Arizona, Michigan Top List of Fastest Growing Retirement Places

Weather, tax benefits and proximity of senior living communities are just a few things attracting adults age 65 and older to some of the nation’s fastest growing retirement destinations, according to a recent analysis from NerdWallet.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, NerdWallet analyzed the 75 largest metros in the country, taking into account the age 65+ population as a percentage of total population from 2007 to 2012. 

Arizona and Michigan were among the states with the fastest growing 65+ population, as each had two metro areas within the NerdWallet top-10 rankings. 


The Tucson and Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metro areas boast attractive weather, a surplus of golf courses as well as nearby retirement communities and continuing education opportunities for retirees.

On the Michigan front, the metro areas of Detroit-Warren-Livonia and Grand Rapids-Wyoming reported increases in their senior population, despite overall population growth hitting a decline.

Both areas also play home to senior living communities such as Woodhaven, a full-service continuing care retirement community, and Clark Retirement Community, a nonprofit organization that offers residential options and services for retirees. 


Other top retirement destinations include Nevada’s Las Vegas-Paradise metro, where no income tax or inheritance tax might be appealing for some retirees, and where the area’s senior population grew 1.9% from 2007-2012—the third-highest rate of all places in the NerdWallet analysis. 

The rest of the top-10 retirement places varied regionally, with other states like Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Washington and Oregon making the cut.

NerdWallet even goes beyond the top-10 places to include an expanded list of the top-20 fastest growing retirement destination. 

View the NerdWallet rankings

Written by Jason Oliva