Welcome to part 3 of NewsWorld’s first multi-part exclusive series on Aging in America. We will be running this in-depth piece just as America celebrates its own birthday.
Understanding the Numbers and Data from the Census Bureau
PHILADELPHIA – The nation’s population has a significantly increased percentage in the population of individuals aged 65+ than it did 16 years ago, according to current U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Detailed estimates show the nation’s median age, the age where 50% of people is younger and the other half elderly, climbed from 35.3 years on April 1, 2000, to 37.9 years old on July 1, 2016.
“The baby boom generation is mostly accountable for this fashion,” stated Peter Borsella, a demographer at the Population Division. Beginning in the year 2011, baby boomers started turning 65 and will continue to do so for several more years.
The population of people 65 years old and up increased from 35.0 million in 2000 to 49.2 million in 2016, which represents 12.4 percent and 15.2 percent of the total population, respectively. These recent estimates present changes among groups by age, gender, race and Hispanic origin in the national, county and state levels between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2016. The estimates also present changes within the same period among groups by sex and age for Puerto Rico and its municipalities. The median age is increasing in all regions of the nation. Every state experienced a rise or had a median identical to that of the year before.
At 44.6 years, the median age in Maine is the highest in the country. New Hampshire’s average age of 43.0 years is the next highest, followed closely by Vermont at 42.7 years. Utah had the lowest median age, followed closely by Alaska and the District of Columbia. In 2016, two counties had median ages over 60: Sumter, Florida, and Catron, New Mexico. A remarkable fact is that between the years of 2000 to 2016, an increase in median age was experienced by a whopping 95.2 percent of all counties in the United States.
The highest median age in the country belongs to the county of Sumter, Florida, where there is a large retirement community. It is recorded as the county with the most advanced median age, the one with the highest median age increase. This median age increased bounced from 49.2 years in 2000 to 67.1 year in 2016, which is an increase of 17.9 years.
The Population Statistics by Race and Ethnicity
The Hispanic population grew by 2.0 percentage to 57.5 million, and the Asian population grew by 3.0 percent to 21.4 million. The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population increased by 2.1 percent to 1.5 million, while the American Indian and Alaska Native population grew by 1.4 percent to 6.7 million. The black and African American population increased by 1.2 percent to 46.8 million, as the white population grew by 0.5 percentage to 256.0 million. Individuals 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 individuals, staying at 198.0 million.
Deaths continued to exceed births to the white non-Hispanic population. While the other groups underwent a natural increase between 2015 and 2016, the Hispanic-white alone group experienced a natural reduction of 163, 300 nationwide.
The Hispanic Population
Among states, California had the largest Hispanic total population in 2016, while Texas had the highest number rise in the Hispanic population. New Mexico had the highest Hispanic share of its total population at 48.5 percent. Among counties, LA County, Calif., had the largest Hispanic population in 2016, while Harris County, Texas, had the most significant numerical increase. Starr County, Texas, had the highest percentage of the population.
In the nation, California had the largest white population on July 1, 2016. Texas had the most substantial increase since 2015. Maine had the maximum percentage of its population in this group. Among counties, LA County, California, had the largest white population in 2016. Maricopa County, Arizona, had the most significant numerical increase from last year. McPherson County, Nebraska, was the county with the highest white percentage of the population. The black or African American population. New York had the most significant black or African American population of any state or equal in 2016. Texas had the most massive numeric increase.
The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of its total population being black or African American. Among the counties, Cook County, Illinois had the biggest black or African American population in 2016. Harris County, Texas, had the most significant numerical increase since 2015, and Claiborne County, Mississippi was the county with the highest black or African American percentage of people in the nation.
The Asian Population
California had the largest Asian population of any state and also the biggest numerical increase. Hawaii had the highest percentage for this category. Among counties, Los Angeles County, California had the largest Asian population of any county, and also the most significant numerical increase. Further, Honolulu County, Hawaii had the highest percentage in the nation for this category.
The American Indian and Alaska Native Population
The state of California had the largest American Indian and Alaska Native population of any state in 2016 (1 million), while Texas had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2015 (10,800), and Alaska had the highest percent (19.9 percent) of the American Indian and Alaska Native population.
Among counties, Los Angeles County, California, had the largest American Indian and Alaska Native population of any county in 2016 (233,200), and Maricopa County, Arizona, held the greatest increase from the last year (4,100). Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska, had the highest share for this category (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 maximum in California (4,900). Additionally, Hawaii had the highest proportion of its population within this category 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, Nevada, had the most significant increase throughout the prior year (1,500).
The Population of Two or More Races
Across the nation, more individuals who recognized as being of two or more races lived in California (1.5 million) than in almost any other state, with an increase of 32,900 in 2015. Hawaii had the highest percentage for this category (23.7 percent).
Among counties, Los Angeles County, California had the largest population of two or more races in 2016 (305,000). Maricopa County, Arizona had the greatest numeric increase since 2015 (5,300). Hawaii County, Hawaii, had the highest share for this category (30.1 percent).
The Non-Hispanic White Alone Population
California had the largest non-Hispanic white alone population among the states on July 1, 2016 (14.8 million). Florida experienced the greatest numeric increase since 2015 (114,200). Additionally, Maine had the highest proportion of its population within this category (93.5 percent).
Additionally, among counties, Los Angeles County, California had the largest non-Hispanic white alone population in 2016 (2.7 million). Maricopa County, Arizona, had the biggest numerical increase from last year (24,700). Keya Paha County, Nebraska was the county with the highest share of its total population within this category (98.0 percent).
Conclusion: We Need to Raise Awareness of America’s Aging Population
The percentage of individuals of advanced age is growing across the nation, and among individuals of all races. Stephanie Howe, of Comfort Keepers in New Jersey, comments, “The statistical data supports what we see across the board. There is a growing population of aging Americans, most of whom require care services but are not living in nursing facilities. There is a great demand for historical changes in our society, and people are waking up to the call, beginning to respond in all areas, including human service and business professions.”
There is much work to be done, but with a growing awareness of our aging population, we can address the issues with a clear and evolved vision of who we are and what changes need to occur.