The older segment of the population is growing rapidly in the U.S. The national median age has increased by 3.4 years since 2000 to 38.8 years in 2021, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau data.
The populations in every state (except Maine) are growing older. In addition, there are a few places with a much higher median age. Each of these places has a median age, which is the point at which one-half of the population is older and one-half is younger, of 60 or older.
Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the places in the U.S. with the oldest residents are:
— Sumter County, Florida.
— Kalawao County, Hawaii.
— Catron County, New Mexico.
— Harding County, New Mexico.
— Charlotte County, Florida.
— Jeff Davis County, Texas.
Sumter County, Florida
With a median age of 68.3, this Florida county includes The Villages, a popular retirement community. Located between Orlando and Tampa, Sumter County offers access to nearby metro areas and both coasts. The temperatures are mild during the winter, but summer weather can be hot. The area features golf courses, town squares with regular live entertainment, sports, recreation activities, shopping and restaurants.
Kalawao County, Hawaii
Kalawao is among the smallest counties in the U.S. by land area and also has a low population. The county is located on the north coast of the island of Molokai. The land includes steep sea cliffs which rise from the water to the nearby mountains. A volcano’s eruption formed what is today a flat, leaf-like peninsula. Kalawao County has a median age of 65.5.
Catron County, New Mexico
As the largest county in New Mexico, Catron spans nearly 7,000 square miles. It has a median age of 61.8 and is sparsely inhabited. Named for one of the state’s first senators, Thomas B. Catron, the county has a long history, including some of the earliest settlers in North America. The county is situated in the western portion of the state and borders Arizona.
Harding County, New Mexico
Located north and east of Catron County, Harding County lies in the northeast corner of New Mexico. Its population has a median age of 60.3, and it is the least populated county in the state. The county was created on the day of the inauguration for President Warren G. Harding and is named after him. The area suffered during the great plains Dust Bowl in the 1930s and never fully recovered. Ranching dominates the economic activity of the county, and residents enjoy the open country and long-stretching plains. Mesas, grasslands and rivers also make up the geography of the area.
Charlotte County, Florida
Located along the Gulf of Mexico, this county has a median age of 60.2, and is known for its attractive, fine sand beaches. Residents, many of whom are retirees, have access to a wide range of outdoor activities, including fishing, sailing, boating, shelling, collecting fossilized shark teeth, hiking and biking. Charlotte Harbor is the second largest inlet in the state, and Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park covers more than 45,000 acres and protects more than 100 miles of shoreline. Much of the park consists of shallow water lined with mangroves, which provides opportunities to view wading birds, manatees and dolphins, among other sea creatures and animals.
Jeff Davis County, Texas
This county, which is shaped as a pentagon and has a median age of 60, touches Mexico at a single point. It became a county in 1887 and encompasses more than 2,000 square miles of land. Known as cattle country, Jeff Davis County is home to the Davis Mountains, the second highest mountain range in Texas. Several species that are considered rare or endangered inhabit this county, including the silver-haired bat, shorthorn lizard and band-tailed pigeon.
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