Magazine Ranks Youngstown 9th Best Place to Retire

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown is one of the country’s best places to retire, according to a national magazine.

The city is ranked No. 9 in the U.S. News & World Report 2024 list of Best Places to Retire in the United States, which was unveiled today.

Last year, Youngstown was ranked No. 21. The list ranks the top 150 most populous metro areas, based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including affordability, health care, desirability, retiree taxes, job market and overall happiness.

The double-digit jump in the rankings was paced by its strong scores in happiness, affordability and retiree taxes.

Pennsylvania cities dominate the 2024 list, taking the top five positions, and seven spots in the top 10. Here are the top 10:

  1. Harrisburg, Pa.
  2. Reading, Pa.
  3. Lancaster, Pa.
  4. Scranton, Pa.
  5. Allentown, Pa.
  6. New York.
  7. York, Pa.
  8. Daytona Beach, Fla.
  9. Youngstown, Ohio.
  10. Pittsburgh.

“Over the last year, Americans have observed record-high interest rates in the housing market, steadily increasing cost of goods and extreme weather patterns impacting the living conditions of our nation,” said Beverly Harzog, personal finance expert at U.S. News. “As retirees consider where to spend their golden years, they want areas that not only give them the best bang for their buck, but places where they can live a happy, healthy life. This is why Pennsylvania dominated the Best Places to Retire ranking’s top positions.”

Florida scored highly as a desirable place to retire, with six places appearing in the top 25. The 2024 ranking’s adjustments made for affordability and retiree taxes allowed Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to soar 19 spots to No. 17. Other notable top 25 increases include Trenton, New Jersey, which moved up 25 positions to No. 20, and Rochester, New York, which rose 29 positions to No. 21.

Affordability is the most heavily weighted of the six factors in the 2024 Best Places to Retire methodology, which also includes happiness, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings.

U.S. News expanded its data points in this edition to better encapsulate a place’s strengths and weaknesses.

In addition to a survey to determine whether people want to retire in a given metro area, the Desirability Index now includes weather temperateness, which evaluates the number of days annually with moderate temperatures and minimal precipitation.

It also includes an establishment-to-population ratio, which assesses the number of restaurants, bars and activities per 1,000 residents.

The Affordability Index – which previously focused solely on housing affordability – now factors in price parity, a Bureau of Economic Analysis data point on the general cost of goods within an area.

The six measures factored into this year’s rankings were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are at or approaching retirement age (45 and older) to find out what matters most to people when they’re considering where to retire.

Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, FEMA National Risk Index, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sharecare and U.S. News’ Best Hospitals rankings.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.