Top 20 cities for LGBT-friendly retirement in 2018

The second annual list of best cities for LGBT+ seniors has been released. It includes America's top cities for gay-friendly retirement today. Compared to the previous list by, there were many additions as well as multiple repeats.

For 2018, variety of factors were considered. Among them were percentage of LGBT population in the area, available social activities, festivals, weather and LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce presence.

Further factors were the presence of gay-friendly senior communities, quality of healthcare, number of hospitals and pharmacies, local and state legislations protecting the LGBT+ community, cost of living, and the city's SeniorScore.

Multiple cities in California and Florida made the list, including Ft. Lauderdale, mainly for its high senior population; Palm Springs for its high number of same-sex households. 

The country's Northwestern region had several cities make the list. Seattle, Washington boasts many senior living facilities, and Portland, Oregon has a high LGBT+ population. The Eastern part of the United States had a strong presence on the list as well.

Beautiful scenery is one reason why Providence, Rhode Island made the list, and Boston, Massachusetts has an abundance of great hospitals, home health and Medicare providers.

Previously, the list of top cities for LGBT+ seniors predominately focused on larger U.S. cities. However, this year there was no limit on the size range of cities included. The 2018 list highlights both medium-sized and large cities in the United States.

Researchers defined medium-sized cities as those ranging in population size of 50,000-500,000 residents, and large cities as having over 500,000 residents. Also, this year, 20 of the most LGBT friendly cities for seniors were identified. Whereas in the past, the list highlighted only 15 cities. A total of 9 cities were repeats from last year's list and 11 cities were new additions.

The following U.S. cities have been named by as the most accommodating for LGBT seniors in 2018:
1.   Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2.   Austin, TX
3.   Atlanta, GA
4.   Portland, OR
5.   Palm Springs, CA
6.   Santa Fe, NM
7.   Providence, RI
8.   Seattle, WA
9.   Columbus, OH
10. Los Angeles, CA
11. New Orleans, LA
12. Tampa, FL
13. Boston, MA
14. Salt Lake City, UT
15. San Diego, CA
16. Cleveland, OH
17. San Francisco, CA
18. Albuquerque, NM
19. Baltimore, MD
20. Pittsburgh, PA

According to the national nonprofit Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE), today there are 3 million LGBT+ people age 55+ living in the United States. With this number increasing each year, the need to discover locations that are welcoming to LGBT+ elders also increase.

Researchers recognize the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) 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.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The Gayly – May 5, 2018 @ 10:30 a.m. CDT