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North Georgia Local News

Union County, Georgia Has One of the Oldest Populations in the Nation

The U.S. population is older now than it has been since record keeping began. The median age in the United States is 38.2 years, up from 36.9 years a decade ago, and from less than 30 in the 1970s.

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This trend is the result of several factors – both long and short term. For one, Americans are now living longer than they have in past decades. Driven in part by improvements in health care, average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. is now about 77 years, five years longer than it was in the mid-1970s. More recently, falling birth rates and tightened restrictions on immigration – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – have accelerated the aging of the U.S. population.

In some U.S. counties, the median age is far higher than the national median. According to data from the Census Bureau, in Union County, Georgia, the median age is 55.2 – about 17 years higher than the national median. A reported 32.9% of local residents are 65 and older, while only 17.8% are 18 and under. For context, 15.9% of the U.S. population are 65 or older and 24.1% are 18 and under.

Residents of Union County also appear to be less likely than a typical American to be starting or raising a family. The share of area households that are home to children under the age of 18 is just 21.4%, well below the 30.7% comparable nationwide share.

All data in this story are five-year estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. All U.S. counties and county equivalents were considered except those for which median age was not available or the sampling error associated with a county’s data was deemed too high.

RankCountyMedian age (years)Pop. 18 and under (%)Pop. 65 and over (%)
1Sumter County, Florida68.08.361.8
2Custer County, Colorado60.116.834.1
3Charlotte County, Florida59.513.240.2
4Highland County, Virginia59.514.338.8
5Catron County, New Mexico59.414.441.6
6Northumberland County, Virginia59.315.638.5
7Ontonagon County, Michigan59.113.235.9
8Jefferson County, Washington59.012.937.1
9Alcona County, Michigan58.913.636.0
10Keweenaw County, Michigan58.314.935.9
11Llano County, Texas57.715.436.8
12Dolores County, Colorado57.515.237.5
13La Paz County, Arizona57.416.940.0
14Lancaster County, Virginia57.216.635.7
15Wheeler County, Oregon56.918.634.4
16Quitman County, Georgia56.913.731.0
17Pope County, Illinois56.816.131.1
18San Juan County, Washington56.714.133.4
19Citrus County, Florida56.715.736.4
20Sarasota County, Florida56.615.236.4
21Roscommon County, Michigan56.615.532.4
22McCormick County, South Carolina56.613.337.8
23Mora County, New Mexico56.613.331.0
24Curry County, Oregon56.314.734.3
25Meagher County, Montana56.320.731.8
26Boyd County, Nebraska56.21832.0
27Montmorency County, Michigan56.015.731.4
28Custer County, South Dakota55.915.330.1
29Aitkin County, Minnesota55.917.532.8
30Sierra County, New Mexico55.916.735.7
31Wahkiakum County, Washington55.718.832.2
32Presque Isle County, Michigan55.716.931.3
33Huerfano County, Colorado55.618.133.0
34Iron County, Wisconsin55.615.730.0
35Hamilton County, New York55.515.130.9
36Adams County, Idaho55.316.630.3
37Union County, Georgia55.217.832.9
38Foard County, Texas55.119.932.2
39Vilas County, Wisconsin55.117.231.0
40Hickory County, Missouri55.018.433.1
41Brunswick County, North Carolina54.716.131.4
42Middlesex County, Virginia54.717.731.8
43Leelanau County, Michigan54.616.930.9
44Esmeralda County, Nevada54.613.525.6
45Granite County, Montana54.620.129.3
46Sullivan County, Pennsylvania54.512.126.7
47Sanders County, Montana54.518.630.9
48Griggs County, North Dakota54.421.229.2
49Pacific County, Washington54.416.631.6
50Fall River County, South Dakota54.419.227.5

By: Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

The Georgia Virtue
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