The Best Cities for Seniors

How well are American cities serving the aging population? Many cities and states are acting with growing urgency to meet the needs of aging residents. Affordable housing, good healthcare, and quality of life are important elements to serve older residents.

Researchers at caring.com, a site that offers referrals and directories for senior living, looked at 70 different factors that drive quality of life in all 50 states and 300 cities across the U.S. to find the best and worst places in the nation for senior living. A percentage of weight was given to each of the following factors:

  • 22% - Health care: This includes the number of doctors, dentists, and mental health professionals in the state per 100,000 people, as well as the rate of patient satisfaction and preventable hospitalization.
  • 22% - Senior living and housing: How affordable and available is suitable housing is for seniors?  It includes the comparative cost of housing in the area to the average income in the same area, adjusted accordingly. Subsidized housing, multi-family homes, and houses with no-step entrances was also measured.
  • 8% - Community involvement: This measures the opportunity that seniors have to be engaged socially and politically in their communities, such as voting, volunteering, and programs and clubs that facilitate social opportunities.
  • 13% - Transportation: Does the area have age-friendly transportation? This includes crash rates, household transportation costs and the frequency and availability of local transit services.
  • 22% - Quality of life: This includes the availability of things like museums, libraries, parks, fresh markets, as well as air and water quality and prevalence of obesity.
  • 13% - Affordability: These metrics cover factors such as the rate of income inequality in the area and how many jobs per worker are available.

Based on Caring.com's 2019 Senior Living Report, these are the best U.S. cities for retirees.

1. San Francisco
1. San Francisco

The Best U.S. Cities for Senior Living

1. San Francisco

  • Healthcare rank: 3
  • Senior living rank: 60
  • Community involvement rank: 218
  • Transportation rank: 7
  • Quality of Life rank: 1
  • Affordability rank: 231

For those who can afford to live here, older residents of San Francisco can enjoy activities at community centers across the city where they can learn new skills, take exercise classes or attend social events and day trips. Residents 65 and older get half-price fares on transit lines. San Francisco has mild, comfortable weather year round.

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Fredericksburg, Va.
2. Fredericksburg, Va.

2. Fredericksburg, Va.

  • Healthcare rank: 1
  • Senior living rank: 1
  • Community involvement rank: 97
  • Transportation rank: 65
  • Quality of Life rank: 239
  • Affordability rank: 258

Photo: Charley Carter / Shutterstock

3. Boston
3. Boston

3. Boston

  • Healthcare rank: 14
  • Senior living rank: 8
  • Community involvement rank: 172
  • Transportation rank: 16
  • Quality of Life rank: 7
  • Affordability rank: 277

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Portland, Maine
4. Portland, Maine

4. Portland, Maine

  • Healthcare rank: 24
  • Senior living rank: 23
  • Community involvement rank: 4
  • Transportation rank: 8
  • Quality of Life rank: 81
  • Affordability rank: 165

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Madison, Wis.
5. Madison, Wis.

5. Madison, Wis.

  • Healthcare rank: 25
  • Senior living rank: 104
  • Community involvement rank: 1
  • Transportation rank: 29
  • Quality of life rank: 75
  • Affordability rank: 14
Photo: Shutterstock

6. Chapel Hill, N.C.
6. Chapel Hill, N.C.

6. Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Healthcare rank: 2
  • Senior living rank: 142
  • Community involvement rank: 24
  • Transportation rank: 117
  • Quality of life rank: 195
  • Affordability rank: 124

Photo: Action Sports Photography / Shutterstock

7. Washington, D.C.
7. Washington, D.C.

7. Washington, D.C.

  • Healthcare rank: 18
  • Senior living rank: 6
  • Community involvement rank: 2
  • Transportation rank: 50
  • Quality of life rank: 25
  • Affordability rank: 302

Pictured is the National Air and Space Museum.

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

8. Lancaster, Pa.
8. Lancaster, Pa.

8. Lancaster, Pa.

  • Healthcare rank: 272
  • Senior living rank: 17
  • Community involvement rank: 21
  • Transportation rank: 1
  • Quality of life rank: 111
  • Affordability rank: 62

Photo: George Sheldon / Shutterstock

9. Boulder, Colo.
9. Boulder, Colo.

9. Boulder, Colo.

  • Healthcare rank: 16
  • Senior living rank: 134
  • Community involvement rank: 29
  • Transportation rank: 115
  • Quality of life rank: 39
  • Affordability rank: 81

Photo: MIRAJA DESIGN / Shutterstock

10. St. Paul, Minn.
10. St. Paul, Minn.

10. St. Paul, Minn.

  • Healthcare rank: 51
  • Senior living rank: 37
  • Community involvement rank: 28
  • Transportation rank: 57
  • Quality of life rank: 78
  • Affordability rank: 86

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Wilmington, Del.
11. Wilmington, Del.

11. Wilmington, Del.

  • Healthcare rank: 102
  • Senior living rank: 5
  • Community involvement rank: 119
  • Transportation rank: 81
  • Quality of life rank: 63
  • Affordability rank: 145

Photo: Kelleher Photography / Shutterstock

12. Minneapolis
12. Minneapolis

12. Minneapolis

  • Healthcare rank: 82
  • Senior living rank: 39
  • Community involvement rank: 15
  • Transportation rank: 13
  • Quality of life rank: 69
  • Affordability rank: 197

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Hartford, Conn.
13. Hartford, Conn.

