America keeps changing…in the same old ways. The Census Bureau’s latest estimates show that some established demographic trends continue to alter the U.S. population: The country is still getting older, and Asians remain the fastest-growing minority group.
As the Census first reported in April, Millennials are now the country’s biggest generation. Last year, 75.4 million Americans were between the ages of 18 and 34, while the baby boomer population (ages 51 to 69) stood at 74.9 million. There were more 24-year-olds living in the U.S. (4.7 million of them) than any other single age.
Those population trends will have a sizable impact on states, counties and cities across the country, especially as younger and older Americans do sometimes cluster into specific locations.
As part of its report, the Census Bureau broke out the country’s youngest and oldest counties. The nation’s youngest counties’ often have high college populations, which is the case in Lexington County, Virginia — where the median age is just 22.4 — and Madison County, Idaho, where the median age is 23.2.
At the other end of the spectrum, Sumter County, Florida — home to retiree haven The Villages — has a median age of 66.6 years, making it the only county in the U.S. where the median age exceeds retirement age. More than half the residents, 55 percent, are 65 or older. One result of that: In 2012, only 39.7 percent of Sumter County’s population was part of the labor force.
The only other county in the nation with a median age above 60, for now, is Catron County, New Mexico. The rural mountain community, with a population of 3,600, has a median age of 60.1 years, the result of an exodus of young people in the late 1990s when the U.S. Forest Service severely limited logging.
Here are the youngest and oldest counties in the country: