U.S. News Picks the 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012

Where are seniors living and heading to these days? U.S. News lists “The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012” and also looks into geographic concentrations of the 65 and older crowd.

By April 1, 2010, there were 40.3 million people aged 65 and older in the country, and now 10,000 Boomers are turning 65—and reaching retirement age—each day.

While all U.S. regions have seen growth in their 65+ populations since the census was taken in 2000, the West has the most rapidly growing older population, which has increased 23.5% from 6.9 million in 2000 to 8.5 million ten years later, according to U.S. News.


The Northeast has the largest percentage of those aged 65+, on the other hand, at 14.1% of the total population. Comparatively, 13.5% of those in the Midwest belong to this demographic, followed by 13% in the South and 11.9% in the West.

The five “oldest” states are Florida (17.3% are 65 or older), West Virginia (16%), Maine (15.9%), Pennsylvania (15.4%) and Iowa (14.9%). The state with the lowest senior population is Alaska, accounting for just 7.7% of the total.

Cities with the lowest numbers of seniors as a percentage of the overall population include West Jordan, Utah (4.6%), Killeen, Texas (5.2%), and Frisco, Texas (5.4%).


It’s probably no surprise that Scottsdale, Arizona is the city with the highest percentage of 65+ folks, at 20%—well above the national average of 13%. Other cities with high retirement-age populations include Clearwater, Hialeah, Cape Coral, and Miami, all in Florida; Surprise, Arizona; Honolulu, Hawaii; Metairie, Louisiana; Warren, Michigan; and Independence, Missouri.

With current geographic distributions in mind, which cities are being recommended as retirement locations in 2012 by U.S. News?

Although the 10 best places are unranked, Flagstaff, Arizona is the first city on U.S. News’ list. The city’s favorable climate and warm weather heavily influenced its inclusion.

Other cities include “affordable mountain town” Boone, North Carolina and “green” Walnut Creek, California. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is considered the “best mix of affordability and amenities” while Santa Fe, New Mexico is the “best place for recreation and culture.”

Go here to view U.S. News’s complete list of best places to retire, or check out data on where the 65+ crowd is (or isn’t) located.

Written by Alyssa Gerace