Provo, Utah, and Sioux Falls, S.D., topped the Milken Institute’s recent list of the “Best Cities for Successful Aging.”

The study, which analyzed 359 metropolitan areas in the United States, identified 78 factors that influenced seniors’ quality of life. In addition to scrutinizing the cities’ health care initiatives and weather patterns, researchers dug deeper to inspect job conditions, accessible transportation, and affordable housing.

Touted for its physically active community, Provo is home to multiple medical centers, three of which are magnet hospitals, and a philanthropic populace that values volunteerism.

Ranked as the best large city among the 100 studied, Provo also holds the No. 1 growth ranking for small businesses.

Similarly, Sioux Falls features several hospitals that specialize in geriatric services, in addition to “the highest employment rate among seniors among the 259 small cities” studied.

The Milken Institute’s study is significant in that it acknowledges the economic crisis’ influence and seniors’ willingness and, oftentimes, necessity to continue working past their expected retirement ages.

“We hope the findings spark national discussion and, at the local level, generate virtuous competition among cities to galvanize improvement in the social structures that serve seniors,” said Paul Irving, senior managing director and chief operating officer.

Interestingly, location rankings tend to fluctuate between the 65 to 79 and 80 and older age groups. One city touted as ideal for the 65 to 79 age range may be ranked considerably lower with regard to the 80 and older age group.

For example, Anchorage, Alaska, ranked as the 8th best location for the 65 to 79 age group due to high job growth, but dropped to the 87th spot for the 80 and older age set because of its gloomy weather patterns and high housing costs.