JUNE 22, 2023 — The nation’s median age increased by 0.2 years to 38.9 years between 2021 and 2022, according to Vintage 2022 Population Estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Median age is the age at which half of the population is older and half of the population is younger.
“As the nation’s median age creeps closer to 40, you can really see how the aging of baby boomers, and now their children — sometimes called echo boomers — is impacting the median age. The eldest of the echo boomers have started to reach or exceed the nation’s median age of 38.9,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division. "While natural change nationally has been positive, as there have been more births than deaths, birth rates have gradually declined over the past two decades. Without a rapidly growing young population, the U.S. median age will likely continue its slow but steady rise.”
A third (17) of the states in the country had a median age above 40.0 in 2022, led by Maine with the highest at 44.8, and New Hampshire at 43.3. Utah (31.9), the District of Columbia (34.8), and Texas (35.5) had the lowest median ages in the nation. Hawaii had the largest increase in median age among states, up 0.4 years to 40.7.
No states experienced a decrease in median age. Four states — Alabama (39.4), Maine (44.8), Tennessee (39.1), West Virginia (42.8), and the District of Columbia (34.8) — had no change in their median age from 2021 to 2022.
The median age of the nation’s 3,144 counties or equivalents ranged from 20.9 to 68.1 in 2022. About 75% (2,357) had a median age at or above that of the nation, down from 76% and 2,374 counties in 2021. Roughly a quarter (787) had a median age below the national median age in 2022, 17 more than in 2021 when 770 counties had median ages under the then 38.7 national median age. Fifty-nine percent (1,846) of U.S. counties experienced an increase in median age between 2021 and 2022, up from 51% or 1,590 counties between 2020 and 2021.
In 2022, seven counties had median ages at or above 60: Highland County, Virginia (60.0); Charlotte County, Florida (60.2); Jefferson County, Washington (60.4); Harding County, New Mexico (60.5); Jeff Davis County, Texas (61.7); Catron County, New Mexico (62.1); and Sumter County, Florida (68.1). Of the counties with resident populations at or above 20,000, Jasper County, South Carolina, and Blaine County, Idaho, had the largest increases in median age between 2021 and 2022, both seeing their median age increase by 1 year to 46.3 and 45.9, respectively. Also notable: Barnstable County, Massachusetts, where the median age increased by 0.7 to 55.6 between 2021 and 2022.
Among counties with populations of 100,000 or more, several of the oldest counties were in Florida. Sumter County (68.1), home to a large retirement community, has perennially been the nation’s oldest county. Neighboring Citrus County, although younger, still had a median age (57) well above that of the nation. Similarly, Sarasota County (57.5) and Charlotte County (60.2), both coastal Florida counties, had median ages near or over 60.
Seven counties among those with resident populations of at least 100,000 had a median age below 30.0 — Utah (25.7) and Cache (25.8) counties in Utah; Onslow County, North Carolina (27.6); Tippecanoe County, Indiana (28.8); Clarke County, Georgia (29.1); and Brazos (26.7) and Webb (29.8) counties in Texas. Many of these counties are home to large universities, which explains their lower median ages.
Today’s release also featured updated estimates by race and Hispanic origin. The following references are for race-alone-or-in-combination groups or Hispanic populations of any race unless otherwise specified.
This is the last release of the Vintage 2022 Population Estimates. We previously released total population estimates for the nation and states, counties, and incorporated places and minor civil divisions. Components of population change and housing unit estimates for the nation, states and counties are also available on the Population and Housing Unit Estimates page.
More information on the timing of specific population and housing unit estimates products is available at Schedule (census.gov).
With each new release of annual estimates, the entire time series of estimates is revised for all years back to the date of the last census. All previously published (vintage) estimates are superseded and archived on the FTP2 site.