Row of brick buildings in Lancaster, PA

Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas cities dominate the top 10 spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Places to Retire list, released Wednesday. The list ranks metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement in six areas: housing affordability, desirability, retiree taxes, healthcare, overall happiness and the job market.

Lancaster, PA, took the top slot, moving up from its No. 2 position last year due to increases in housing affordability and the overall happiness of its residents. Pittsburgh came in at No. 5.

Florida cities took three spots, as did Texas. Fort Myers, FL, leaped from No. 15 to No. 2 because of increases in desirability and happiness scores. Sarasota, FL, on the other hand, fell from No. 1 to No. 3 this year due to a decline in both overall happiness and desirability. Austin, TX, jumped to No. 4 from No. 9 due to an increase in desirability.

Cities in Michigan and Tennessee rounded out the top 10.

The top 10 list:

  1. Lancaster, PA
  2. Fort Myers, FL
  3. Sarasota, FL
  4. Austin, TX
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Grand Rapids, MI
  7. Nashville, TN
  8. San Antonio
  9. Dallas–Fort Worth
  10. Lakeland, FL

The measures used to rank the cities on the list were selected and weighted based on a public survey of pre-retirees (aged 45 to 59) and retirement-age (aged 60 or more years) individuals across the United States to find out what matters most when considering a place to retire. This year, U.S. News increased the weight of the desirability metric from 10% to 15%, saying it provides a more balanced understanding of the opinions gathered through consumer surveys. Data sources included the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings.

The full list ranks 100 cities.

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