10 Cities to Grow Old Gracefully In

FEBRUARY 27, 2017

The statistics have been cited often: 10,000 baby boomers are now retiring each day, a number that will be true for another two decades.  That situation is creating the largest population of seniors ever, not just in the United States but worldwide.  But there is a difference between aging and aging well. The Milken Institute, a think tank and research organization focused on capital, jobs and health. Milken has compiled a ranking of the best metropolitan areas in the United States to grow old successfully.

To age successfully, seniors must enjoy environments that support health and productivity and the ability to live purposeful, contributing lives, Milken says.  To come up with the rankings, Milken considered eight criteria of health care, wellness, living arrangements, transportation, financial characteristics, employment and educational opportunities, community engagement, and overall livability.

“The aim is to highlight and encourage best practices that enhance the lives of older people and the cities in which they live, and by extension improve the nation as a whole,” the report says.

The following list make up the top 10 large metropolitan areas to retire successfully. They are listed in reverse order, with an example of why they landed at the top of the list. Large metropolitan areas in the top 10 have populations ranging from about 500,000 to more than 4.6 million. The entire report is available here.

No. 10.  Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk - Connecticut. 

This Connecticut metro area ranks number one for general wellness. 

No. 9.  Austin, Round Rock - Texas

This area of Texas ranks number one for financial wellness.


No. 8.  Toledo, Ohio

Toledo senior residents have advantages in financial wellness and living arrangements.


No. 7. Des Moines, West Des Moines - Iowa

This area of the Great Midwest scores very well for community engagement, and scores in the top 25 for most other criteria.


No. 6. Jackson, Miss.

Although some areas of Mississippi trail behind other areas of the country for residents in general, seniors do well in Jackson for health care and for employment and education.


No. 5. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City comes in near the top for financial wellness and employment and education for seniors.

No. 4. Boston, Cambridge, Mass., Newton, N.H.

This metropolitan area earned the number four spot by having good scores on transportation, health care and overall wellness.

No. 3. Provo, Orem, Utah

The Provo, Orem area ranks in the top 17 on all but one of the eight criteria including transportation, overall well being and living arrangements.

No. 2. Omaha, Neb., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Senior residents in this region of Nebraska have outstanding community engagement and opportunities for employment and education.

No. 1. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison earned the number one spot by having high scores for health care for seniors and for community engagement.