Special Report

Cities With the Oldest Populations

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.

In some parts of the country, the median age is far higher than the national median. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 U.S. cities – defined as places with populations of at least 25,000 – with the oldest populations. Among the places on this list, the median age of the population ranges from about 48 years to well over 70. 

Most of the cities on this list are located in just two states: Arizona and Florida – Sun Belt states where winters tend to be mild, even warm. Favorable climates make communities in these states popular destinations for retirees. Several cities on this list, including Sun City, Arizona, and The Villages in Florida are specifically designated as retirement communities. Here is a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in every state. 

In most of the places on this list, residents appear to be less likely to be starting or raising a family. In all but a handful of the 50 cities on this list, the share of households home to children under the age of 18 is far below the 30.7% comparable nationwide share. (Here is a look at the best and worst states to raise a family.)

Click here to see the 50 U.S. cities with the oldest populations.
Click here to see our detailed methodology

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