-Friendly Cities (Small)

Best Cities for Seniors: Not Where You Think originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

The top five small cities for aging, according to the report:

1. Sioux Falls, SD
2. Iowa City, IA
3. Bismarck, ND
4. Columbia, MO
5. Rochester, MN

See a full list of top small cities:
The Nation’s Most Senior-Friendly Cities (Small)

Notice a theme?

Irving admits that the results seem slightly surprising at first glance. “It was interesting to see so many mid-western and northeastern cities in the top 20,” he says.

Another quirky commonality among the top cities was that many played host to at least one university. Study authors attribute this to the fact that many college towns offer both a wealth of opportunities for intellectual stimulation, and a strong medical presence in the form of a university hospital.

Read More:
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Best Cities for Seniors: Not Where You Think originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

56 comments

Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill2 years ago

This is good to know - and good to consider as I age.

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Bryna Pizzo
Bryna Pizzo3 years ago

Thank you for the great information.

Mac C.
mac C.3 years ago

I wouldn't think that cities with snowy weather would be top of the list for seniors. When I retire, I always thought I would like a mild climate and an ocean nearby. Interesting to look into the cities mentioned to see what they offer. Thanks.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

great article

Beverly Morgan

If I ever get to retire I'll come back to this article ~ thanks for the info!

Susan Weihofen
Susan Weihofen3 years ago

wow

Hannah Morales
Hannah Morales3 years ago

Good to know! Anything in CA though?

Deborah Litster
Deborah Litster3 years ago

thanks

Winn Adams
Winnie Adams3 years ago

Thanks. I'm staying right here in the Pacific NW.