Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals the median age of the population in the United States has hit a record high of 38 years as baby boomers grow older and the birth rate in the country declines.
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) June 21, 2018
“The nation as a whole experienced a median age increase from 37.2 years to 38.0 years during the period 2010 to 2017,” said the Census Bureau in a press statement. “This continued aging of the country is consistent with the projected changes to the nation’s population through 2060.”
Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the Census Bureau, observed that while, nationally, almost 17 percent of counties – the majority of which are located in the Midwest – saw a decrease in median age from 2010 to 2017, a majority of counties in the U.S. continued to grow older.
“Baby boomers, and millennials alike, are responsible for this trend in increased aging,” Cromwell said. “Boomers continue to age and are slowly outnumbering children as the birth rate has declined steadily over the last decade.”
In March, the Census Bureau reported that, by the year 2030, all baby boomers will be over age 65, a projection that will result in one in every five U.S. residents to be of retirement age. By 2060, the median age of the U.S. population is expected to grow from age 38 to age 43.
“The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, also a demographer with the Census Bureau. “By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.4 million under the age of 18.”
The Census Bureau notes:
Last year, Florida had the largest percentage of seniors (age 65 and older) with 20.1 percent, followed by Maine (19.9 percent) and West Virginia (19.4 percent). Maine also saw its median age increase to 44.7 from 42.7 years old in 2010, making it the state with the highest median age.
On the other hand, Utah had the smallest percentage of its population age 65 and older (10.8 percent), followed by Alaska (11.2 percent) and the District of Columbia (12.1 percent). Utah is also the state with the lowest median age (30.9 years).
According to the Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the United States increased 2.1 percent from 2010 to 2017, to 58.9 million, while the black population rose 1.2 percent to 47.4 million during the same time period. The non-Hispanic white alone population decreased .02 percent to 197.8 million, during those seven years.