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US median age reached a record high in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau

<i>Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images</i><br/>The median age of the US population has increased by 3.5 years since 2000
Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
The median age of the US population has increased by 3.5 years since 2000

By Deidre McPhillips, CNN

(CNN) — The United States population has been aging for decades and is now older than it has ever been.

The median age of the US population reached a record high of 38.9 years in 2022, according to new estimates from the US Census Bureau.

That’s an increase of about 3.5 years since 2000, and a jump of 0.2 years in the past year alone.

Births outnumbered deaths last year but not enough to shift the overall pattern of aging, according to the Census Bureau estimates. Other federal data shows that the US birth rate has been trending down for years. There was a steep drop in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic and only a slight increase the following year.

“Without a rapidly growing young population, the US median age will likely continue its slow but steady rise,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer with the Census Bureau.

Nearly all states saw their population grow older between 2021 and 2022, according to the new Census Bureau data. In about a third of states, more than half of the population was older than 40 in 2022. Maine had the highest median age of 44.8 years, while Hawaii saw the greatest increase. Utah had the lowest median at 31.9 years, followed by the District of Columbia and Texas.

The new data from the Census Bureau also shows growing diversity in the US population.

While the White population held relatively steady between 2021 and 2022, other racial and ethnic groups grew. The Asian population grew the fastest, up 2.4% in one year. The Hispanic and Pacific Islander populations also increased by nearly 2%. The Black population grew by about 1%, as did the American Indian population.

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