Where are the best metro areas to age? In Utah and South Dakota
Provo, UT, and Sioux Falls, SD, are the best large and small metro areas for successful aging, respectively, according to a new survey.
Conducted by nonprofit think-tank the Milken Institute, the study surveyed more than 300 U.S. cities to determine the best areas for promoting and enabling successful aging. To do so, they analyzed eight categories: general indicators, healthcare, wellness, living arrangements, transportation/convenience, financial well-being, employment/education and community engagement.
They weighted each component differently based on two age groupings. For instance, for seniors ages 65 to 79, healthcare was weighted 12%, whereas for seniors age 80 and older, healthcare represented 15% of the total score.
The healthcare score was composed of factors such as the number of doctors in the area, number of long-term care hospitals, number of hospitals with Alzheimer's units, number of hospitals with hospice services and the number of nurses.
Madison, WI, had the highest score in the larger metro area category for healthcare, while Jackson, MS, came in second. In the smaller-metro area category, Rochester, MN, had the top healthcare score, and Iowa City, IA, had the second best.
The overall top five rankings are as follows:
Large metro areas
1. Provo-Orem, UT
2. Madison, WI
3. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
4. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
5. New York, Northern New Jersey, Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
Small metro areas:
1. Sioux Falls, SD
2. Iowa City, IA
3. Bismarck, ND
4. Columbia, MO
5. Rochester, MN