The Top 20 Cities for ‘Successful Aging’

Photo by Dmitry Kaminsky / Shutterstock.com

Looking for a great quality of life in retirement in a large metro area? Head to the Provo area of Utah, according to a recently released report from the Milken Institute.

The city in the Beehive State topped the list of large metros in the “Best Cities for Successful Aging.” The nonprofit think tank describes its report as “designed to highlight the nation’s most livable metropolitan areas — those that enable an optimal quality of life for their aging citizens.”

Iowa City, Iowa, was the top finisher among smaller metro areas.

The institute also notes that more than 80 percent of Americans age 65 and older live in metropolitan areas, and nearly 90 percent of older adults in the U.S. want to age in their homes and communities.

Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging, says:

“Cities are on the front lines of the largest demographic shift in history. Lifespans are extending into eight, nine, and ten decades, and older adults increasingly are seeking lifelong engagement and purpose. They expect their cities and communities to support their changing needs.”

The report evaluates metropolitan areas based on how they foster overall quality of life for older Americans. That includes:

  • General livability
  • Health care
  • Wellness
  • Financial security
  • Living arrangements
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Transportation and convenience
  • Community engagement

A total of 100 large metropolitan areas were evaluated for the report. The 10 that ranked highest are:

  1. Provo-Orem, Utah
  2. Madison, Wisconsin
  3. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  4. Salt Lake City, Utah
  5. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
  6. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  7. Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa
  8. Jackson, Mississippi
  9. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

Many of the top large metropolitan areas include college towns, and all of them have a high percentage of older residents with degrees, according to the Milken Institute. The report notes:

“We know that education fosters mental stimulation, which in turn can promote healthy, productive aging. This ‘Best Cities’ report also underscores the positive impact that the presence of colleges has on quality-of-life factors that affect older adults, such as economic strength, infrastructure, walkability, and recreation.”

A total of 281 small metropolitan areas also were evaluated. The 10 that ranked highest are:

  1. Iowa City, Iowa
  2. Manhattan, Kansas
  3. Ames, Iowa
  4. Columbia, Missouri
  5. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  7. Ithaca, New York
  8. Lawrence, Kansas
  9. Logan, Utah-Idaho
  10. Fairbanks, Alaska

For more tips for “successful aging,” check out:

What do you make of the top cities in this report? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Products That Make It Easier to Get Fit
8 Products That Make It Easier to Get Fit

Amazon reviewers give high marks to these tools that can help you get in shape without a gym.

7 Steps to Keep Your Car Looking Like New
7 Steps to Keep Your Car Looking Like New

Take a few steps to preserve the beauty of your car, and you stand to get a lot more money at trade-in time.

Small Splurges That Make It Feel Like You’re Living Large
Small Splurges That Make It Feel Like You’re Living Large

Cutting costs is the shortest path to financial freedom. However, there are times when a little spending can produce big returns.

7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You
7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You

How many of these costly online shopping missteps are you making without realizing it?

15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items
Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items

Some surprise price jumps are making life more difficult for consumers.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.