This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.
Retirees are on the move, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though just 17% of the U.S. population is 65 and older, relocation company United Van Lines reports that seniors in that age group comprised 29% of all its moves in 2020, one percentage point greater than in 2019.
Moreover, about 20% of all surveyed movers listed relocating for retirement as their primary reason for pulling up stakes.
But those leaving the workforce are gravitating in droves to certain places compared to others. With that in mind, SmartAsset examined data from states and cities to uncover where retirees are moving the most.
In this study, we used U.S. Census Bureau data to compare the number of people 60 years and older who moved into a state or city with the number of seniors who moved out. This is SmartAsset’s sixth annual study on where retirees are moving. Read last year’s version here.
For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the data and methodology section at the end.
1. Mesa, AZ
Mesa, Arizona, is the top city in our study to which retirees are moving.
In 2019, about 3,800 seniors moved to Mesa from a different state. Meanwhile, roughly 1,800 seniors left the city, moving to a different state.
In total, there was a net migration of 1,951 seniors to Mesa in 2019.
2. Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, Arizona, follows closely behind Mesa, Arizona, as a popular spot to which seniors are relocating.
There was a net migration of more than 1,900 people 60 years and older to Scottsdale in 2019. About 35% of those movers were older than 75.
3. Henderson, NV
In 2019, about 3,800 seniors moved to Henderson, Nevada, from a different state while roughly 1,900 seniors moved out of the city to a different state.
In total, the most recent census data shows that there was a net migration of 1,917 people 65 and older to Henderson in 2019.
4. Savannah, GA
Roughly 1,500 seniors moved to Savannah from outside of Georgia in 2019, and only about 100 seniors moved out of Savannah to a different state in that same year.
In total, there was a net migration of 1,434 people 60 years and older to the Hostess City of the South.
5. Paradise, NV
Located near Las Vegas, the city of Paradise, Nevada, had the fifth-greatest net influx of retirees in 2019 across all 177 cities in our study.
About 2,000 seniors age 60 and older moved to Paradise from outside Nevada, while fewer than 600 moved out of the city to a different state.
Retirees in Nevada luck out when it comes to taxes: All retirement income is tax-free at the state level. Talk about retiring in paradise.
6. Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, North Carolina, is the largest city in our top 10, with a population of more than 885,700.
In 2019, roughly 2,500 seniors moved out of the city to a different state while just over 3,700 moved in.
In total, the net migration of seniors to Charlotte in 2019 was 1,290.
7. Fort Myers, FL
Fort Myers, Florida, is a popular and favorable retirement spot, ranking as our top place for retirees to live and work in 2020.
In 2019 alone, more than 1,100 people 60 and older moved to this top spot.
8. Cary, NC
According to our calculator, the cost of living in Cary, North Carolina, is about 21% lower than the cost of living in New York City (which, as you might have guessed, is the city with the largest net outflux of retirees in 2019).
Cary has a relatively affordable cost of living and temperate weather, attracting more than 1,050 retirees to relocate there in 2019.
9. Eugene, OR
Eugene, Oregon, moves up on our list from 15th place last year.
Recent census data shows that roughly 1,100 retirees moved to Eugene in 2019, while fewer than 200 left the city.
Retirees in Oregon do not have to pay state income tax on Social Security benefits, but the state does tax income from retirement accounts like a 401(k) or an IRA.
10. Tucson, AZ
Tucson, Arizona, rounds out our list of the top 10 cities to which retirees are moving.
In 2019, about 2,600 seniors moved to this city from outside of Arizona and fewer than 1,800 seniors moved out of the city to a different state.
In total, there was a net migration of 883 people 60 years and older.
Data and Methodology
To find both the states and cities where retirees are moving, SmartAsset analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
To determine the states where retirees are moving, we examined the number of people age 60 and older who moved into a state compared to the number who moved out of the state.
The net migration for each state is the number of people aged 60 and older who moved into the state minus the number of peopled aged 60 and older who moved out of the state. States are ranked by those with the highest net migration to those with the lowest net migration.
In determining the cities where retirees are moving, we considered 177 of the largest cities in the U.S. for which data was available.
We similarly found net migration during 2019 in each city by subtracting the number of people aged 60 and older who moved out of the city to a different state from the number of people aged 60 and older who moved into the city from a different state. Cities with the highest net migration ranked the highest and vice versa.
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