The U.S. Census Bureau recently released county level estimates of the population, by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin through July 2008. For 2008, the median age in the U.S. was 38.1, up from 36.5 in 2000. The percent of the population age 65 and over also slightly increased, from 12.4 in 2000 to 12.8 in 2008.
The nonmetropolitan population is older than the metropolitan population. While 16 percent of the total population reside in nonmetropolitan counties, 20 percent of the population age 65 and over reside in nonmetropolitan counties.
In 2008, 456 counties had 20 percent or more of their populations age 65 and over, up from 330 counties in 2000. In McIntosh County, North Dakota, 36.2 percent of the population is age 65 or older, the highest percentage in the U.S. The counties in which 20 percent or more of the population is age 65 or older are overwhelmingly nonmetropolitan – 421 of 456 counties are nonmetropolitan (41 micropolitan and 380 noncore).
See Map: Counties in which 20 Percent or More of Population is Age 65 or Older.
The number of counties with a high median age also increased. In 2000, only 9 counties had a median age of 50 or more. By 2008, that number increased to 44 counties. The oldest, by median age, is Kalawao, Hawaii with a median age of 58.6, followed by Sheridan County, North Dakota, with a median age of 55.3. Of the 44 counties with a median age of 50 years or older, 42 are nonmetropolitan counties (1 micropolitan and 41 noncore).
See Map: Counties with Median Age of 50 or Older.