Special Report

Cities With the Oldest Populations

NicolasMcComber / E+ via Getty Images

The U.S. population is older now than it has been since record keeping began. The median age in the United States is 38.2 years, up from 36.9 years a decade ago, and from less than 30 in the 1970s. 

This trend is the result of several factors – both long and short term. For one, Americans are now living longer than they have in past decades. Driven in part by improvements in health care, average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. is now about 77 years, five years longer than it was in the mid-1970s. More recently, falling birth rates and tightened restrictions on immigration – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – have accelerated the aging of the U.S. population.

In some parts of the country, the median age is far higher than the national median. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 U.S. cities – defined as places with populations of at least 25,000 – with the oldest populations. Among the places on this list, the median age of the population ranges from about 48 years to well over 70. 

Most of the cities on this list are located in just two states: Arizona and Florida – Sun Belt states where winters tend to be mild, even warm. Favorable climates make communities in these states popular destinations for retirees. Several cities on this list, including Sun City, Arizona, and The Villages in Florida are specifically designated as retirement communities. Here is a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in every state. 

In most of the places on this list, residents appear to be less likely to be starting or raising a family. In all but a handful of the 50 cities on this list, the share of households home to children under the age of 18 is far below the 30.7% comparable nationwide share. (Here is a look at the best and worst states to raise a family.)

Click here to see the 50 U.S. cities with the oldest populations.
Click here to see our detailed methodology

Source: Crystal Bolin Photography / iStock via Getty Images

50. Vero Beach South, Florida
> Median age (years): 48.5
> Population enrolled in college: 5.6% — 572nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.2% — 66th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 25.9% — 50th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 28,676 — 252nd lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: DianeBentleyRaymond / iStock via Getty Images

49. Novato, California
> Median age (years): 48.6
> Population enrolled in college: 5.4% — 502nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.7% — 209th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 23.1% — 82nd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 53,781 — 779th highest of 1,789 cities

48. North Tustin, California
> Median age (years): 48.6
> Population enrolled in college: 8.5% — 379th highest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 21.1% — 349th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 23.5% — 76th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 25,147 — 12th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: JenniferPhotographyImaging / E+ via Getty Images

47. La Quinta, California
> Median age (years): 48.6
> Population enrolled in college: 5.9% — 694th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 20.9% — 319th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 27.1% — 43rd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 41,650 — 768th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Norm Lane / iStock via Getty Images

46. Largo, Florida
> Median age (years): 48.7
> Population enrolled in college: 5.5% — 521st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.0% — 60th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 25.9% — 51st highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 84,666 — 417th highest of 1,789 cities (tied)

Source: Eric Tessmer / Wikimedia Commons

45. East Honolulu, Hawaii
> Median age (years): 48.7
> Population enrolled in college: 5.1% — 393rd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 20.3% — 249th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 26.7% — 47th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 47,132 — 882nd lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: Serenethos / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

44. North Port, Florida
> Median age (years): 48.8
> Population enrolled in college: 6.2% — 826th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.9% — 222nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 26.6% — 48th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 68,779 — 556th highest of 1,789 cities

43. Huntley, Illinois
> Median age (years): 48.8
> Population enrolled in college: 2.9% — 17th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 21.9% — 457th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 34.0% — 18th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 27,413 — 181st lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: Art Wager / E+ via Getty Images

42. Dana Point, California
> Median age (years): 48.9
> Population enrolled in college: 5.9% — 701st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 18.5% — 126th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 20.4% — 163rd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 33,782 — 487th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Ruth Peterkin / iStock via Getty Images

41. Sarasota, Florida
> Median age (years): 48.9
> Population enrolled in college: 5.3% — 467th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.0% — 32nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 27.6% — 42nd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 57,787 — 708th highest of 1,789 cities

Source: Donna Derrick / iStock via Getty Images

40. Palm Coast, Florida
> Median age (years): 49.3
> Population enrolled in college: 5.0% — 351st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.1% — 161st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 29.0% — 35th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 88,222 — 398th highest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: Jacqueline Cooper / iStock via Getty Images

39. Canyon Lake, Texas
> Median age (years): 49.7
> Population enrolled in college: 3.4% — 37th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 20.3% — 254th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 23.9% — 69th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 26,338 — 101st lowest of 1,789 cities

38. Northbrook, Illinois
> Median age (years): 49.7
> Population enrolled in college: 5.0% — 357th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 22.5% — 550th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 25.1% — 53rd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 33,216 — 460th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: Bkamprath / E+ via Getty Images

37. Merritt Island, Florida
> Median age (years): 49.8
> Population enrolled in college: 5.6% — 554th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 18.5% — 127th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 23.5% — 77th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 33,975 — 502nd lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Focqus, LLC / iStock via Getty Images

