U.S. population getting older, according to latest Census figures


Median age stays the same in just four of the 50 states as Baby Boomers turn grey.

© U.S. Census Bureau

© U.S. Census Bureau

If it seems like your patient panel is getting older, then it’s following a trend happening across the nation.

From 2021 to 2022, the median age of the American population increased by 0.2 years to 38.9 years, meaning half the population is older and half is younger. Among the 50 states, four states had no change in their median ages, but no states had a decrease in median age.

The figures were part of the latest estimates released June 22 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“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,” Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division, said in a news release. "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.”

There were 17 states with a median age 40 or older, led by Maine (44.8) and New Hampshire (43.3). Utah was the “youngest” state with a median age of 31.9, followed by Texas at 35.5, and the District of Columbia, while not a state, had the second youngest median age at 34.8.

Hawaii’s median age rose 0.4 years to 40.7. States with no change were Maine, Tennessee (39.1), West Virginia (42.8), and the District of Columbia.

Among 3,144 counties across the nation, 2,357, or about 75%, had a median age at or older than that of the nation, down from 2,374 counties in 2021. There were 787, or about 25%, with median ages below the national median age, and 1,846, or 59%, experienced increases in median ages from 2021 to 2022.

Race and Hispanic origin

  • The U.S. Census Bureau also published figures explaining the racial origins of the population.
  • The White population was 260.57 million in 2022, up 388,779 from the year before. California (29.07 million), Texas (23.58 million), and Florida (17.55 million) had the largest White populations.
  • The Black population was 50.08 million, or 15% of the national population, in 2022. Just two counties had Black populations more than 1 million – Cook County, Illinois (1.26 million) and Harris County, Texas (1.03 million), but the Black population increased in 2,110 counties, or 67% of counties across the country.
  • The American Indian and Alaska Native population reached 7.27 million, growing by 93,443, from July 2021 to July 2022.
  • The Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander population grew 1.8%, or 31,949 people, to 1.75 million.
  • The Hispanic population gained more than 1 million residents, growing by 1.7%, to 63.66 million.
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