I’m not going to argue the southern states. Those are a give-me. People of retirement age move south. The climate is better, generally, and the South & Southwest caters to the those that need assisted-living.
The elderly do not really care for cold weather. That is a broad generalization, based on my snowbird father who flies the Kansas City coup to take up his winter residence in the motorhome parks of Florida.
Seeing Eau Claire, WI, Pittsburgh, PA, and South Bend, IN in the list surprised me. Why was I not surprised about Omaha? It’s easier to break a prisoner out of Sing-Sing than to get a Nebraskan out of the Cornhusker State.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin features 26-miles of trails along the Chippewa River, which I can see would be of great advantage to those that are in the less ambulatory years of their life. What better place to break a hip? The pleasure of being feasted upon by mosquitos, badgers, or perhaps a black bear waiting for help to arrive is unparalleled.
As for Pittsburgh, PA, who would seriously considering retiring to Pittsburgh? Violent crime is 1.78 above the national average. However, there are a lot of old people that live in Pittsburgh, and apparently they have developed a significant health presence to address the needs of the elderly. Learn something new everyday, I do. Sometimes, I relearn something. Still; Pittsburgh?
And that leaves South Bend, IN. Again, I am having a problem with the selection of South Bend. Home to Notre Dame University, with enrollment according their web site a little under 12,000, is about 1/10th of the population. Not too bad. Not a bunch of kiddies driving around, acting goofy. South Bend is a northern city, the weather gets cold, they have snow. With Pittsburgh, I looked into elderly services, of which Pittsburgh has many. Doing the same for South Bend did not result in the same details. If South Bend is setup for an sizeable elderly population, the facts must be buried several pages deep in Google.
The statistics for the 2010 Census will be interesting to evaluate. From 1990 to 2000, the West and the South saw the greatest increases in the older population. I am guessing that trend continued from 2000 to 2010 (which will actually measure 1999 – 2009).