36. Rancho Palos Verdes, California
> Median age (years): 49.8
> Population enrolled in college: 6.0% — 739th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 22.9% — 613th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 25.6% — 52nd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 41,635 — 766th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

35. Bayonet Point, Florida
> Median age (years): 50.0
> Population enrolled in college: 4.5% — 200th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.1% — 172nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 28.2% — 39th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 26,704 — 121st lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: Michael Warren / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

34. Palm Harbor, Florida
> Median age (years): 50.3
> Population enrolled in college: 4.7% — 258th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.9% — 54th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 28.1% — 40th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 61,787 — 653rd highest of 1,789 cities

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images

33. Aventura, Florida
> Median age (years): 50.3
> Population enrolled in college: 5.4% — 490th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.8% — 52nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 28.5% — 37th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 37,151 — 624th lowest of 1,789 cities

32. Lakewood Ranch, Florida
> Median age (years): 50.3
> Population enrolled in college: 4.5% — 205th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 22.3% — 514th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 30.8% — 28th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 26,513 — 113th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images

31. Saratoga, California
> Median age (years): 50.5
> Population enrolled in college: 4.8% — 276th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 20.9% — 320th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 23.6% — 75th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 31,084 — 369th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

30. Gloucester, Massachusetts
> Median age (years): 50.6
> Population enrolled in college: 3.5% — 51st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.0% — 61st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 23.7% — 72nd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 30,291 — 327th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

29. Bella Vista, Arkansas
> Median age (years): 50.6
> Population enrolled in college: 3.5% — 48th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.1% — 165th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 31.5% — 25th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 28,819 — 256th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: 6381380 / iStock via Getty Images

28. Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
> Median age (years): 51.0
> Population enrolled in college: 4.4% — 166th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.6% — 77th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 29.7% — 33rd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 56,979 — 723rd highest of 1,789 cities

Source: RobertSilberblatt / iStock via Getty Images

27. Bullhead City, Arizona
> Median age (years): 51.6
> Population enrolled in college: 3.4% — 34th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 18.3% — 115th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 30.9% — 27th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 40,808 — 743rd lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

26. Palm City, Florida
> Median age (years): 52.3
> Population enrolled in college: 6.0% — 735th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.3% — 179th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 30.4% — 29th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 25,038 — 4th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

25. Ormond Beach, Florida
> Median age (years): 52.5
> Population enrolled in college: 3.8% — 76th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 18.5% — 125th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 31.4% — 26th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 43,245 — 809th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

24. East Lake, Florida
> Median age (years): 52.8
> Population enrolled in college: 5.2% — 437th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.6% — 78th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 29.9% — 31st highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 32,382 — 428th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: benedek / iStock via Getty Images

23. Tarpon Springs, Florida
> Median age (years): 53.3
> Population enrolled in college: 6.0% — 737th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.9% — 56th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 30.0% — 30th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 25,389 — 36th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

22. Lake Havasu City, Arizona
> Median age (years): 53.5
> Population enrolled in college: 4.2% — 120th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.2% — 37th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 32.8% — 21st highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 55,463 — 740th highest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

21. Oro Valley, Arizona
> Median age (years): 54.0
> Population enrolled in college: 5.8% — 644th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 19.1% — 168th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 34.7% — 17th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 45,303 — 857th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: MarieKazPhoto / iStock via Getty Images

20. Pahrump, Nevada
> Median age (years): 54.5
> Population enrolled in college: 2.3% — 7th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.7% — 85th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 32.5% — 23rd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 38,390 — 658th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: nwinter / iStock via Getty Images

19. Apache Junction, Arizona
> Median age (years): 54.7
> Population enrolled in college: 4.1% — 107th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.0% — 34th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 34.8% — 16th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 41,863 — 776th lowest of 1,789 cities

18. Catalina Foothills, Arizona
> Median age (years): 54.8
> Population enrolled in college: 5.8% — 635th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 17.3% — 69th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 32.7% — 22nd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 50,631 — 826th highest of 1,789 cities

17. Palm Desert, California
> Median age (years): 55.1
> Population enrolled in college: 7.3% — 617th highest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 14.9% — 18th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 35.6% — 13th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 53,087 — 795th highest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Wiltser / iStock via Getty Images

16. Port Charlotte, Florida
> Median age (years): 55.6
> Population enrolled in college: 3.5% — 47th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 14.9% — 19th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 33.2% — 19th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 64,335 — 621st highest of 1,789 cities

Source: TraceRouda / iStock via Getty Images

15. Palm Springs, California
> Median age (years): 56.1
> Population enrolled in college: 4.7% — 262nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 11.4% — 7th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 32.2% — 24th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 48,390 — 878th highest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: CampPhoto / iStock via Getty Images

