America's population is older than it's ever been, Census says

Sports fans line up for food and walk inside Fenway Park during a Red Sox baseball match in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 29, 2022. - Americas median age reached a record high last year. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The median age of Americans reached a record high last year, creeping closer to 40 than it’s ever been, according to the U.S. Census.

The nation’s median age increased by 0.2 years to 38.9 years between 2021 and 2022, according to Vintage 2022 Population Estimates released by the Census last week. Median age is the age at which half of the population is older and half of the population is younger.

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

READ MORE: Immigration drove White, Asian populations in US last year, Census Bureau data shows

States with the oldest populations

Seventeen states had a median age above 40.0 in 2022, led by Maine with the highest at 44.8, and New Hampshire at 43.3.

Hawaii had the largest increase in median age among states, up 0.4 years to 40.7, the Census Bureau said. 

States with the youngest populations

Utah (31.9), the District of Columbia (34.8), and Texas (35.5) had the lowest median ages in the nation.

No states experienced a decrease in median age, but four states — Alabama (39.4), Maine (44.8), Tennessee (39.1), West Virginia (42.8), and the District of Columbia (34.8) — had no change in their median age from 2021 to 2022.

READ MORE: US metros are growing, many reversing 2021 drops, census data shows

The median age of the nation’s 3,144 counties or equivalents ranged from 20.9 to 68.1 in 2022. 

Counties with median ages of 60 or higher


Florida's median age is higher than other states because of its large retirement population (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

In 2022, seven counties had median ages at or above 60: 

Highland County, Virginia (60.0) 
Charlotte County, Florida (60.2)
Jefferson County, Washington (60.4)
Harding County, New Mexico (60.5)
Jeff Davis County, Texas (61.7)
Catron County, New Mexico (62.1)
Sumter County, Florida (68.1)

Sumter County in Florida, home to a large retirement community, has perennially been the nation’s oldest county. 

Counties with median age below 30

Seven counties among those with resident populations of at least 100,000 had a median age below 30.0:

Utah County, Utah (25.7) 
Cache County, Utah (25.8) 
Onslow County, North Carolina (27.6)
Tippecanoe County, Indiana (28.8)
Clarke County, Georgia (29.1)
Brazos County, Texas (26.7) 
Webb County, Texas (29.8)

Many of these counties are home to large universities, which explains their lower median ages.

"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," Wilder said. "Without a rapidly growing young population, the U.S. median age will likely continue its slow but steady rise."