The American population is older today than it has been since record keeping began. The median age in the United States is 38.2, down from 36.9 a decade ago and under 30 in the 1970s.
This trend is the result of several factors – long and short term. For one thing, Americans are now living longer than they have for decades. Driven in part by improved health care, the average life expectancy at birth in the United States is now around 77 years, five years higher than it was in the mid-1970s. More recently, falling birth rates and tougher immigration restrictions — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — have accelerated the aging of the U.S. population.
In some major metropolitan areas, the median age is well above the national median. Using data from the US Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 US metropolitan areas with the oldest populations. Among the metropolitan areas on this list, the median age of the population ranges from around 43 to well over 60.
Many places on this list are located in Sun Belt states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, where winters tend to be mild to warm. Favorable climates make many communities in these states popular destinations for retirees. In every metro area on this list, the share of the population age 65 or older exceeds the national share of 15.9%, including four Florida metro areas where more than one-third of the population is age 10. retirement. Here’s a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in each state.
In most places on this list, residents seem less likely to start or raise a family. In each of these 50 metropolitan areas, the share of households with children under 18 is lower than the comparable national share of 30.7%. In several of those places — including six in Florida — fewer than one in five households are home to children. (Here’s a look at the best and worst states for raising a family.)
Click here to see the oldest metropolitan areas in the country
Click here to read our detailed methodology