Census Reminds Us: We Are Getting Older and More Hispanic

2010 Census Shows Nation’s Population is Aging

Seven States Have Median Age Over 40

The U.S. Census Bureau released today a 2010 Census brief on our nation’s changing age and sex composition that shows the nation grew older while the male population grew faster than the female population over the last decade.

According to Age and Sex Composition: 2010 [PDF], the median age of Americans is now 37.2, with seven states recording a median age of 40 or older. The brief also shows the male population grew 9.9 percent between 2000 and 2010, while the female population grew 9.5 percent. Of the total 2010 Census population, 157.0 million people were female (50.8 percent) and 151.8 million were male (49.2 percent).

Selected Age Categories

Between 2000 and 2010, the population 45 to 64 years old grew 31.5 percent to 81.5 million. This age group now makes up 26.4 percent of the total U.S. population. The large growth among 45- to 64-year-olds is primarily because of the aging of the baby boom population. The 65-and-older population also grew faster than most younger population groups at a rate of 15.1 percent to 40.3 million people, or 13.0 percent of the total population.

For those under 18 and between the ages of 18 and 44, growth rates were much slower. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of people under 18 grew 2.6 percent to 74.2 million people, comprising 24.0 percent of the total population. The 18 to 44 age group grew at an even slower rate of 0.6 percent to 112.8 million, comprising 36.5 percent of the population.

Median Age

In 2010, the median age increased to 37.2 from 35.3 in 2000, with the proportion of older Americans increasing. The 1.9-year increase between 2000 and 2010 was a more modest increase than the 2.4-year increase in median age that occurred between 1990 and 2000. The aging of the baby boom population, along with stabilizing birth rates and longer life expectancy, have contributed to the increase in median age.

Sex Ratios

In 2010, there were 96.7 males for every 100 females in the United States, representing an increase from 2000 when the male-to-female ratio was 96.3 males for every 100 females. The increase in the population of older males was notable over the last decade, with males between the ages of 60 and 74 increasing by 35.2 percent, while females in the same age group increased by just 29.2 percent. This increase in the male population relative to the female population for those 60 and over has led to a notable increase in the sex ratio among this age group – potentially because of the narrowing gap in mortality between older men and women.

Geographic Distribution

In the 2010 Census, seven states had a median age of 40 or older: Maine (42.7), Vermont (41.5), West Virginia (41.3), New Hampshire (41.1), Florida (40.7), Pennsylvania (40.1) and Connecticut (40.0). In both 1990 and 2000, West Virginia and Florida had the highest median age of all states. Maine overtook West Virginia and Florida as the state with the highest median age in 2010, while Utah remained the state with the lowest median age.

States with the lowest median age (excluding the District of Columbia) remained the same as they were in 2000: Utah (29.2), Texas (33.6), Alaska (33.8) and Idaho (34.6). Utah had the highest percentage of population under age 18 (31.5 percent) and remained the only state with a median age under 30.

All states experienced an increase in median age when compared with 2000 – a further indication of population aging. However, the District of Columbia experienced a decrease in median age, declining from 34.6 to 33.8. In the District of Columbia, almost half (48.6 percent) of the 2010 Census population was between the ages of 18 and 44.

Regionally, the Northeast recorded the oldest median age at 39.2, followed by the Midwest at 37.7, the South at 37.0 and the West at 35.6. In the West, 24.9 percent of people were under the age of 18 and 37.8 percent of people were between the ages of 18 and 44. The Northeast recorded the largest percentages of people in the age groups 45 to 64, and 65 and over (27.7 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively).

All four regions of the United States had a sex ratio of less than 100 in 2010, indicating more females than males nationwide. The Northeast had the lowest sex ratio (94.5 males per 100 females), followed by the South (96.1), the Midwest (96.8) and the West (99.3).

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2010 Census Shows Nation’s Hispanic Population Grew Four Times Faster Than Total U.S. Population

Mexicans are Largest Hispanic Group Nationwide and in 40 States
The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief on the nation’s Hispanic population, which shows the Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010 and accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase of 27.3 million. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation’s 9.7 percent growth rate.The Hispanic Population: 2010 brief looks at an important part of our nation’s changing ethnic diversity with a particular focus on Hispanic origin groups, such as Mexican, Dominican and Cuban.

Detailed Hispanic Origin Distribution

About three-quarters of Hispanics in the United States reported as Mexican, Puerto Rican or Cuban origin in the 2010 Census. Mexican origin was the largest group, representing 63 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population — up from 58 percent in 2000. This group increased by 54 percent and saw the largest numeric change (11.2 million), growing from 20.6 million in 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010. Mexicans accounted for about three-fourths of the 15.2 million increase in the total Hispanic population between 2000 and 2010

The Mexican origin population represented the largest Hispanic group in 40 states, with more than half of these states in the South and West regions of the country, along with two states in the Northeast and all 12 states in the Midwest.

