Census Bureau Facts and Statistics Show Senior U.S. Population Is Still Growing
Author: U.S. Census Bureau : Contact: census.gov
New U.S. Census Bureau population estimates reveal the U.S. population has a distinctly older age profile than it did 16 years ago.
The nation's population has a distinctly older age profile than it did 16 years ago, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today.
New detailed estimates show the nation's median age - the age where half of the population is younger and the other half older - rose from 35.3 years on April 1, 2000, to 37.9 years on July 1, 2016.
"The baby-boom generation is largely responsible for this trend," said Peter Borsella, a demographer in the Population Division. "Baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and will continue to do so for many years to come."
Residents age 65 and over grew from 35.0 million in 2000, to 49.2 million in 2016, accounting for 12.4 percent and 15.2 percent of the total population, respectively.
These latest estimates present changes among groups by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin at the national, state and county levels between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2016. The estimates also present changes over the same period among groups by age and sex for Puerto Rico and its municipios. The median age is increasing in most areas of the country.
Every state experienced either an increase or had the same median age as a year earlier. At 44.6 years, the median age in Maine is the highest in the nation. New Hampshire's median age of 43.0 years is the next highest, followed by Vermont at 42.7 years. Utah had the lowest median age (30.8 years), followed by Alaska (33.9 years) and the District of Columbia (33.9 years).
Two-thirds (66.7 percent) of the nation's counties experienced an increase in median age last year. In 2016, two counties had median ages over 60: Sumter, Fla. (67.1 years), and Catron, N.M. (60.5 years).
Between 2000 and 2016, 95.2 percent of all counties experienced increases in median age, which can be seen in the graphic.
Sumter, Fla., home to a large retirement community, was the county with the highest median age, and it also showed the highest median age increase. Sumter's median age jumped from 49.2 years in 2000 to 67.1 years in 2016, an increase of 17.9 years. Noble, Ohio, is a small county in the southeastern part of the state. It has experienced net outmigration and deaths nearly equal births. Noble's 2016 median age of 51.5 years is 16 years higher than what it was in 2000 (35.5 years). Since 2000, 56 counties showed a median age increase of 10 years or more. The population continues to be more diverse.
Nationally, all race and ethnic groups grew between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016. Throughout the release references to race groups indicate people who would be included in that group alone or in combination with any other race group, unless otherwise noted.
- The Hispanic population (including all races) grew by 2.0 percent to 57.5 million.
- The Asian population grew by 3.0 percent to 21.4 million.
- The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population grew by 2.1 percent to 1.5 million.
- The American Indian and Alaska Native population grew by 1.4 percent to 6.7 million.
- The black or African-American population grew by 1.2 percent to 46.8 million.
- The white population grew by 0.5 percent to 256.0 million.
- Those who identified as being of two or more races grew by 3.0 percent to 8.5 million.
- The non-Hispanic white alone population grew by 5,000 people, remaining at 198.0 million.
Deaths continued to exceed births for the non-Hispanic white alone group.
While all other groups experienced natural increase (having more births than deaths) between 2015 and 2016, the non-Hispanic white alone group experienced a natural decrease of 163,300 nationally.
Infographic: U.S. Median Age Continues to Rise - Source: U.S. Census Bureau
|U.S. States With Highest and Lowest Median Ages in 2016 - With Change Since 2000|
|States With the Highest Median Age||2000||2016||2000-2016 Change|
|States With the Lowest Median Age||2000||2016||2000-2016 Change|
|District of Columbia||34.6||33.9||-0.7|
|U.S. Counties With Highest and Lowest Median Ages in 2016 - With Change Since 2000|
|Counties With the Highest Median Age||2000||2016||2000-2016 Change|
|Sumter County, Fla.||49.2||67.1||17.9|
|Catron County, N.M.||47.8||60.5||12.7|
|Charlotte County, Fla.||54.3||58.8||4.5|
|Alcona County, Mich.||49.0||58.1||9.1|
|Counties With the Lowest Median Age||2000||2016||2000-2016 Change|
|Chattahoochee County, Ga.||23.2||24.4||1.2|
|Todd County, S.D.||21.7||24.4||2.7|
|Radford city, Va.||22.8||24.0||1.2|
|Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska*||20.0||23.6||3.6|
|Madison County, Idaho||20.7||23.2||2.5|
|Lexington city, Va.||23.3||22.7||-0.6|
|*Formerly Wade Hampton Census Area. Name change effective in 2015.|
The Hispanic Population (All Races)
- Among states, California had the largest Hispanic total population (15.3 million) in 2016, while Texas had the largest numeric increase in the Hispanic population (233,100). New Mexico had the highest Hispanic share of its total population at 48.5 percent.
