More than 1 million senior citizens typically move every year to a new locale to spend their golden years. So what are the most popular retirement destinations? The American City Business Journals, which publishes Business Journal newspapers in many major metros, recently used a six-part formula to rank the most popular places for retirees. The formula included the number of residents aged 65 or older, seniors as a percentage of the population and percentage of seniors who moved to that metro.

Not surprisingly, the top of the rankings is dominated by warm-weather cities, particularly in Florida and Arizona. Number 1 overall is Florida’s Bradenton-Sarasota metropolitan area, where more than 25 percent of the population are seniors and the median age is 48, about 12 years higher than the nation as a whole. Most of the highest-ranked places are smaller metropolitan areas, where large concentrations of seniors account for a higher proportion of the total population.

Among larger metropolitan areas, Tampa-St. Petersburg led the group, followed by Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Phoenix and Riverside-San Bernardino, California. In the formula, final scores ranged from +20 down to -10.

Here are the top 10 destinations for seniors:

Rank

Metro area

Closest major metro

Total population

Senior population

Retirement area score

1

Bradenton-Sarasota, Florida

Tampa

688,126

184,455

19.119

2

Prescott, Arizona

Phoenix

215,686

50,899

16.488

3

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Las Vegas

194,825

43,633

16.458

4

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida

Tampa

586,908

133,367

15.906

5

Naples, Florida

Tampa

318,537

85,608

15.820

6

Palm Bay-Melbourne, Florida

Orlando

536,357

111,653

14.976

7

Homosassa Springs, Florida

Tampa

140,357

42,966

14.735

8

Ocala, Florida

Orlando

328,547

80,964

13.360

9

Punta Gorda, Florida

Tampa

156,952

54,299

12.394

10

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Miami

406,296

91,683

12.386

(Source: American City Business Journals.)