Aging baby boomers are nudging the national median age up by 1.2 years, according to a population estimates report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The nation’s 65-and-older population grew by 34.2% during the past decade, according to the bureau, and the growth was driven by the baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964. The aging of this group contributed to an increase in the national median age from 37.2 years in 2010 to 38.4 years in 2019, according to the report.
“The first baby boomers reached 65 years old in 2011,” said Luke Rogers, Ph.D., chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates branch. “Since then, there’s been a rapid increase in the size of the 65-and-older population, which grew by over a third since 2010. No other age group saw such a fast increase.”
The Northeast had the highest median age, at 40 years in 2019. Sumter County, FL, one country that is home to the master-planned, age-restricted The Villages retirement community, reported the highest median age, at 68.1 years.
Also last year, one in five people in Maine, Florida, West Virginia and Vermont were aged 65 or more years. Maine had the largest share (21.2%) of population in that age group, followed by Florida (20.9%), West Virginia (20.5%) and Vermont (20%). Utah had the lowest percentage (11.4%) of the 65 and older population, followed by Washington, D.C., (12.4%) and Alaska (12.5%).
The 65-and-older population in the United States is projected to grow from 16.85% in 2020 to 23.41% in 2060, according to Census Bureau population projections. The 85-and-older crowd is expected to grow from 2.01% to 4.7% during the same timeframe, whereas the 100-and-older group is projected to move from 0.03% to 0.15% by 2060, according to the 2017 National Population Projections for the United States.