Top Large, Small Cities for Seniors

August 1, 2012

What makes a city great for older adults? According to a new report, the community must offer quality health care, educational and employment opportunities, a strong economy, and transportation, according to the Milken Institute’s Best Cities for Successful Aging Index, which recently used these among 78 indicators to rank the top areas for seniors. 

"The traditional notions about retirement, about pulling up stakes and moving somewhere warm, doesn't really reflect accurately the notions of retirement in America,” says Paul Irving, chief operating officer at the Milken Institute, told USA Today. “Seniors are as complex and motivated as any other population."

The following communities topped the index as the best “large cities” out of 100 metro areas for seniors: 

1. Provo, Utah

2. Madison, Wis.

3. Omaha, Neb.

4. Boston, Mass.

5. New York

6. Des Moines, Iowa (tie)

Salt Lake City (tie)

7. Toledo, Ohio

8. Washington, D.C.

9. Pittsburgh, Pa.

For smaller metros, the following areas emerged as tops for older adults: 

1. Sioux Falls, S.D.

2. Iowa City, Iowa

3. Bismarck, N.D.

4. Columbia, Mo.

5. Rochester, Minn.

6. Gainesville, Fla.

7. Ann Arbor, Mich.

8. Missoula, Mont.

9. Durham, N.C.

10. Rapid City, S.D.

Source: Milken Institute and “What Cities Are Best for Seniors? Try Provo, Sioux Falls,” USA Today (July 30, 2012)

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