Special Report

America's Youngest and Oldest States

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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. 

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. 

While most Americans nationwide are now over age 38, at the state-level, age demographics can vary considerably. Depending on the state, the median age can vary by a decade or more. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the oldest and youngest populations. All 50 states are ranked by their median age. 

The states with the highest median age are concentrated in the Northeast. In five of the six New England states, for example, at least half of the population is over 40. These states tend to have larger than average retirement-age populations. (Here is a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in every state.)

Younger states, which are spread across the Midwest, South, and West, tend to have a high concentration of households with children. In Utah, the youngest state in the country with a median age of just 31 years, over 40% of households are home to at least one child under age 18 – well above the comparable 30.7% share of households nationwide. Utah also has the highest birth rate in the nation. (Here is a look at the best and worst states to raise a family.)

Click here to see the states with the oldest and youngest populations
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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50. Utah
> Median age (years): 31.1
> Population enrolled in college: 8.3% (3rd highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 31.3% (the highest)
> Population 65 and older: 11.0% (the lowest)
> Total population: 3,151,239 (21st lowest)

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49. Alaska
> Median age (years): 34.6
> Population enrolled in college: 5.7% (5th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 27.0% (4th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 12.1% (2nd lowest)
> Total population: 736,990 (3rd lowest)

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48. Texas
> Median age (years): 34.8
> Population enrolled in college: 6.6% (23rd highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 27.6% (2nd highest)
> Population 65 and older: 12.5% (3rd lowest)
> Total population: 28,635,442 (2nd highest)

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47. North Dakota
> Median age (years): 35.2
> Population enrolled in college: 7.4% (9th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 25.3% (12th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 14.8% (7th lowest)
> Total population: 760,394 (4th lowest)

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46. Nebraska
> Median age (years): 36.6
> Population enrolled in college: 7.0% (11th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 26.4% (5th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.4% (11th lowest)
> Total population: 1,923,826 (14th lowest)

45. Idaho
> Median age (years): 36.6
> Population enrolled in college: 6.2% (17th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 27.1% (3rd highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.8% (18th lowest)
> Total population: 1,754,367 (12th lowest)

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44. California
> Median age (years): 36.7
> Population enrolled in college: 8.1% (4th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.4% (20th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 14.3% (6th lowest)
> Total population: 39,346,023 (the highest)

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43. Oklahoma
> Median age (years): 36.7
> Population enrolled in college: 6.0% (11th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 26.1% (8th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.5% (16th lowest)
> Total population: 3,949,342 (23rd lowest)

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42. Georgia
> Median age (years): 36.9
> Population enrolled in college: 6.7% (15th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 25.8% (9th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 13.8% (4th lowest)
> Total population: 10,516,579 (8th highest)

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41. Colorado
> Median age (years): 36.9
> Population enrolled in college: 6.7% (19th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.8% (20th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 14.2% (5th lowest)
> Total population: 5,684,926 (21st highest)

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40. Kansas
> Median age (years): 36.9
> Population enrolled in college: 6.9% (12th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 26.1% (7th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.5% (15th lowest)
> Total population: 2,912,619 (16th lowest)

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39. Louisiana
> Median age (years): 37.2
> Population enrolled in college: 5.9% (10th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 25.3% (11th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.3% (9th lowest)
> Total population: 4,664,616 (25th highest)

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38. South Dakota
> Median age (years): 37.2
> Population enrolled in college: 5.7% (3rd lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 26.2% (6th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.3% (24th highest)
> Total population: 879,336 (5th lowest)

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37. Mississippi
> Median age (years): 37.7
> Population enrolled in college: 6.3% (20th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 25.7% (10th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.8% (19th lowest)
> Total population: 2,981,835 (17th lowest)

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36. Indiana
> Median age (years): 37.8
> Population enrolled in college: 6.2% (16th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 25.2% (13th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.4% (12th lowest)
> Total population: 6,696,893 (17th highest)

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35. Washington
> Median age (years): 37.8
> Population enrolled in college: 6.2% (14th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.6% (18th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.4% (13th lowest)
> Total population: 7,512,465 (13th highest)

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34. Arizona
> Median age (years): 37.9
> Population enrolled in college: 6.6% (25th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.6% (19th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.7% (10th highest)
> Total population: 7,174,064 (14th highest)

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33. Wyoming
> Median age (years): 38.0
> Population enrolled in college: 6.6% (22nd highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.9% (15th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.3% (23rd highest)
> Total population: 581,348 (the lowest)

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32. Minnesota
> Median age (years): 38.1
> Population enrolled in college: 6.4% (22nd lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.8% (17th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.5% (14th lowest)
> Total population: 5,600,166 (22nd highest)

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31. New Mexico
> Median age (years): 38.1
> Population enrolled in college: 6.7% (17th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.8% (18th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.5% (13th highest)
> Total population: 2,097,021 (15th lowest)

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30. Nevada
> Median age (years): 38.2
> Population enrolled in college: 5.5% (2nd lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.1% (25th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.8% (20th lowest)
> Total population: 3,030,281 (19th lowest)

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29. Illinois
> Median age (years): 38.3
> Population enrolled in college: 6.8% (14th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.1% (23rd highest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.4% (10th lowest)
> Total population: 12,716,164 (6th highest)

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28. Iowa
> Median age (years): 38.3
> Population enrolled in college: 6.7% (18th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.8% (16th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.6% (21st highest)
> Total population: 3,150,011 (20th lowest)

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27. Arkansas
> Median age (years): 38.3
> Population enrolled in college: 5.7% (4th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 25.1% (14th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.7% (18th highest)
> Total population: 3,011,873 (18th lowest)