Puerto Ricans, the second largest group, comprised 9 percent of the Hispanic population in 2010 — down from 10 percent in 2000. The Puerto Rican population grew by 36 percent, increasing from 3.4 million to 4.6 million. Puerto Ricans were the largest Hispanic group in six of the nine states in the Northeast and in one western state — Hawaii, with a population of 44,000.

The Cuban origin population increased by 44 percent, growing from 1.2 million in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2010. Cubans made up approximately 4 percent of the total Hispanic population in both the 2000 and 2010 Censuses and were the largest Hispanic origin group in Florida in 2010 with a population of 1.2 million.

Since 2000, three detailed Hispanic origin groups surpassed a population of 1 million: Salvadoran (1.6 million), Dominican (1.4 million) and Guatemalan (1.0 million).

Regional Geographic Distribution

The Hispanic population grew in every region of the United States between 2000 and 2010, and most significantly in the South and Midwest. The South saw a 57 percent increase in its Hispanic population, which was four times the growth of the total population in the South (14 percent). Significant growth also occurred in the Midwest, where the Hispanic population grew by 49 percent. This was more than 12 times the growth of the total population in the Midwest (4 percent).

While the Hispanic population grew at a slower rate in the West and Northeast, the regions still saw significant growth between 2000 and 2010. The Hispanic population grew by 34 percent in the West, which was more than twice the growth of the total population in the West (14 percent). The Northeast’s Hispanic population grew by 33 percent, or 10 times the growth of the total population in the Northeast (3 percent).

States

More than half of the Hispanic population in the United States resided in just three states: California, Texas and Florida. In 2010, 37.6 million, or 75 percent, of Hispanics lived in the eight states with Hispanic populations of 1 million or more: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey and Colorado. Hispanics in California accounted for 28 percent (14.0 million) of the total Hispanic population, while the Hispanic population in Texas accounted for 19 percent (9.5 million). Hispanics in Florida accounted for 8 percent (4.2 million) of the U.S. Hispanic population.

The Hispanic population experienced growth between 2000 and 2010 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In eight states in the South (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) and in South Dakota, the Hispanic population more than doubled in size between 2000 and 2010. Even with this large growth rate, the percentage of Hispanics in 2010 in each of these states remained less than 9 percent, far below the national level of 16 percent.

Hispanics in New Mexico comprised 46 percent of the total state population, the highest proportion for any state. Hispanics were 16 percent or more of the state population (matching or exceeding the national level) in eight other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Counties

Hispanics were the majority of the population in 82 out of the nation’s 3,143 counties. In the South, Hispanics were the majority in 51 Texas counties and one Florida county (Miami-Dade). In the West, Hispanics were the majority in 12 New Mexico counties, nine California counties and two counties in each of the following states: Arizona (Santa Cruz and Yuma), Colorado (Conejos and Costilla) and Washington (Adams and Franklin).

In the Midwest, Hispanics were the majority in two Kansas counties (Ford and Seward), and in the Northeast, Hispanics were the majority in one New York county (Bronx).

Counties with the highest proportions of Hispanics were concentrated in bands along the states bordering Mexico — Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Concentrations of Hispanics were also found outside these border states. In particular, Hispanic concentrations were found in counties within central Washington; in Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado; around Chicago and along the East Coast from New York to Virginia; in central and southern Florida; and the District of Columbia.

The Hispanic population increased to more than twice its size since 2000 in at least one of every four counties. Of the 3,143 counties in the United States, Hispanics at least doubled in population size in 912 of them. Among the 469 counties with at least 10,000 or more Hispanics in 2010, the top five fastest growing counties were Luzerne, Pa. (479 percent change); Henry, Ga. (339 percent change); Kendall, Ill. (338 percent change); Douglas, Ga. (321 percent change); and Shelby, Ala. (297 percent change).

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Editor’s note: “People of Mexican origin” refers to people who report their origin as Mexican. It can include people born in Mexico, in the United States, or in other countries. This holds true for all the detailed Hispanic origin groups discussed in the brief (e.g., people of Cuban origin, Salvadoran origin, etc). The question on Hispanic origin is an ethnicity question and not a place of birth question. All Hispanic origin responses are based on self-identification. Throughout the brief, terms such as “Mexican origin” and “Mexicans” as well as “Cuban origin” and “Cubans” are used interchangeably, and in all cases refer to the ethnic origin of the person, not exclusively their place of birth or nationality.
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