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Best small towns for retirees in every state

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12019 // flickr

Best small towns for retirees in every state

Working day-in and day-out in one of America’s biggest metropolitan areas can prove to be incredibly stressful on its own, and it certainly does not help to come home to a loud, bustling apartment building shared by hundreds. Senior citizens are especially eager to abandon this lifestyle as 75 percent of baby boomers want the next home they purchase to be 1-story tall and 55 percent of retirees prefer a suburban environment when it eventually comes time to settle down for good. Since smaller, tighter-knit communities offer less mobility and fewer immediately accessible resources and amenities, deciding on a suburban retirement location can require a very fine-tuned analysis.

In seeking to help prospective retirees, Stacker referenced Niche’s Best Places to Retire study in order to list America’s 50 small towns which offer the best retirement. Only towns with a population of less than 40,000 were considered for the ranking, which Niche calculated according to a retiree representation, weather quality, cost and safety, access to healthy living, and a handful of other factors explained in detail here. For each town, we’ve included the town’s resident population as well as Niche-calculated grades for the overall quality of the town, the cost of living (along with figures for median home value and median rent), diversity, and quality of outdoor activities. 

Read on to see which small towns are the best spots to retire in America.

ALSO: Best small towns for retirees in America

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Chris Watson // Wikimedia Commons

Alabama: Orange Beach

Population: 5,791
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $248,200; Median rent: $836)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B+

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Brian A. Ridder // Wikimedia Commons

Alaska: Soldotna

Population: 4,471
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $223,000; Median rent: $1,019)
Diversity grade: B
Outdoor activities grade: B

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James Brooks // Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Green Valley

Population: 22,249
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $162,200; Median rent: $1,010)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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Ken Lund // flickr

Arkansas: Cherokee Village

Population: 4,669
Overall grade: B-
Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $76,600; Median rent: $686)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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John Lambert Pearson // Wikimedia Commons

California: Kensington

Population: 5,602
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $805,200; Median rent: $1,994)
Diversity grade: B+
Outdoor activities grade: A

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12019 // flickr

Colorado: Holly Hills

Population: 2,684
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $342,100; Median rent: $1,784)
Diversity grade: B
Outdoor activities grade: A

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Joe Mable // Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Essex

Population: 6,594
Overall grade: A-
Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $363,600; Median rent: $1,165)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Ron Shawley // Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: Rehoboth Beach

Population: 1,119
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $842,800; Median rent: $1,008)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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paulbr75 // pixabay

Florida: Whiskey Creek

Population: 5,011
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $203,300; Median rent: $1,090)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Aprabhu // Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: Avondale Estates

Population: 3,095
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $300,200; Median rent: $1,146)
Diversity grade: B+
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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INTVGENE // flickr

Hawaii: Maunawili

Population: 2,124
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $932,400; Median rent: $1,955)
Diversity grade: N/A
Outdoor activities grade: B+

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: St. Maries

Population: 2,323
Overall grade: C+
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $137,100; Median rent: $571)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Jay Galvin // flickr

Illinois: Leland Grove

Population: 1,625
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $202,100; Median rent: $979)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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Eric Fischer // flickr

Indiana: Meridian Hills

Population: 1,762
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $439,400; Median rent: $1,750)
Diversity grade: B
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Nels Olsen // flickr

Iowa: Waukon

Population: 3,786
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $89,600; Median rent: $507)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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spacefem // Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Eureka

Population: 2,439
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $51,500; Median rent: $489)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: C

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John Knouse // Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky: Windy Hills

Population: 2,203
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $241,300; Median rent: $1,967)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Antrell Williams // flickr

Louisiana: Westminster

Population: 3,103
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $241,900; Median rent: $1,202)
Diversity grade: A-
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Benggriff // Wikimedia Commons

Maine: Rockport

Population: 3,352
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $285,200; Median rent: $1,014)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

Maryland: Chevy Chase Village

Population: 2,030
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $1,608,300; Median rent: $3,375)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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West Falmouth // Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts: West Falmouth

Population: 2,021
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $540,100; Median rent: $1,125)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Ken Lund // flickr