13. Hartford, Conn.

  • Healthcare rank: 5
  • Senior living rank: 29
  • Community involvement rank: 88
  • Transportation rank: 109
  • Quality of life rank: 172
  • Affordability rank: 191

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Brooklyn, N.Y.
14. Brooklyn, N.Y.

14. Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Healthcare rank: 67
  • Senior living rank: 83
  • Community involvement rank: 267
  • Transportation rank: 2
  • Quality of life rank: 13
  • Affordability rank: 272

Photo: solepsizm / Shutterstock

15. Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
15. Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

15. Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

  • Healthcare rank: 30
  • Senior living rank: 100
  • Community involvement rank: 7
  • Transportation rank: 72
  • Quality of life rank: 267
  • Affordability rank: 3

Cranberries are a big part of the economy here.

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Portland, Ore.
16. Portland, Ore.

16. Portland, Ore.

  • Healthcare rank: 12
  • Senior living rank: 138
  • Community involvement rank: 72
  • Transportation rank: 114
  • Quality of life rank: 45
  • Affordability rank: 193

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Irvine, Calif.
17. Irvine, Calif.

17. Irvine, Calif.

  • Healthcare rank: 56
  • Senior living rank: 216
  • Community involvement rank: 241
  • Transportation rank: 64
  • Quality of life rank: 6
  • Affordability rank: 56

Pictured is the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Irvine.

Photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock

18. Alexandria, Va.
18. Alexandria, Va.

18. Alexandria, Va.

  • Healthcare rank: 202
  • Senior living rank: 47
  • Community involvement rank: 5
  • Transportation rank: 129
  • Quality of life rank: 20
  • Affordability rank: 223

Photo: Shutterstock

19. Silver Spring, Md.
19. Silver Spring, Md.

19. Silver Spring, Md.

  • Healthcare rank: 65
  • Senior living rank: 43
  • Community involvement rank: 94
  • Transportation rank: 163
  • Quality of life rank: 30
  • Affordability rank: 179

Photo: Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock

20. Santa Monica, Calif.
20. Santa Monica, Calif.

20. Santa Monica, Calif.

  • Healthcare rank: 109
  • Senior living rank: 156
  • Community involvement rank: 279
  • Transportation rank: 54
  • Quality of life rank: 2
  • Affordability rank: 157

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Durham, N.C.
21. Durham, N.C.

21. Durham, N.C.

  • Healthcare rank: 7
  • Senior living rank: 99
  • Community involvement rank: 38
  • Transportation rank: 164
  • Quality of life rank: 229
  • Affordability rank: 66

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

22. Omaha, Neb.
22. Omaha, Neb.

22. Omaha, Neb.

  • Healthcare rank: 22
  • Senior living rank: 158
  • Community involvement rank: 46
  • Transportation rank: 32
  • Quality of life rank: 150
  • Affordability rank: 104

Photo: Shutterstock

23. Manchester, N.H.
23. Manchester, N.H.

23. Manchester, N.H.

  • Healthcare rank: 66
  • Senior living rank: 53
  • Community involvement rank: 51
  • Transportation rank: 18
  • Quality of life rank: 155
  • Affordability rank: 119

Photo: GagliardiImages / Shutterstock

24. Seattle
24. Seattle

24. Seattle

  • Healthcare rank: 54
  • Senior living rank: 75
  • Community involvement rank: 124
  • Transportation rank: 216
  • Quality of life rank: 31
  • Affordability rank: 109

Photo: Shutterstock

25. Burlington, Vt.
25. Burlington, Vt.

25. Burlington, Vt.

  • Healthcare rank: 62
  • Senior living rank: 42
  • Community involvement rank: 36
  • Transportation rank: 68
  • Quality of life rank: 186
  • Affordability rank: 64

Above, people dressed as Santa get ready for a charity race in Burlington.

Photo: vermontalm / Shutterstock

26. Altamonte Springs, Fla.
26. Altamonte Springs, Fla.

26. Altamonte Springs, Fla.

  • Healthcare rank: 151
  • Senior living rank: 45
  • Community involvement rank: 134
  • Transportation rank: 137
  • Quality of life rank: 55
  • Affordability rank: 35

Photo: Shutterstock

27. Lincoln, Neb.
27. Lincoln, Neb.

27. Lincoln, Neb.

  • Healthcare rank: 48
  • Senior living rank: 148
  • Community involvement rank: 17
  • Transportation rank: 12
  • Quality of life rank: 178
  • Affordability rank: 55

Photo: rthoma / Shutterstock

28. Sioux Falls, S.D.
28. Sioux Falls, S.D.

28. Sioux Falls, S.D.

  • Healthcare rank: 89
  • Senior living rank: 110
  • Community involvement rank: 13
  • Transportation rank: 24
  • Quality of life rank: 254
  • Affordability rank: 5

Photo: Shutterstock

29. Eau Claire, Wis.
29. Eau Claire, Wis.

29. Eau Claire, Wis.

  • Healthcare rank: 17
  • Senior living rank: 125
  • Community involvement rank: 6
  • Transportation rank: 134
  • Quality of life rank: 261
  • Affordability rank: 45

Photo: Thieded/Wikipedia

30. Lexington, Ky.
30. Lexington, Ky.

30. Lexington, Ky.

  • Healthcare rank: 6
  • Senior living rank: 157
  • Community involvement rank: 112
  • Transportation rank: 89
  • Quality of life rank: 176
  • Affordability rank: 115

See how your city or state ranked in Caring.com's full report.

Photo: aceshot1 / Shutterstock

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