Special Report

Oldest County in Every State

Group of four senior people sitting on wall outdoors, laughing
Source: Thinkstock
The U.S. median age has steadily increased over the past several decades. While the typical American was only 29.5 years old in 1960, the median age has risen to 37.6 years old by 2015. Much of this increase is due to improving life expectancy and the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age.

While the country is aging on the whole, at a local level, some areas have significantly older populations than others. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median age in all U.S. counties to identify the county in every state with the oldest residents. Sumter County, Florida has the highest median age of any U.S. county. The typical Sumter resident is 65.3 years old.

Click here to see the oldest county in every state.

Generally, counties located in northeastern states tend to have older populations than those in southern or western states. Also, states with older populations tend to have less variation in age between counties. In Maine, for example, the median age is 43.8 years old, the highest of any state. The difference between Maine’s oldest county and its youngest county is only 10.2 years. In Virginia, a state where the typical resident is 6.2 years younger than the typical Maine resident, the county with the oldest population has a median age nearly 37.6 years higher than the state’s youngest county. This is the largest age gap of any state.

The aging baby boomer generation, which began turning 65 in 2011, is a large driver behind the increasing median age, and is a major factor in the oldest counties in each state. In 2015, 14.1% of Americans were 65 years or older. In Sumter County, Florida, more than half of the residents are 65 and older.

To determine the oldest county in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median age for all U.S. counties from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey. The share of residents 65 and older and the average retirement income were also from the ACS. The average retirement income was calculated from the aggregate retirement income received in the last 12 months and the number of households receiving retirement income in a given county.

This is the oldest county in every state.

cherokee_county_courthouse_in_centre_ala
Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Cherokee County, Alabama
> Median age: 45.4
> State median age: 38.4
> Population 65+: 19.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,689

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Wrangell City and Borough, Alaska
Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Wrangell City and Borough, Alaska
> Median age: 50.4
> State median age: 33.4
> Population 65+: 21.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,472

La Paz County, Arizona
Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. La Paz County, Arizona
> Median age: 54.8
> State median age: 36.8
> Population 65+: 35.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,292

Baxter County Arkansas
Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Baxter County, Arkansas
> Median age: 51.5
> State median age: 37.7
> Population 65+: 29.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,510

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Sierra County, California
Source: Wikimedia Commons

5. Sierra County, California
> Median age: 54.5
> State median age: 35.8
> Population 65+: 24.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,008

Mineral County, Colorado
Source: Wikimedia Commons

6. Mineral County, Colorado
> Median age: 60.9
> State median age: 36.3
> Population 65+: 36.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $34,118

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Litchfield County, Connecticut
Source: Thinkstock

7. Litchfield County, Connecticut
> Median age: 46.0
> State median age: 40.4
> Population 65+: 17.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,879

sussex-county-delaware
Source: Wikimedia Commons

8. Sussex County, Delaware
> Median age: 47.0
> State median age: 39.3
> Population 65+: 23.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,799

The Villages, Florida
Source: Thinkstock

9. Sumter County, Florida
> Median age: 65.3
> State median age: 41.4
> Population 65+: 50.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,364

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Union County, Georgia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

10. Union County, Georgia
> Median age: 53.3
> State median age: 35.9
> Population 65+: 30.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,441

Kalaupapa, Hawaii, Kalawao County
Source: Wikimedia Commons

11. Kalawao County, Hawaii
> Median age: 51.9
> State median age: 38.0
> Population 65+: 24.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,607

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Idaho City, Idaho
Source: Wikimedia Commons

12. Boise County, Idaho
> Median age: 52.0
> State median age: 35.5
> Population 65+: 20.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,118

Henderson County, Illinois

13. Henderson County, Illinois
> Median age: 49.1
> State median age: 37.3
> Population 65+: 22.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $16,992

Brown County, Indiana
Source: Wikimedia Commons

14. Brown County, Indiana
> Median age: 48.3
> State median age: 37.3
> Population 65+: 20.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $19,649

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Dickinson County, Iowa
Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. Dickinson County, Iowa
> Median age: 48.7
> State median age: 38.1
> Population 65+: 23.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,043

decataur county kansas
Source: Wikimedia Commons

16. Decatur County, Kansas
> Median age: 52.3
> State median age: 36.0
> Population 65+: 27.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $30,309

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Lyon County Kentucky Eddyville
Source: Wikimedia Commons

17. Lyon County, Kentucky
> Median age: 49.0
> State median age: 38.5
> Population 65+: 22.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $26,147

Tensas Parish, Louisiana
Source: Wikimedia Commons

18. Tensas Parish, Louisiana
> Median age: 43.0
> State median age: 36.1
> Population 65+: 19.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,174

Newcastle, Lincoln County, Maine
Source: Wikimedia Commons

19. Lincoln County, Maine
> Median age: 49.8
> State median age: 43.8
> Population 65+: 24.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $26,373

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Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland
Source: Wikimedia Commons

20. Worcester County, Maryland
> Median age: 49.1
> State median age: 38.2
> Population 65+: 24.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,147

Barnstable_County_Courthouse,_Barnstable_MA
Source: Wikimedia Commons

21. Barnstable County, Massachusetts
> Median age: 51.3
> State median age: 39.3
> Population 65+: 27.1%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,723