Michigan: Village of Grosse Pointe Shores

Population: 2,933
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $431,200; Median rent: $2,550)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Bjoertvedt // Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: Osseo

Population: 2,612
Overall grade: A-
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $164,300; Median rent: $883)
Diversity grade: B
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Aaron Manning // Wikimedia Commons

Mississippi: Hide-A-Way Lake

Population: 1,883
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $159,800; Median rent: N/A)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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Ron Reiring // flickr

Missouri: Town and Country

Population: 11,001
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $659,700; Median rent: $1,045)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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USFWS Mountain-Prairie // flickr

Montana: Glasgow

Population: 3,363
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $151,600; Median rent: $506)
Diversity grade: N/A
Outdoor activities grade: C-

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Richard Hurd // flickr

Nebraska: O'Neill

Population: 3,664
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $106,100; Median rent: $588)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Sarah Nichols // Wikimedia Commons

Nevada: Boulder City

Population: 15,373
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $223,200; Median rent: $938)
Diversity grade: B
Outdoor activities grade: B-

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galif548 // Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire: Gilford

Population: 7,103
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $240,600; Median rent: $1,018)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B+

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Kim Carpenter // flickr

New Jersey: Surf City

Population: 1,166
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $658,400; Median rent: $1,021)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: B-

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Birdie Jaworski // flickr

New Mexico: Elephant Butte

Population: 1,515
Overall grade: C
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $122,800; Median rent: $816)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B-

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Eric Salard // Wikimedia Commons

New York: Lake Success

Population: 3,084
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $1,150,500; Median rent: $3,501)
Diversity grade: A-
Outdoor activities grade: A

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James Willamor // Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: Pine Knoll Shores

Population: 1,420
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $372,400; Median rent: $1,053)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: B-

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Patsy Lynch // Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota: Valley City

Population: 6,615
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $89,800; Median rent: $658)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: D

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Ted // Flickr

Ohio: Bellbrook

Population: 7,082
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $160,200; Median rent: $988)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: B+

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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: Nichols Hills

Population: 3,864
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $636,800; Median rent: $918)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: C

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m01229 // flickr

Oregon: Gold Beach

Population: 2,311
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $174,900; Median rent: $751)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania: North Warren

Population: 1,952
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $102,600; Median rent: $524)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: B-

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LEONARDO DASILVA // flickr

Rhode Island: Jamestown

Population: 5,462
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $563,900; Median rent: $1,708)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: A

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WillieMac // Pixabay

South Carolina: Garden City

Population: 9,456
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $120,500; Median rent: $900)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: B+

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Eric Friedebach // Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota: Mobridge

Population: 3,460
Overall grade: A-
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $80,700; Median rent: $587)
Diversity grade: N/A
Outdoor activities grade: C

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Mike Box // flickr

Tennessee: Lookout Mountain

Population: 1,930
Overall grade: A
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $561,700; Median rent: $1,125)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Matt Harriger // Wikimedia Commons

Texas: Olmos Park

Population: 1,964
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $643,000; Median rent: $782)
Diversity grade: B+
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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P199 // Wikimedia Commons

Utah: Kanab

Population: 4,436
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $192,100; Median rent: $913)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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Sfoskett // Wikimedia Commons

Vermont: Rutland Town

Population: 4,058
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $218,600; Median rent: $757)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: Bridgewater

Population: 5,906
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $209,200; Median rent: $820)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Dcoetzee // Wikimedia Commons

Washington: Clyde Hill

Population: 3,197
Overall grade: A+
Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $1,578,900; Median rent: $2,900)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: A

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Craig Stihler // Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: Belmont

Population: 1,031
Overall grade: C+
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $92,500; Median rent: $505)
Diversity grade: B-
Outdoor activities grade: C+

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Amy Bayer // flickr

Wisconsin: King

Population: 1,754
Overall grade: B+
Cost of living grade: A (Median home value: $108,200; Median rent: $581)
Diversity grade: C
Outdoor activities grade: A-

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Jonathan Green // Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming: Thermopolis

Population: 2,918
Overall grade: B
Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $137,300; Median rent: $690)
Diversity grade: C+
Outdoor activities grade: B-

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