The American population is older now than it has been since record keeping began. The median age in the United States is 38.2, up tom 36.9 years ten years ago, and for less more than 30 in the 1970s.
This trend is the result of several factors – long and short term. For one thing, Americans are now living longer than they have for decades. Driven in part by improvements in health care, the average life expectancy at birth in the United States is now abo77 years old, five years older than in the mid-1970s. More recently, falling birth rates and tougher immigration restrictions – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – have acceleratoring the aging of the American population.
In some US counties, the median age is much higher than average. Using data from the US Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the county or its equivalent with the oldest populations.
Among the places on this list, the median age of the population ranges from around 43 to well over 60. In any case, the median age in the oldest county in each state is higher than the median age in the state as a whole.
The counties and county equivalents on this list tend to have relatively large retirement age populations. In each of these locations, the share of the population aged 65 or older exceeds the statewide share, and in 15 of these locations, the population 65 and older is at least twice the 15.9% share nationally. Here’s a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in each state.
In almost every place on this list, residents seem less likely to start or raise a family – as in all but one, the share of households with children under 18 is lower than the comparable share in statewide. (Here’s a look at the best and worst states for raising a family.)
Click here to see the county with the oldest population in each state.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.