Skip to content

Know someone over 50 who is making a difference? Nominate them for the AARP Purpose Prize.


Best Cities for Successful Aging – 2012


America is aging and there are both societal and personal challenges that need to be addressed in order to make this shift easier for individuals and communities. This report was organized by the Milken Institute to showcase the U.S. metropolitan areas that best promote and enable successful aging.

Key Points

This report defines successful aging as living in places that are safe, affordable, and comfortable; being healthy and happy; being financially secure; being respected; having a desirable living arrangement; being mobile; and being connected. The index rankings in this report are based on a methodology that examines these successful aging factors and helps to determine the quality of life for older Americans.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Common characteristics of the best large cities for successful aging were opportunities to work and volunteer, a learning environment, top-notch health care, an active lifestyle, great connectivity, and easily accessible services.
  2. Common factors for the best small cities for successful aging were hospitals affiliated with medical schools, economic environment, job opportunities for seniors, and an affordable cost of living.

How to Use

This report can serve as a good starting point for community leaders and planners looking to increase the livability of their areas for older adults. It provides case studies of the cities that have accomplished this task successfully, promoting best practices that can be utilized to ensure successful aging in any community. Additionally, the report details outstanding programs throughout the country that have improved the quality of life for older adult residents, in hopes that they will provide inspiration for leaders and planners.

View full report: Best Cities for Successful Aging – 2012 (PDF – 5.9 MB)