Sumter County, Fla., is Nation's Oldest, Census Bureau Reports

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The nation’s only county with a majority of the population age 65 or older remains Sumter, Fla., where 54.8 percent had reached retirement age in 2015, up from 53.0 percent in 2014. Part of the nation’s fastest growing metro area (The Villages), Sumter County had a median age of 66.6 years on July 1, 2015, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today.

The new detailed estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin show the nation’s 65-and-older population grew from 46.2 million in 2014 to 47.8 million in 2015. This group continues to show rapid percentage growth, even as baby boomers and previous generation groups that make up this age group decline in population.

Sumter County is unique as the only county with a majority age 65-and-older population,” said Jason Devine, assistant division chief for Population Estimates and Projections, “As the nation’s 65-and-over population grows, other counties with retirement communities like The Villages will get closer to this threshold.”

Among counties with a population of 1,000 or more, only two nationwide had a median age of 60 or older. In addition to Sumter County, the other was Catron, N.M. (60.1 years). In all, there were 160 counties that had a median age of 50 or older. Rounding out the top five oldest were Charlotte, Fla. (58.4 years); Alcona, Mich. (57.9 years); and Ontonagon, Mich. (57.3 years), tied with Jefferson, Wash. (57.3 years). At the other end of the spectrum, 66 counties had a median age of 30 or less, with Lexington, Va. (22.4 years) being the youngest, followed by Madison, Idaho (23.2 years), and Kusilvak Census Area, AK (23.3 years).

Nationwide, America’s youngest generation, or those born since 2000, saw its population rise 7.3 percent between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, to 61.0 million.

This group was the most diverse generation. Nearly half (49.0 percent) belong to a race or ethnic minority group other than non-Hispanic, white alone. In contrast, 44.5 percent of our nation’s 83.7 million millennials ─ those born between 1982 and 2000 ─ were of a group other than non-Hispanic, white alone.

These latest population estimates examine changes among groups by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin at the nation, state and county levels, between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2015. In addition, estimates for Puerto Rico and its municipios are available by age and sex.

Other highlights from the estimates: 

Age and Sex

The 65-and-Older Population

The Hispanic Population

The White Population

The Black or African-American Population

The Asian Population

Two or More Races

The American Indian and Alaska Native Population

The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population

The Non-Hispanic White Alone Population

Unless otherwise specified, the statistics refer to the population who reported a race alone or in combination with one or more races. Censuses and surveys permit respondents to select more than one race; consequently, people may be one race or a combination of races. The detailed tables show statistics for the resident population by “race alone” and “race alone or in combination.” The sum of the populations for the five “race alone or in combination” groups adds to more than the total population because individuals may report more than one race. The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate and distinct concepts. In surveys and censuses, separate questions are asked on Hispanic origin and race. The question on Hispanic origin asks respondents if they are of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.

Starting with the 2000 Census, the question on race asked respondents to report the race or races they consider themselves to be. Hispanics may be of any race. Responses of “some other race” from the 2010 Census are modified in these estimates. This results in differences between the population for specific race categories for the modified 2010 Census population versus those in the 2010 Census data.

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SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

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