- Among counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest Hispanic population (4.9 million) in 2016, while Harris County, Texas, had the largest numeric increase (39,600). Starr County, Texas, had the highest Hispanic share of the population (96.3 percent).
The White Population
- Among states, California had the largest white population on July 1, 2016 (29.9 million). Texas had the largest numeric increase since 2015 (281,200). Maine had the highest percentage of its population in this group (96.5 percent).
- Among counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest white population in 2016 (7.5 million). Maricopa County, Ariz., had the largest numeric increase from last year (59,100). McPherson County, Neb., was the county with the highest white percentage of the population (99.6 percent).
The Black or African-American Population
- New York had the largest black or African American population of any state or equivalent in 2016 (3.8 million). Texas had the largest numeric increase (91,900). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of its total population being black or African American (49.4 percent).
- Among counties, Cook County, Ill. (Chicago), had the largest black or African American population in 2016 (1.3 million). Harris County, Texas, had the largest numeric increase since 2015 (16,400). Claiborne County, Miss., was the county with the highest black or African American percentage of the population in the nation (86.3 percent).
The Asian Population
- California had the largest Asian population of any state (6.6 million), and the largest numeric increase (152,400). Hawaii had the highest percentage for this group (57.0 percent).
- Among counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest Asian population of any county (1.7 million), as well as the largest numeric increase (22,400). Honolulu County, Hawaii, had the highest percentage in the nation for this group (61.3 percent).
The American Indian and Alaska Native Population
- California had the largest American Indian and Alaska Native population of any state in 2016 (1.1 million), while Texas had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2015 (10,800). Alaska had the highest percentage (19.9 percent) of the American Indian and Alaska Native population.
- Among counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest American Indian and Alaska Native population of any county in 2016 (233,200), and Maricopa County, Ariz., held the greatest increase from the previous year (4,100). Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska, had the highest share for this group (91.8 percent).
The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population
- Hawaii had the largest Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population of any state in 2016 (381,000). Since 2015, this group increased the most in California (4,900). Hawaii had the highest percentage of its population in this group in 2016 (26.7 percent).
- Among counties, Honolulu County, Hawaii, had the largest Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population (245,600) in 2016, and Clark County, Nev., had the largest increase during the last year (1,500).
The Population of Two or More Races
- Among states, more people who identified as being of two or more races lived in California (1.5 million) than in any other state, with an increase of 32,900 from 2015. Hawaii had the highest percentage for this group (23.7 percent).
- Among counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest population of two or more races in 2016 (305,000). Maricopa County, Ariz., had the highest numeric increase since 2015 (5,300). Hawaii County, Hawaii, had the highest share for this group (30.1 percent).
The Non-Hispanic White Alone Population
- Among states, California had the largest non-Hispanic white alone population on July 1, 2016 (14.8 million). Florida had the largest numeric increase since 2015 (114,200). Maine had the highest percentage of its population in this group (93.5 percent).
- Among counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest non-Hispanic white alone population in 2016 (2.7 million). Maricopa County, Ariz., had the largest numeric increase from last year (24,700). Keya Paha County, Neb., was the county with the highest share of its total population in this group (98.0 percent).
Unless otherwise specified, the statistics refer to the population who reported a race alone or in combination with one or more races. Censuses and surveys permit respondents to select more than one race; consequently, people may be one race or a combination of races. The detailed tables show statistics for the resident population by "race alone" and "race alone or in combination." The sum of the populations for the five "race alone or in combination" groups adds to more than the total population because individuals may report more than one race. The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate and distinct concepts. In surveys and censuses, separate questions are asked on Hispanic origin and race. The question on Hispanic origin asks respondents if they are of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.
Starting with the 2000 Census, the question on race asked respondents to report the race or races they consider themselves to be. Hispanics may be of any race. Responses of "some other race" from the 2010 Census are modified in these estimates. This results in differences between the population for specific race categories for the modified 2010 Census population versus those in the 2010 Census data.
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