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Julie Meyer (Age)
Lisa Hetzel (65+)
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Baby Boom Brought Biggest Increases Among People 45-to-54 Years Old

The "baby boom" propelled the largest percentage increases of any age group in the 1990-2000 decade, an analysis of Census 2000 data by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau showed today. (The baby boom refers to people born in the post-World War II period from 1946 through 1964.)

People born during the early years of the baby boom (1946 through 1950) fueled the 55-percent increase of the 50- to 54-year-olds, the largest percentage growth between 1990 and 2000 of any five-year age group, the Census Bureau said. The second fastest-growing group was 45- to 49-year-olds, which registered a 45-percent increase.

New Census Bureau studies, Age: 2000, and its companion, The 65 Years and Over Population: 2000 , together provide a portrait of the age structure of the United States, its regions, states, counties and cities. They are part of a series of Census 2000 briefs describing the population of the United States.

Other highlights:

  • According to Census 2000, the largest five-year age group was 35- to 39-year-olds with 22.7 million people (8.1 percent of the total population). The second-largest five-year age group was 40- to 44-year-olds with 22.4 million (8.0 percent of the total population).
  • Four age groups experienced a decrease in population over the past decade: the 25- to 29-year-olds (-9 percent), the 30- to 34-year-olds (-6 percent), the 65- to 69-year-olds (-6 percent) and the 20- to 24-year-olds (- 0.3 percent).
  • The female population exceeded the male population at older ages (20.6 million women age 65 and over, compared with 14.4 million men), but the reverse was true at younger ages (37.1 million males under 18 compared with 35.2 million females below that age).
  • The number of people 85 and over increased 38 percent between 1990 and 2000 while the number of people 65-to-74 years old increased by less than 2 percent.
  • People who reported more than one race had a significantly younger median age (22.7) than those reporting just one race (35.6).

By Region

  • The Northeast had the highest median age (36.8) followed by the Midwest (35.6) and the South (35.3). The West had the youngest median age (33.8).
  • The West led the regions with the highest percentage increase in its older population -- 20 percent, followed by increases of 16 percent in the South, 7 percent in the Midwest and 5 percent in the Northeast. This distribution matches the pattern of regional growth rates for the population as a whole.

By State

  • The states with the highest median ages were West Virginia (38.9), Florida (38.7), Maine (38.6) and Pennsylvania (38.0). The states with the lowest median ages were Utah (27.1), Texas (32.3) and Alaska (32.4).
  • The proportion 65 years and over ranged from a low of 6 percent in Alaska to a high of 18 percent in Florida.
  • In five states, the population under 18 years grew by more than 25 percent, a much higher growth rate than the U.S. increase (14 percent) in this age group. Those five states with high increases were Nevada (72 percent), Arizona (39 percent), Colorado (28 percent), Florida (27 percent) and Georgia (26 percent).
  • Nevada showed the greatest increase in the 65 and older population between 1990 and 2000 (72 percent) followed by Alaska (60 percent), Arizona (39 percent) and New Mexico (30 percent). Only the District of Columbia showed a decline in its older population between 1990 and 2000.

By County

  • Three Florida counties with 100,000 or more population had high median ages (50.0 and over): Charlotte, 54.3; Citrus, 52.6; and Sarasota, 50.5.
  • In contrast, four counties with 100,000 or more population had median ages below 26.0: Utah County, Utah, 23.3; Brazos County, Texas, 23.6; Onslow County, N.C., 25.0; and Clarke County, Ga., 25.4.

By Place

  • Provo, Utah, at 22.9, had the lowest median age of any place with a population of 100,000 or more.
  • Of the 10 places with 100,000 or more population with the highest median ages, five were in Florida: Cape Coral, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Clearwater. Clearwater had the highest median age at 41.8.
  • Six of the 10 places of 100,000 or more population having the highest proportion of people 65 and older were located in Florida. Clearwater (21 percent) and Cape Coral (20 percent), Fla., ranked first and second in proportion of older residents.
  • Detailed tables for Age: 2000 are available at PHC-T-9, and detailed tables for The 65 Years and Over Population: 2000 are available at PHC-T-13. A listing of released and forthcoming Census 2000 briefs can be found on the Census Bureau's Web site at <>, including briefs on topics such as race, Hispanic origin, gender and housing.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014