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Best small towns for retirees in every state

  • Best small towns for retirees in every state
    1/ 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

  • Alabama: Orange Beach
    2/ 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+

  • Alaska: Soldotna
    3/ 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

  • Arizona: Green Valley
    4/ 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+

  • Arkansas: Cherokee Village
    5/ 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+

  • California: Kensington
    6/ 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

  • Colorado: Holly Hills
    7/ 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

  • Connecticut: Essex
    8/ 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

  • Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
    9/ 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-

  • Florida: Whiskey Creek
    10/ 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-

  • Georgia: Avondale Estates
    11/ 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-

  • Hawaii: Maunawili
    12/ 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+

  • Idaho: St. Maries
    13/ 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

  • Illinois: Leland Grove
    14/ 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+

  • Indiana: Meridian Hills
    15/ 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

  • Iowa: Waukon
    16/ 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+

  • Kansas: Eureka
    17/ 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

  • Kentucky: Windy Hills
    18/ 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

  • Louisiana: Westminster
    19/ 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

  • Maine: Rockport
    20/ 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-

  • Maryland: Chevy Chase Village
    21/ 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-

  • Massachusetts: West Falmouth
    22/ 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-

  • Michigan: Village of Grosse Pointe Shores
    23/ 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

  • Minnesota: Osseo
    24/ 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-

  • Mississippi: Hide-A-Way Lake
    25/ 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+

  • Missouri: Town and Country
    26/ 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-

  • Montana: Glasgow
    27/ 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-

  • Nebraska: O'Neill
    28/ 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

  • Nevada: Boulder City
    29/ 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-

  • New Hampshire: Gilford
    30/ 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+

  • New Jersey: Surf City
    31/ 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-

  • New Mexico: Elephant Butte
    32/ 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-

  • New York: Lake Success
    33/ 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

  • North Carolina: Pine Knoll Shores
    34/ 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-

  • North Dakota: Valley City
    35/ 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

  • Ohio: Bellbrook
    36/ 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+

  • Oklahoma: Nichols Hills
    37/ 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

  • Oregon: Gold Beach
    38/ 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

  • Pennsylvania: North Warren
    39/ 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-

  • Rhode Island: Jamestown
    40/ 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

  • South Carolina: Garden City
    41/ 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+

  • South Dakota: Mobridge
    42/ 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

  • Tennessee: Lookout Mountain
    43/ 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-

  • Texas: Olmos Park
    44/ 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+

  • Utah: Kanab
    45/ 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+

  • Vermont: Rutland Town
    46/ 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-

  • Virginia: Bridgewater
    47/ 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-

  • Washington: Clyde Hill
    48/ 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

  • West Virginia: Belmont
    49/ 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+

  • Wisconsin: King
    50/ 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-

  • Wyoming: Thermopolis
    51/ 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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