Asheville Named Top City for LGBTQ-Friendly Retirement

An aerial view of the city of Asheville.

Asheville has been named among the best cities in America for LGBTQ-friendly retirement in SeniorAdvice.com’s 2019 nationwide report.

The report is SeniorAdvice.com’s third annual list of best cities for LGBTQ seniors, and compared to the previous lists, there were many additions as well as several repeats that were identified. The third annual ranking was determined using a proprietary data-driven algorithm called SeniorScore, which evaluates over 100 variables across four broad categories to select the most retirement-friendly locations in America.

The ranking also considered a number of metrics that are of specific interest to members of the LGBTQ community, such as the percentage of LGBTQ population in the area, the city’s score according to the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce presence, the number of gay-friendly senior communities, local and state legislation protecting the LGBTQ community, cost of living for the area, and more.

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Multiple cities in Florida made the list, including West Palm Beach, for its numerous LGBTQ groups and services, Ft. Lauderdale, mainly for its high senior population, and Tampa, for its affordable living and beautiful beaches. Arizona and Ohio also had several cities make the list. Tucson has year-round warm weather and many retirement communities, and Tempe established protections for LGBTQ individuals from discrimination at home, work and in public spaces in 2014. Toledo boasts continued efforts to foster and embrace diversity and has low housing prices, and Dayton has a number of community programs and services in the city specifically benefitting its LGBTQ citizens.

Asheville ranked in at No. 14 on the list.

Previously, the list of top cities for LGBTQ seniors predominately focused on larger U.S. cities. However, this year there was no limit on the size range of cities included. The 2019 list highlights small, medium, and large-sized cities in the United States. SeniorAdvice.com defined small cities as those having 10,000-50,000 residents, medium-sized cities as those ranging in population size of 50,000-500,000 residents, and large cities as having over 500,000 residents. A total of 6 cities were repeats from last year’s list and 14 cities were new additions.

The following U.S. cities have been named by SeniorAdvice.com as the most accommodating for LGBTQ seniors in 2019:

  1. New Orleans, LA
  2. West Palm Beach, FL
  3. Tucson, AZ
  4. Toledo, OH
  5. Alexandria, VA
  6. Tempe, AZ
  7. Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  8. Austin, TX
  9. Dayton, OH
  10. Tampa, FL
  11. Pittsburgh, PA
  12. Boulder, CO
  13. Albuquerque, NM
  14. Asheville, NC
  15. Eugene, OR
  16. Salt Lake City, UT
  17. Boise, ID
  18. Buffalo, NY
  19. Bridgeport, CT
  20. Santa Ana, CA

According to recent estimates tracked by Gallup Surveys, the national population identifying as LGBTQ is increasing – among the top 50 metropolitan areas, the LGBTQ population averages 4.5 percent. By 2050, the senior population is expected to double to an astonishing 88 million people aged 65 and older. With these numbers increasing each year, the need to discover locations that are welcoming to LGBTQ seniors also increases. SeniorAdvice.com recognizes that the LGBTQ older adult community is currently a very important part of the American population to consider, and has dedicated much time and energy to supporting this group.

Visit SeniorAdvice.com for additional information.