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26. Virginia
> Median age (years): 38.4
> Population enrolled in college: 7.4% (8th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.0% (24th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.5% (17th lowest)
> Total population: 8,509,358 (12th highest)

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25. Missouri
> Median age (years): 38.7
> Population enrolled in college: 6.1% (13th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.2% (22nd highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.6% (22nd highest)
> Total population: 6,124,160 (18th highest)

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24. Maryland
> Median age (years): 38.8
> Population enrolled in college: 7.5% (7th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.9% (21st lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 15.3% (8th lowest)
> Total population: 6,037,624 (19th highest)

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23. Tennessee
> Median age (years): 38.8
> Population enrolled in college: 5.8% (6th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.9% (22nd lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.2% (24th lowest)
> Total population: 6,772,268 (16th highest)

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22. North Carolina
> Median age (years): 38.9
> Population enrolled in college: 6.7% (16th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.0% (25th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.2% (25th lowest)
> Total population: 10,386,227 (9th highest)

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21. Kentucky
> Median age (years): 39.0
> Population enrolled in college: 5.9% (8th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.3% (21st highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.1% (22nd lowest)
> Total population: 4,461,952 (25th lowest)

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20. New York
> Median age (years): 39.0
> Population enrolled in college: 7.3% (10th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 22.4% (10th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.2% (25th highest)
> Total population: 19,514,849 (4th highest)

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19. Alabama
> Median age (years): 39.2
> Population enrolled in college: 6.3% (19th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 24.1% (24th highest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.8% (17th highest)
> Total population: 4,893,186 (24th highest)

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18. Hawaii
> Median age (years): 39.4
> Population enrolled in college: 6.5% (24th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.2% (14th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 18.8% (5th highest)
> Total population: 1,420,074 (11th lowest)

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17. Ohio
> Median age (years): 39.5
> Population enrolled in college: 6.2% (15th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.9% (23rd lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.7% (19th highest)
> Total population: 11,675,275 (7th highest)

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16. Oregon
> Median age (years): 39.5
> Population enrolled in college: 6.3% (21st lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 22.2% (8th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.5% (12th highest)
> Total population: 4,176,346 (24th lowest)

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15. Massachusetts
> Median age (years): 39.6
> Population enrolled in college: 8.5% (2nd highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 21.5% (6th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.2% (23rd lowest)
> Total population: 6,873,003 (15th highest)

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14. Wisconsin
> Median age (years): 39.6
> Population enrolled in college: 6.4% (23rd lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.6% (19th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.7% (20th highest)
> Total population: 5,806,975 (20th highest)

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13. South Carolina
> Median age (years): 39.7
> Population enrolled in college: 6.1% (12th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.5% (17th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.7% (11th highest)
> Total population: 5,091,517 (23rd highest)

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12. Michigan
> Median age (years): 39.8
> Population enrolled in college: 6.8% (13th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.2% (15th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.0% (14th highest)
> Total population: 9,973,907 (10th highest)

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11. New Jersey
> Median age (years): 40.0
> Population enrolled in college: 6.6% (21st highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.5% (16th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.0% (21st lowest)
> Total population: 8,885,418 (11th highest)

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10. Rhode Island
> Median age (years): 40.0
> Population enrolled in college: 8.7% (the highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 21.3% (4th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.9% (16th highest)
> Total population: 1,057,798 (7th lowest)

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9. Montana
> Median age (years): 40.1
> Population enrolled in college: 5.8% (7th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 23.0% (13th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 18.5% (7th highest)
> Total population: 1,061,705 (8th lowest)

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8. Pennsylvania
> Median age (years): 40.9
> Population enrolled in college: 6.3% (18th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 22.4% (11th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.9% (8th highest)
> Total population: 12,794,885 (5th highest)

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7. Delaware
> Median age (years): 41.0
> Population enrolled in college: 6.6% (20th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 22.8% (12th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 18.7% (6th highest)
> Total population: 967,679 (6th lowest)

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6. Connecticut
> Median age (years): 41.1
> Population enrolled in college: 7.6% (6th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 22.3% (9th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 16.9% (15th highest)
> Total population: 3,570,549 (22nd lowest)

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5. Florida
> Median age (years): 42.2
> Population enrolled in college: 6.5% (25th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 21.3% (5th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 20.5% (the highest)
> Total population: 21,216,924 (3rd highest)

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4. West Virginia
> Median age (years): 42.7
> Population enrolled in college: 5.4% (the lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 21.8% (7th lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 19.8% (3rd highest)
> Total population: 1,807,426 (13th lowest)

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3. Vermont
> Median age (years): 42.8
> Population enrolled in college: 7.7% (5th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 20.3% (2nd lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 19.0% (4th highest)
> Total population: 624,340 (2nd lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

2. New Hampshire
> Median age (years): 43.0
> Population enrolled in college: 6.6% (24th highest)
> Population 18 and younger: 20.6% (3rd lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 17.7% (9th highest)
> Total population: 1,355,244 (10th lowest)

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1. Maine
> Median age (years): 44.8
> Population enrolled in college: 5.9% (9th lowest)
> Population 18 and younger: 20.1% (the lowest)
> Population 65 and older: 20.3% (2nd highest)
> Total population: 1,340,825 (9th lowest)

Methodology

To determine the states with the oldest and youngest populations, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median age from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

States were ranked based on median age. To break ties, we used the share of the population that is 65 and older. 

Additional data on the share of the population that is currently enrolled in college, the share of the population that is 18 and younger, the share of the population that is 65 and older, and total population also came from the 2020 ACS, and figures are five year averages. 

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