The U.S. Census Bureau has published the Vintage 2022 Population Estimates, revealing that America’s median age has increased by 0.2 years to reach 38.9 years between 2021 and 2022. Median age refers to the age at which half of the population is older and half is younger.
The ageing of baby boomers and their children, known as echo boomers, is the primary reason for this upward trend in the median age. As the eldest echo boomers are now reaching or surpassing the national median age, the impact is becoming more apparent. While there has been positive natural change due to more births than deaths, birth rates have gradually declined over the past two decades. Without a rapidly growing young population, the slow but steady rise in the U.S. median age is expected to continue.
Among the states, 17 had a median age above 40.0 in 2022, with Maine having the highest median age at 44.8, followed by New Hampshire at 43.3. Conversely, Utah (31.9), the District of Columbia (34.8), and Texas (35.5) had the lowest median ages. Hawaii experienced the largest increase in median age among states, rising by 0.4 years to 40.7.
None of the states saw a decrease in median age, while Alabama, Maine, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia had no change in their median age from 2021 to 2022.
Looking at the nation’s counties or equivalents, the median age ranged from 20.9 to 68.1 in 2022. Approximately 75% of the counties (2,357) had a median age equal to or above the national median, a slight decrease from the previous year. Around a quarter (787) had a median age below the national median, an increase compared to 2021. Out of the U.S. counties, 59% (1,846) experienced an increase in median age between 2021 and 2022, indicating a higher growth rate compared to the previous period.
Seven counties had median ages at or above 60, with Highland County, Virginia having the highest at 60.0. Among counties with populations above 20,000, Jasper County, South Carolina, and Blaine County, Idaho, saw the largest increases in median age, both rising by 1 year to 46.3 and 45.9, respectively. Barnstable County, Massachusetts, also notable, experienced a median age increase of 0.7 to reach 55.6 between 2021 and 2022.
In counties with populations of 100,000 or more, several of the oldest counties were located in Florida. Sumter County, known for its large retirement community, consistently held the title of the nation’s oldest county with a median age of 68.1. Citrus County and Sarasota County in Florida, as well as Charlotte County, also had median ages near or over 60.
On the other end of the spectrum, seven counties with populations of at least 100,000 had a median age below 30.0, mostly due to the presence of large universities. Utah and Cache counties in Utah, Onslow County in North Carolina, Tippecanoe County in Indiana, Clarke County in Georgia, and Brazos and Webb counties in Texas all fell into this category.
This release also covered updated estimates regarding race and Hispanic origin. The White population in the United States increased by 0.1% to 260,570,291 in 2022. California had the largest White population, followed by Texas and Florida.
- Photo by Miikka Luotio: instant images