The Grayest U.S. Counties — And a Few That Are Getting Younger

Photo (cc) by Salvation Army USA West

America is aging, but some places are aging faster than others.

A Pew research study of data from the U.S. Census Bureau found 97 percent of counties saw an increase in the percentage of the population age 65 and older between 2010 and 2014. On average, Pew found senior citizens as a percentage of the population grew by 12.4 percent over that time.

Douglas County, Colorado, had the biggest jump in residents older than 65 with a 57.3 percent increase. Routt and Elbert counties, both in Colorado, also had growth rates higher than 50 percent, meaning the Centennial State had all of the top three.

But growth rate doesn’t mean it had the most people older than 65. That honor would belong to Sumter County, Florida, where 52.9 percent are older than 65. Sumter is the only county in the United States where more than half the population is older than 65. A distant second place belongs to Charlotte County, Florida, where 37.7 percent were older than 65.

Among states, Florida has the highest percentage of 65-and-older people in the nation, with 19.1 percent. On a statewide basis, Alaska has the smallest percentage of people 65 and older, with only 9.4 percent.

There are a handful of counties — 3 percent of them — getting younger, Pew found. The county with the biggest drop was Alfalfa County, Oklahoma, which saw a 9.5 percent decrease in people 65 and older.

The shift in population is not unique to the United States. Worldwide, longer life spans and lower birthrates mean that older people are becoming a larger portion of total population. “The Next America,” a Pew report that explores the demographic shift in depth reflects on its implications:

It’s uncharted territory, not just for us, but for all of humanity. And while it’s certainly good news over the long haul for the sustainability of the earth’s resources, it will create political and economic stress in the shorter term, as smaller cohorts of working age adults will be hard-pressed to finance the retirements of larger cohorts of older ones.

What’s your take on the aging population? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There

Yes, I’ve been shopping on Amazon since the 1990s. These are among my most beloved buys.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses
How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses

Major expenses are difficult to predict, but there are ways to make sure you’re protected.

8 Things You Should Never Put in a Microwave
8 Things You Should Never Put in a Microwave

A microwave can be a busy cook’s best friend. But heating certain things in a microwave can cause disaster.

20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created
20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created

Amazon’s growing collection of private brands offers everything from toilet paper and coffee to motor oil and clothing.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Will Stimulus Checks Increase Your Social Security Taxes?
Will Stimulus Checks Increase Your Social Security Taxes?

Could all those “free” checks prove costly down the road?

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.