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Harrisville, Alcona County, Michigan

22. Alcona County, Michigan
> Median age: 56.6
> State median age: 39.5
> Population 65+: 33.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,630

Aitkin County, Minnesota
Source: Wikimedia Commons

23. Aitkin County, Minnesota
> Median age: 53.1
> State median age: 37.7
> Population 65+: 29.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,883

Amite County, Mississippi
Source: Amite County, Mississippi

24. Amite County, Mississippi
> Median age: 45.3
> State median age: 36.5
> Population 65+: 20.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $19,416

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Hickory County, Missouri

25. Hickory County, Missouri
> Median age: 53.5
> State median age: 38.2
> Population 65+: 31.5%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,420

Drummond, Granite County, Montana

26. Granite County, Montana
> Median age: 53.7
> State median age: 39.7
> Population 65+: 28.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,828

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hooker county
Source: Wikimedia Commons

27. Hooker County, Nebraska
> Median age: 57.9
> State median age: 36.2
> Population 65+: 35.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $12,678

Storey County, Nevada
Source: Wikimedia Commons

28. Storey County, Nevada
> Median age: 54.7
> State median age: 37.2
> Population 65+: 26.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $23,245

Carroll County, New Hampshire
Source: Wikimedia Commons

29. Carroll County, New Hampshire
> Median age: 50.3
> State median age: 42.2
> Population 65+: 23.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $28,382

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Cape May County, New Jersey
Source: Wikimedia Commons

30. Cape May County, New Jersey
> Median age: 48.3
> State median age: 39.4
> Population 65+: 23.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,453

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Catron County, New Mexico
Source: Thinkstock

31. Catron County, New Mexico
> Median age: 57.1
> State median age: 37.0
> Population 65+: 32.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $29,196

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Carmel City Hall, Hamilton County, Indiana
Source: Thinkstock

32. Hamilton County, New York
> Median age: 51.9
> State median age: 38.1
> Population 65+: 25.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,441

polk county nc
Source: Wikimedia Commons

33. Polk County, North Carolina
> Median age: 50.9
> State median age: 38.0
> Population 65+: 26.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,390

Carson North Dakota
Source: Wikimedia Commons

34. Grant County, North Dakota
> Median age: 53.6
> State median age: 35.4
> Population 65+: 27.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,573

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Noble County, Ohio
Source: Wikimedia Commons

35. Noble County, Ohio
> Median age: 50.2
> State median age: 39.2
> Population 65+: 22.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,250

McIntosh County Oklahoma
Source: Wikimedia Commons

36. McIntosh County, Oklahoma
> Median age: 47.4
> State median age: 36.2
> Population 65+: 24.1%
> Avg. retirement income: $18,533

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Wheeler County Oregon

37. Wheeler County, Oregon
> Median age: 56.5
> State median age: 39.1
> Population 65+: 34.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,739

Sullivan County Pennsylvania
Source: Wikimedia Commons

38. Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
> Median age: 51.8
> State median age: 40.5
> Population 65+: 26.5%
> Avg. retirement income: $16,929

Bristol County Rhode Island
Source: Wikimedia Commons

39. Bristol County, Rhode Island
> Median age: 43.9
> State median age: 39.7
> Population 65+: 18.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,763

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McCormick County South Carolina
Source: Wikimedia Commons

40. McCormick County, South Carolina
> Median age: 51.9
> State median age: 38.6
> Population 65+: 29.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,705

Custer County South Dakota
Source: Wikimedia Commons

41. Custer County, South Dakota
> Median age: 52.8
> State median age: 36.8
> Population 65+: 24.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,932

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Cumberland County Tennessee
Source: Wikimedia Commons

42. Cumberland County, Tennessee
> Median age: 49.7
> State median age: 38.4
> Population 65+: 28.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $24,442

Llano County Texas

43. Llano County, Texas
> Median age: 56.3
> State median age: 34.1
> Population 65+: 33.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,806

Kane County Utah
Source: Wikimedia Commons

44. Kane County, Utah
> Median age: 43.6
> State median age: 30.1
> Population 65+: 20.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $35,000

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lunenburg-essex-county-vermont
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mar_ibert/

45. Essex County, Vermont
> Median age: 48.8
> State median age: 42.4
> Population 65+: 22.0%
> Avg. retirement income: $15,980

Highland County, Virginia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

46. Highland County, Virginia
> Median age: 59.0
> State median age: 37.6
> Population 65+: 34.0%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,287

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Jefferson County Washington
Source: Wikimedia Commons

47. Jefferson County, Washington
> Median age: 55.6
> State median age: 37.4
> Population 65+: 30.1%
> Avg. retirement income: $28,417

Pendleton County, West Virginia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

48. Pendleton County, West Virginia
> Median age: 49.1
> State median age: 41.8
> Population 65+: 24.0%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,645

Vilas County Wisconsin

49. Vilas County, Wisconsin
> Median age: 52.6
> State median age: 39.0
> Population 65+: 28.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,187

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south_fork_owl_creek_wy

50. Hot Springs County, Wyoming
> Median age: 49.6
> State median age: 36.8
> Population 65+: 22.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,016

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