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Where Baby Boomers Are Moving – 2023 Study


While many baby boomers have now entered retirement, many more remain in the workforce with retirement upcoming. As this generation transitions into retired life, many may choose to move to a city more suitable for their new cash flows and routines. Some places may offer better tax advantages, lower cost of living, proximity to family, comfortable weather and other amenities for retirees. Ultimately, the migration of boomers – and their economic power – will impact the local economies they move to and from.

With this in mind, SmartAsset examined Census Bureau data for 268 of the largest U.S. cities to see where people between the ages of 55 and 74 are moving. Cities are ranked by the rate at which baby boomers moved in in 2022.

Key Findings

  • These Florida, Arizona and Nevada cities dominate the top 10. The three states are home to eight of the 10 cities with the biggest boomer inflows, including Clearwater, FL; Reno, NV; Orlando, FL; Cape Coral, FL; Surprise, AZ; Henderson, NV; Mesa, AZ; and St. Petersburg, FL. 
  • Nearly 30% of the population are boomers in these cities. Baby boomers account for almost three out of every 10 people in Cape Coral, FL (29.9%), Scottsdale, AZ (28.1%) and Clearwater, FL (27.0%).
  • Out-of-state boomers are moving to Billings, MT. Montana’s largest city welcomed 1,842 baby boomers from different states in 2022, more than half of the total 3,401 new boomers. Billings, which ranked fifth studywide, is consequently one of the two states that made it to the top 10 outside of Florida, Nevada and Arizona.
  • Foreign boomers are moving to these cities in Florida. 2,131 baby boomers moved to Orlando from abroad last year. Cape Coral, FL had the second highest rate of boomers moving from abroad, with 1,268 new individuals in this cohort.
  • North Carolina boomers are flocking to High Point. Overall, High Point ranked 9th. Of the 3,051 baby boomers who moved here in 2022, 81% came from within the state of North Carolina.

Top 10 Cities Where Baby Boomers Are Moving

1. Clearwater, FL

Baby boomers who moved to Clearwater in 2022 accounted for 3.79% of the city's total population. 4,401 people from this age group moved into the city. Overall, the 31,349 baby boomers living in Clearwater made up 27.0% of the city’s total population over the age of 1.

2. Reno, NV

A total of 8,329 baby boomers relocated to Reno in 2022. These new residents represented 3.07% of the city's population. Overall, 62,688 baby boomers living in Reno accounted for 23.1% of residents. 

3. Orlando, FL

In 2022, Orlando welcomed 9,458 new residents from the baby boomer generation. Those newcomers accounted for 3.02% of the city’s total population over the age of 1. Boomers now comprise 16.6% of the Orlando community, with a total of 51,927 individuals.

4. Cape Coral, FL

Baby boomers who moved to Cape Coral in 2022 made up 2.90% of the city’s total population over the age of 1. A total of 6,233 people from this age group moved into the city that year, as baby boomers made up 29.9% of the overall population. 

5. Billings, MT

Billings saw 3,401 baby boomers move into the city, accounting for 2.87% of the city’s population. With the influx, baby boomers now comprise 22.5% of residents over the age of 1.

6. Surprise, AZ

4,372 baby boomers relocated to Surprise, making up 2.86% of the total population over the age of 1. This led to a total of 36,420 baby boomers living in Surprise in 2022. This generation constituted 23.8% of the overall community. 

7. Henderson, NV

The 9,219 boomers who moved to Henderson during 2022 made up 2.80% of the city’s total population. Meanwhile, a total of 84,183 boomers were living in Henderson in 2022, accounting for 25.6% of residents.

8. Mesa, AZ

Of the 108,881 baby boomers living in Mesa in 2022, 13,623 moved to the city that year. Newcomers in this age group made up 2.69% of the city’s total population over the age of 1. 

9. High Point, NC

High Point welcomed 3,051 new residents from the baby boomer generation in 2022. In total, the city’s 26,023 baby boomers comprised 22.9% of the overall population over the age of 1. Baby boomers who moved to High Point that year accounted for 2.69% of residents. 

10. St. Petersburg, FL

A total of 6,903 baby boomers moved to St. Petersburg in 2022, accounting for 2.67% of the total population over the age of 1. That year, 66,631 baby boomers – 25.75% of all residents over the age of 1 – called St. Petersburg home.

Data and Methodology 

Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau 1-Year American Community Survey for 2022. The study included 268 cities that had available data and 100,000 or more people ages 1 or over. Boomers were defined as people ages 55 to 74. Cities were ranked by the percentage of the total population represented by boomers who moved into the city in 2022.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • Optimize your Social Security. Social Security plays an important role in most people’s plans for retirement. Remember, waiting until you reach your full retirement age will ensure you receive your full benefit. Filing for Social Security as early as age 62 will mean you’ll collect up to 30% less. However, the flipside is also true: waiting until age 70 will mean your benefit will increase by up to 24%. 
  • Anticipate your income needs. While spending typically decreases in retirement, inaccurately predicting your consumption could spell trouble for your budget. The experts at T. Rowe Price recommend you start by aiming to replace 75% of your pre-retirement income. From their, your exact income replacement target will depend on your savings rate during your career and other factors. 
  • Work with a financial professional. Whether you're a baby boomer or a member of a later generation, saving and planning for retirement is critical. A financial advisor can help but finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Photo credit: © Daly