14. Dunedin, Florida
> Median age (years): 56.8
> Population enrolled in college: 4.4% — 161st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 13.3% — 11th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 33.0% — 20th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 36,480 — 600th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: Tamara528 / iStock via Getty Images

13. Sebastian, Florida
> Median age (years): 57.0
> Population enrolled in college: 4.3% — 148th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 15.2% — 23rd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 35.5% — 14th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 25,613 — 47th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

12. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
> Median age (years): 57.9
> Population enrolled in college: 2.0% — 5th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 13.3% — 13th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 36.6% — 11th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 40,000 — 716th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Vito Palmisano / iStock via Getty Images

11. Bonita Springs, Florida
> Median age (years): 58.3
> Population enrolled in college: 3.1% — 23rd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 13.3% — 14th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 40.6% — 8th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 57,755 — 710th highest of 1,789 cities

Source: mdesigner125 / iStock via Getty Images

10. Fountain Hills, Arizona
> Median age (years): 58.6
> Population enrolled in college: 3.5% — 45th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 15.1% — 21st lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 36.3% — 12th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 25,167 — 13th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: Althom / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

9. Prescott, Arizona
> Median age (years): 59.1
> Population enrolled in college: 9.6% — 248th highest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 13.6% — 15th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 38.4% — 9th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 43,463 — 813th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

8. New Smyrna Beach, Florida
> Median age (years): 59.3
> Population enrolled in college: 4.0% — 94th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 11.8% — 9th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 37.8% — 10th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 27,207 — 166th lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: kenlund / Flickr

7. Fortuna Foothills, Arizona
> Median age (years): 61.4
> Population enrolled in college: 3.4% — 35th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 16.3% — 39th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 46.0% — 7th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 29,297 — 278th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: krblokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

6. North Fort Myers, Florida
> Median age (years): 63.3
> Population enrolled in college: 2.6% — 10th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 11.0% — 6th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 47.0% — 6th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 42,315 — 782nd lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: BernieCB / Flickr

5. Estero, Florida
> Median age (years): 65.9
> Population enrolled in college: 3.5% — 49th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 11.4% — 8th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 52.0% — 5th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 33,450 — 469th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Sun City Center FL Facebook

4. Sun City Center, Florida
> Median age (years): 71.0
> Population enrolled in college: 1.7% — 4th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 6.0% — 5th lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 68.7% — 4th highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 26,138 — 91st lowest of 1,789 cities

Source: Michael Warren / iStock via Getty Images

3. The Villages, Florida
> Median age (years): 72.2
> Population enrolled in college: 0.5% — the lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 0.3% — 2nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 84.2% — 2nd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 81,444 — 442nd highest of 1,789 cities

2. Sun City, Arizona
> Median age (years): 72.7
> Population enrolled in college: 0.7% — 3rd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 1.0% — 3rd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 75.3% — 3rd highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 38,888 — 678th lowest of 1,789 cities

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: BCFC / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

1. Sun City West, Arizona
> Median age (years): 75.3
> Population enrolled in college: 0.6% — 2nd lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 18 and younger: 0.1% — the lowest of 1,789 cities
> Population 65 and older: 85.7% — the highest of 1,789 cities
> Total population: 26,043 — 81st lowest of 1,789 cities (tied)

Methodology

To determine the cities with the highest median ages, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median age from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

We used census “place” geographies — a category that includes incorporated legal entities and census-designated statistical entities. We defined cities based on a population threshold — census places needed to have a population of at least 25,000 to be considered. 

Cities were excluded if median age was not available in the 2020 ACS or if the sampling error associated with a city’s data was deemed too high.

The sampling error was defined as too high if the coefficient of variation — a statistical assessment of how reliable an estimate is — for a city’s median age was above 15% and greater than two standard deviations above the mean CV for all cities’ median ages. We similarly excluded cities that had a sampling error too high for their population, using the same definition.

Cities were ranked based on median age. To break ties, we used the share of the population that is 65 and older. 

Additional information on the share of the population that is currently enrolled in college, the share of the population that is 18 and younger, the share of the population that is 65 and older, and total population are also five-year estimates from the 2020 ACS. 

Take This Retirement Quiz To Get Matched With An Advisor Now (Sponsored)

Are you ready for retirement? Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, that’s why it could be a good idea to speak to a fiduciary financial advisor about your goals today.

Start by taking this retirement quiz right here from SmartAsset that will match you with up to 3 financial advisors that serve your area and beyond in 5 minutes. Smart Asset is now matching over 50,000 people a month.

Click here now to get started.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.